Travellers on the lookout for conveniently located Abu Dhabi beach hotels will find no finer alternative to the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. Offering guests the best in contemporary amenities the stylish rest is ideal for business and leisure travellers.
As a tourist hub for the wandering masses Abu Dhabi conjures up images of larger than life department stores and cloud-piercing skyscrapers. Fuelled by the discovery of oil the Emirati nation has made large strides towards progress in recent decades to become one of the most metropolitan regions of the Middle East. Although its pearl diving and Bedouin past is a flicker in the memory of most visitors who tour its ultra modern confines and attractions, those who venture deeper in to the desert nation’s cultural identity will find treasures that are truly worthy of deeper exploration.
The ruins of the 7th century Christian monastery are one such example. Unearthed in Sir Bani Yas Island the venue is one of the archeological success stories attributed to Sheikh Zayed who invested his time and resources to tracing the history of the land and its people in the 1990’s. Discovered by archeologists in 1992 this ancient monastic residence buried in the desert is now considered one of the greatest archeological finds in not only in the Gulf but the globe at large. As a testament of how far the reach of Christianity spread in the UAE the monastic compound occupies a space of 65m2 and has been open to visitors nearly 20 years after it was first unearthed. Occupying the eastern region of the island the site would have been visible to sailors across popular trade routes heading to Asia. The outer walls of the site are what remain while placards explain the layout of the monastery that would have been inhabited by 30 to 40 priests from the period between 600AD and 750AD.
Relics such as crucifixes, vases, bowls and ceremonial items such as glass containers made in India and Iraq are also on show at the locale. Human remains were also uncovered in a crypt buried at the site which is believed to be that of a saint that may have established the monastery and was perhaps its founder.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+