A nature-based destination home to stunning wildlife, a range of family-friendly adventure activities, five-star boutique hotels, luxury villas, purpose-built stables and historical sites, Sir Bani Yas Island is one of eight islands making up the desert islands of Al Dhafra.
Awarded the World’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination at the 2014 and 2018 World Travel Awards, more than half of this incredible island is made up of the Arabian Wildlife Park, one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves home to more than 17,000 free-roaming animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs.
Guests can enjoy 4x4 nature and wildlife safaris in specially made vehicles accompanied by expert guides, with the island’s state-of-the-art stables offering a variety of equestrian activities and lessons for the whole family.
Enjoy beach sports, such as snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding, from the Desert Islands Watersports Centre. If you’re looking for a customised tour to explore the island in more detail, Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna, a hotel on the Abu Dhabi mainland, can help you book one.
With three Anantara retreats on the island, guests can indulge in luxurious five-star accommodation at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, enjoy beach-front seclusion at Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort on the eastern shores, and breathtaking natural beauty at Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort.
This ancient island is also home to the UAE's only discovered Christian monastery, which can be visited during a Desert Islands Resort and Spa Culture Tour. Thought to have been built around 600AD and abandoned in 750AD, the monastery was rediscovered during excavations in 1992.
Sir Bani Yas Island is also the Middle East’s first and only dedicated cruise beach stopover destination. Disembarking passengers can enjoy a relaxing day on the desert island beach or discover all that the island has to offer at the dedicated Welcome Centre with excursion booking desks. The 1.2-kilometre stretch of cruise passenger beach features VIP, family and standard sections, 2,000 guest sunbeds and umbrellas, VIP cabanas accommodating up to four guests and served by its own exclusive bar and restaurant, a lapa area with an aqua gym and floating mats, and indoor and outdoor freshwater showers. Catering facilities include three buffet areas and grill stations serviced by two main and four Tiki bars.