Nestled in the glorious Persian Gulf is an island that cannot be easily overlooked. Sir Bani Yas Island as it is known is a natural island located approximately 110 miles off the coast of UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi. Its name is derived from the ‘Sir Bani Yas’ tribe who are believed to have been the very first inhabitants of Abu Dhabi. The island was formerly home to the largest wildlife reserve in Arabia, and today has transformed into a habitat for hundreds of wild animals thanks to years of conservation efforts.
On the island are the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts which offer travellers custom made adventures. These resorts are situated on the island and are more convenient for those planning wildlife tours, as opposed to any other mainland beach resort. Abu Dhabi welcomes a large number of tourists from across the globe and Sir Bani Yas Island has transformed into one major tourist attraction over the years. Wildlife at the island flourishes with a staggering 13,000 animals on the island, including both indigenous and endangered species. A wildlife excursion is here is similar to those one would find in Africa!
UAE’s first president, the late Sheikh Zayed declared the island a nature reserve in 1971 which led to the establishment of the ‘Arabian Wildlife Park’ that expands to over 1,400 hectares of land. The park has many ongoing breeding programmes and conservation projects that ensure survival of all flora and fauna on the island. One such programme would be the introduction of cheetahs as natural predators as a means to control the over-population of animals. Its animal population consists of four larger carnivorous species namely; Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Northern Cheetah and Caracal. It is also home to a massive 200 species of birds that includes a large number of migratory birds too. The most noteworthy fact is that the island is inhabited by the largest Arabian Oryx herd in the world. Among other curiosities are captivating geological formations and archaeological remains from the time of the Sir Bani Yas tribe.
The exciting news is that guests can embark on adventure tours around the island. Those who are adventurous can opt for land activities like mountain biking tours, archery or nature walks and water sporting activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, pearl diving or even deep sea fishing.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.