There are many Islands in Abu Dhabi. The only pre-Islamic Christian sites to be found in the UAE, Sir Bani Yas Island, is rich in history and culture. Sir Bani Yas Island is the largest on the Abu Dhabi coast and was the former private island of the late Sheikh Zayed, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Since his death in 2004, his will has been fulfilled to transform Sir Bani Yas into wildlife conservation and is provided with safari twice daily.
Recently awarded the ‘World’s Top Sustainable Travel Destination‘ at the World Travel Awards in Anguila on May 2014, more than half of the island is composed of Arabian wildlife parks, one of the region’s largest wildlife archives, with over 10,000 free-floating animals with Arabian oryx, gazelles, and gazelles, giraffes, hyenas, and cheetahs. Guests can take a 4×4 Nature and wildlife drive to the park in specially made vehicles accompanied by proficient guides.
With three Anantara hotel resorts and spa retreats on the island, guests will be able to enjoy five-star accommodation at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, beach front seclusion at Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort on the east coast and the natural beauty will be surprised at the Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort.
The island is also home to the United Arab Emirates’s only discovered Christian Bihar, a desert island resort and spa culture tour. It is believed to have been built around 600 AD and abandoned in 750 AD, the monastery was first discovered in 1992 when it was excavated.
Location of Sir Bani Yas Island:
Sir Bani Yas Island is a natural island situated about 170 km (110 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is located 9 km (5.6 mi) to the coast of Jebel Dhana, which serves as a crossing point on other islands like Dalma. Sir Bani Yas is 17.5 km from north to south and 9 km from east to west, so it is the greatest natural island in the UAE. Sir Bani Yas, located just west of Abu Dhabi, was originally the largest wildlife sanctuary in Arabia. Covering 87 km2 (34 square miles), the reserve was founded in 1977 by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Thanks to decades of conservation work and ecological investment, it is now home to thousands of large free-roaming animals and millions of trees and shrubs. Aside from a bird sanctuary, a wildlife archive, Sir Bani Yas Adventure exhibits nature through activities such as safari, kayaking, mountain biking, archery, hiking, and snorkeling.
Wildlife and nature of Sir Bani Yas Island:
The island is home to many species of Arabian oryx, Somali ostrich, gazelles, and deer, from reticulated giraffes, dolphins, and marine turtles. Over a hundred species of wild birds found on the island are indigenous to the area. The island is home to about 30 species of mammals, including the world’s largest herd of deer and endangered Arabian oryx. Deer, a species of Arabian oryx, was previously extinct in the wild, but there are more than 400 animal habitats that roam the island freely.
With about half of Sir Bani Yas, the Arabian Wildlife Park gives an environment for wild animals to roam freely while the island is open to visitors. The park houses about 13,000 animals on the Arabian Peninsula as well as free-roaming predators and drunkards such as Sudan cheetahs and striped hyenas, along with indigenous endangered Arabics, Sand Gazelle and Mountain Gazelles.
Research and conservation efforts As a major part of the park’s current development, several, wildlife, and adventure activities are already obtainable to visitors. These include game drives, mountain biking, nature trails, and outdoor dining.
Therefore, the island plays an important role in protecting these animals for future generations. In the Abu Dhabi mainland, more than 10,000 animals have been released from wildlife reserves from Sir Bani Yas, such as the Liwa Desert. The program has been run in collaboration with Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
The island is evolving with respect to its nature and natural ecosystem. The island operates the region’s first wind turbine, with a production capacity of 850 kilowatts currently in addition to conventional supply from the national grid, to power the island’s facilities. The island uses solar power as part of staff housing that is not currently connected to the electricity grid.
Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company has announced plans to increase Masdar’s wind production capacity to 30 MW.
Weather of Sir Bani Yas Island:
The average temperature varies a lot on Sir Bani Yas Island. Considering the humidity, the temperature feels warm for about half of the year and otherwise looks nice with very little chance of rain throughout the year. The region is slightly narrower than tourist destinations around the world – at 58 percent for pleasant weather. The weeks with the ideal weather are listed above. If you are looking for the warmest time to visit Sir Bani Yas Island, the hottest months are July, August and then June. See the average monthly temperature below. The warmest time of the year is usually in mid-July, where the altitude is regularly around 108.3 degrees F (42.4 degrees C), and the night temperature rarely drops below88.9°F (31.6°C).
Best Time to Visit Sir Bani Yas Island:
Spring (March through May)
The humidity and temperature combine to make this season feel warmer. In the months ahead, the highs range from 106.7 degrees F (41.5 degrees C) and 76.2 degrees F (24.6 degrees Celsius), with warmer temperatures. There is no rainfall, with a significant rainfall of about 0 days per month. For tourism, the spring is fairly steep and slow.
Summer (June through August)
During the mid-year months, there is hot weather with high temperatures which is extremely hot. This month, the least rainfall is seen with about 0 days of rainfall per month. Sir Bani Yas Island June – August is the slowest season of tourism, so accommodation and other accommodations can cost less than usual.
