Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab EmiratesLocated in Abu Dhabi's Al Gharbia municipality, Sir Bani Yas Island, the largest natural island in the United Arab Emirates is an ideal eco-tourism and archaeological destination. (It is not to be confused with Yas Island, the location of Ferrari World and the Yas Marina F1 Circuit.)

In 1971, a wildlife reserve was established on the island. Today, 10,000 animals (including gazelles, giraffes, and Arabian Oryx) roam freely in the Arabian Wildlife Park that occupies half of the island. Visitors can explore it in 4 x 4 Jeeps or on horseback.


Historically, the island was home to a Pre-Islamic Christian monastery during the 7th and 8th centuries AD. The ruins were uncovered during excavations in the 1990s. Excavations have also revealed the remnants of a stone-age civilization. In fact, there are 35 archaeological sites on the island. Plans to establish a heritage trail with an interpretive center are under discussion.

Activities available include horse riding, diving, cycling, and kayaking.

Amwaj RestaurantTransfers are provided between the 3 luxury resorts on the island:

The Desert Islands Conference Center  has facilities for 550 guests in the Dhabi Ballroom, which can be sub-divided into 3 separate venues that can each accommodate 130 meeting participants. There are also 8 meeting rooms with a total capacity of 85 and a private boardroom.

For more information about Abu Dhabi area attractions and venues, also read Incentive Travel: Amazing Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island Takes Shape in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saadiyat Island Beach Resorts, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and 5 Futuristic Event Venues Around the World.

Photo Credits: Visit Abu Dhabi, Anantara Resorts

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