Sir Bani Yas, the island which I visited recently, has something unique and its uniqueness is relied on the fact that it is natural, a real island, a characteristic which is quite uncommon in this man made land of the United Arab Emirates. It is located just off the shore of the Western region of Abu Dhabi.
The name Sir Bani Yas Island originates from the Bani Yas tribe, who first inhabited Abu Dhabi. Sir Bani Yas Island was created millions of years ago when natural geological forces created the ´salt dome´ island present today.
The first human settlers arrived several thousand years ago, long before people set foot on what was later to become the United Arab Emirates. Thirty-six archaeological sites have been discovered throughout Sir Bani Yas, each providing a distinct insight into the island´s history. One of the oldest sites is the remains of a pre-Islamic monastery which dates back to 600 AD. Each of these sites has now been carefully covered, to protect them until the time when they can be incorporated into the destination experience.
Sir Bani Yas Island was first mentioned in European literature around 1590, when the Venetian jeweller Gasparo Balbi listed ´Sirbeniast´ as an island around which pearls were often found. It was also described in some detail during the 1820s and 1850s by British naval officers who were surveying the lower Gulf waters.
Bani Yas Island was originally home to Arabia’s largest wildlife reserve. Spanning over 87 km2 the reserve was established in 1971 by the late ruler and founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The only accommodation for the visitors is the Desert Islands Resort & Spa Hotel by Anantara which has 64 rooms including six private lodges spa, swimming pool etc. The hotel’s architecture and decoration blend in marvellous in the whole environment of the island.
P.S. It was from the nicest experience in Abu Dhabi