Fall (September through November)
The daily highs of fall are from 103.2°F (39.6°C) and 78.5°F (25.8°C), which will be comfortable due to moisture and wind. It just rains or snows a considerable amount: 0 to 1 day per month. Tourism is the second busiest this month because of the weather, so the hotel prices may be a bit higher.
Winter (December through February)
The weather is perfect this time of year on Sir Bani Yas Island for travelers to enjoy warm weather. The average altitude for this season is between 79.1°F (26.2°C) and 68.5°F (20.3°C). On average, it rains or rains very little: 0 to 1 times per month. These times of the year are the busiest with tourists.
Getting to Sir Bani Yas Island:
Sir Bani Yas Island is part of the Al Gharbia region of the United Arab Emirates, 250 km southwest of Abu Dhabi and 370 km southwest of Dubai, and can be reached by boat (Including a choice of both water taxis for foot passengers and landing crafts for vehicles), by car and then on the mainland from Jebel Dhanna. And landing craft for vehicles), or by boat or plane directly to Sir Bani Yas The Royal Bay Moorings’ dock and sea or small planes are capable of landing on an 87-square-mile island runway. Boat time can be found at Cirbaniasisland / Travel.
The beaches of Sir Bani Yas are operated by Seawings (seawings.ae) and private return charters with nine seats are available for a total of AED 11,500 plus VAT from Dubai and AED 14,500 plus VAT from Abu Dhabi.
As part of an eight-day tour of Lightfoot Travel (LightfootTravel.com), you can also see the island, which will shake guests around the GCC in a private plane, taking in Salalah, Muscat and Jabal Akhdar in Oman, including a two-night stop at Sir Bani Yas Island. Dream travel costs $55,000 (AED 202,000) for four.
Where to Stay on Sir Bani Yas Island:
There are three luxury Anantara hotels on the Sir Bani Yas Island. The family-friendly 64-room desert island resorts and spa were originally built by the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as a guest house and later converted to the first hotel on the island, which opened in 2008.
The 30-key Anantara followed at Al Sahel Villa Resort in 2013. A haven in grasslands, it offers a lush, green, verdant vista, alive with strutting peacocks and skipping gazelles. Disney animations spring to mind; Snow White would look at home here. Afternoon tea in the trees with a sideshow by Mother Nature is an indescribable pleasure.
Anantara’s completed by the postcard-perfect Triptych by Al Yamm Resort, it also has 30 luxurious villas, but they are set on the beach, giving guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with local marine life – small sharks and stingrays on this shore.
Hotel staff can arrange a variety of adventures for guests including sea kayaking expeditions and shipwreck dives. Experienced horseback riders are even allowed to trot through the wildlife park. We have been assured that the resident cheetahs will not try to eat anything bigger than them.
Top Attraction of Sir Bani Yas Island:
A wise guide, Marie, pulls our kayaks to the side of the lagoon. We have kayaked before so he skips the mechanics and cuts straight to what we will see and do in our session. Kayak on Sir Bani Yas, the indigenous species of wild birds and various indigenous species such as the flamingoes, which have been settled during the emigration and strengthen the opportunity to find the island so habitable, they make the island their permanent home – we hope we too can do it.
However, if you are lucky, you will also find sea cheeks, cormorants, black-winged, stilettos, teals, crab plovers, avocets, and gray herons. Marie informs us that we cannot see them all in one go, but we will enjoy cooling off on the water and being out on the sea as a family as the sun sets in the distance.
Yawning, the jeep we are waiting for. The Morning grogginess is quickly replaced with the Elation by seeing our first animal – the hyrax. Our guide, Kate, introduces the animal like a rabbit to an elephant’s cousin, and with it, we are officially awake and ready to marvel at other unusual and exciting animal sightings.
We see many species of birds and many gazelle we stop taking pictures of them. The sight of seeing a row of reticulated giraffe, purposefully spreading their impossibly long legs, is thrilling. They seem so at home in the island landscape and fully ignore us as we park up close to them while they are gathered in a group having their breakfast.
We see the extinct person – up to extinction – the Arabian Aurex, who is outraged by his mate and then encounters us with a wounded cheetah named Gibbs, as another slit cheetah throws our jeep. Another young male sitting on the Cheetah hill overlooking the landscape and they are wandering among the five reserves. Others live in fences; Their separation prevents reproduction and over-fighting. Cheetahs help keep Gazelle’s burgeoning population – now extinct – as they look for their food.
Post-Safari and Palms Buffet Breakfast We explore with the Desert Island Waterport Center, run by Al Mahara. It offers a variety of activities including scuba diving, kayaking, stands up paddle boarding, snorkeling and more.
We choose mid-morning snorkel. We are ready in a room and throw in a pool to make sure all the parts fit. They are then taken to the south side of a jetty where we are submerged.