The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and its name provides a brief hint as to the natural wonders that lie within its borders, for the name ‘Abu Dhabi’ means ‘Father of the Gazelle’ in Arabic. One may not necessarily associate the Emirates with iconic and unique wildlife, especially considering its desert-like conditions. As a result, tourists would often opt to enjoy more of the exhilarating activities available at amusement and water parks, visit some of the iconic sights such as the Emirates Palace, or even enjoy a brief reprieve from the heat in the comfort of their Abu Dhabi pool villa. However, Abu Dhabi, in particular, is home to numerous wildlife species and anyone who visits Sir Bani Yas Island would soon be able to witness it themselves.
Sir Bani Yas Island, located off the coast of the Western region of the Emirate, is replete with species such as Gazelles, Giraffes, Ostriches and most importantly, the Arabian Oryx, a species that was believed to be extinct in the wild. This came to be because of the benevolence and far-reaching actions of the first President of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Sheikh Zayed built a lodge on the island, which has since then been converted into one of the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts, as a holiday home and retreat. Having experienced the wonders of the island because of his frequent visits, Sheikh Zayed initiated a programme to ‘green’ the desert. Part of this initiative included the transport of the Arabian Oryx, a species which by then was extinct in the wild, from Arizona. At present, the Island hosts a heard of around four hundred Arabian Oryx, one of the largest herds of this endangered species in the wild.
Visitors to the island can enjoy seeing such wildlife from afar, while other outdoor activities such as mountain biking and nature trails excursions are also available.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.