Discover Sir Bani Yas Island

Date: 2016-11-01
A private island hideaway and nature reserve of historical and geological importance, Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the UAE’s most remarkable natural wonders.
Few attractions can compete with the all-immersive experience of Sir Bani Yas Island. Not only does the small island hold a wealth of rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and exciting animal life to be discovered, but also its wide range of activities and adventures are tailored to suit all kinds of travellers. A weekend stopover on this desert island, only 250km from the capital city, completes any trip to Abu Dhabi.
Sir Bani Yas Island is one of eight Desert Islands located off the coast of Jebel Dhanna in Al Gharbia. The Desert Islands also include the inhabited Dalma Island, home to a small and hospitable community which has lived there for more than 7,000 years. Six further islands, collectively called the Discovery Islands, are closed to the public. These protected wildlife habitats are critical nesting and breeding grounds for migratory birds and turtles.

Authentic Arabian Hospitality
Accessible only by boat or via the hotel’s private aircraft, retreats don’t get much more exclusive than this. The three resorts located on Sir Bani Yas Island are all operated by Anantara and provide a variety of accommodation types to cater for individual needs. 
The Desert Islands Resort & Spa
The island’s main family-friendly resort, the five-star Desert Islands Resort & Spa, has 64 luxurious rooms and facilities including a spa, swimming pools and restaurants. With views out across the Arabian Gulf and an abundance of activities and tours offered, this resort is ideal for honeymooners, desert explorers and families alike. 
Average room price: Dhs. 1,000 to 1,200
Al Yamm Villa Resort
Al Yamm’s rustic villas are fashioned after the barasti-style houses of the early fishermen in the region, with wooden beams and authentic decoration. The luxury eco-resort, inspired by a traditional fishing village, opens out to sandy beaches underfoot, with views overlooking the magroves. 
Average room price: Dhs. 1,800 to 2,000
Al Sahel Villa Resort
Al Sahel is the epitome of outdoors luxury, located within the wildlife park for incredible animal encounters. The villas are large with panoramic views, modern design and elegantly appointed. For the maximum indulgence, book a villa with your own private plunge pool.
Average room price: Dhs. 1,800 to 2,000
Rare Wildlife Encounters
Bani Yas Island is home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, which conserves 160 species of animals. An important location for the conservation of endangered local species, such as the Arabian Oryx and Tahr, Sir Bani Yas Island is also home to cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, emus, dolphins and sea turtles. The island’s mangrove lagoon provides a habitat for both marine life and birds, and guests are offered the opportunity to contribute to these conservation efforts through planting a mangrove during their visit.

Understanding The Past
Sir Bani Yas Island is home to 42 archaeological sites, including the remains of a Nestorian Christian Monastery, which dates back to the early 7th century. The island has long been known for its importance in the pearling industry, and it is believed that the monastery was built as shelter for monks involved in the pearl trade. Hotel guests can learn more about this early history, as well as the more recent role of the island which was once the private retreat of the great Sheikh Zayed, who is known as the founder of the UAE for spearheading the union of the individual emirates in 1971. 

Amazing Natural Phenomena
More than 100 years ago, the island was inhabited by the Bani Yas tribe, providing a living for the people thanks to its unique formation.
The small island, measuring only 87 sq km, is 80 per cent salt, and it is from mining this abundant natural resource the Bani Yas tribe made their living. The minerals that make up the island’s incredible salt domes shine an array of colours from deep purple to pale yellow, forming mauve, green, red and orange hills. The salt domes started to form as long ago as 600 million years, influenced by tectonic plate movements and volcanic activity to push up through 5,000m of sedimentary rock to the Earth’s surface.

Desert Activities Galore
Explore the island under your own steam by mountain biking, hiking, or hacking on horseback with a steed from the Sir Bani Yas stables. Take to the water for kayaking, diving and snorkelling, or even deep-sea fishing trips, while land-based activities include archery, land sailing, and wildlife, and culture and history tours. Back at the hotel, a floodlit tennis court, infinity pool and a comprehensively equipped fitness centre will take care of any excess energy. 

Visit to learn more about this fascinating island retreat and to book your getaway.

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