Sir Bani Yas Island

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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 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. 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.