Sir Bani Yas Island is located in the south west region of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The island is known to be the largest wildlife reserve and bird sanctuary in the Gulf, which covers an area of 87 square kilometres and was marked as a reserve by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1977. In Abu Dhabi, resort options are varied, however for those who are interested in staying on the island; properties like Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara are quite popular with tourists.
Sir Bani Yas Island has a number of lush mangrove forests which are home to dozens of bird and animal species. The mangroves were said to have been planted about 12 to 30 years ago. The most popular type of mangrove that grows around the island is known as the Grey Mangrove which is said to be the most salt tolerant and thus able to thrive in the waters around the gulf.
Grey Mangroves or commonly known as the Avicennia marina, usually grows as a tree or shrub, with some trees measuring to a height of ten metres. The bark is usually light grey with thick leaves that measure up to eight centimetres in length. The UAE is known to hold more than 3000 hectares of the grey mangroves, of which 2300 hectares can be found in Abu Dhabi. The mangroves provide the best breeding grounds for many fish and bird species.
As the mangroves are protected under the Federal Law 24, visitors to Sir Bani Yas Island are given the opportunity to plant mangrove saplings in the waters in order to help conserve this natural habitat, while also aiding in the growth in the number of birds and fish that call it their home.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.