Discover Abu Dhabi’s most treasured island, Sir Bani Yas, through Anantara Resorts. Located on the 87 sq km island, Anantara manages three resorts where guests can indulge their senses in a natural environment with three distinct experiences to fulfill their preferences. The family friendly Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is decked out in state-of-the-art amenities and styled with eye-catching Arabian touches and antiquities echoing the UAE’s culture and history. Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort is located on the Eastern beach of the island and is reminiscent of an ancient pearl fishing village with contemporary style. Finally, Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort is nestled within the Arabian Wildlife Park with an African lodge-like ambience.
Guests can experience the wonders of Sir Bani Yas Island in full with Anantara’s variety of land based and water based excursions. “Nature-inspired activities, such as wildlife drives, mountain biking, kayaking, land sailing, hiking, snorkelling, archery and more, are part of the visitor experience at Sir Bani Yas Island.” says Matthew Bottomer, Activities Manager at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts. “Our team, consisting of expert guides from all over the world, are on hand to inform and lead guests though all the activities. We make sure that everyone takes home his or her own amazing story.” he continues.
Sir Bani Yas Island, an island located about 170 km southwest of Abu Dhabi is the largest natural island of the United Arab Emirates. Home to Arabia’s largest wildlife reserve, forty-two phenomenal historical sites, as well as three unique resorts managed by the Thai hospitality group Anantara, Sir Bani Yas Island offers a very unique experience for guests living in and travelling to the United Arab Emirates.
Sir Bani Yas Island was originally established as a Royal Nature Reserve in 1971 by the late ruler and founder of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Aiming to ensure the survival of Arabia’s endangered species, he developed a conservation programme that focuses on the breeding and relocation of these endangered species. Successfully putting Sheikh Zayed’s vision into practice until today, Sir Bani Yas Island is now home to over 15,000 animals from 30 different species, many of which the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies as critically endangered or vulnerable to the wild, including Sea Turtles, Sand Gazelles, Blackbuck Antelope, Urial Sheep, Barbary Sheep and the Arabian Oryx. Sir Bani Yas Island plays a significant role in protecting these animals for future generations.
The history of Sir Bani Yas Island however dates back to long before the late Sheikh Zayed made it a sanctuary as we know it today. 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 more detail by British Navy officers who surveyed the lower Gulf waters during the 18th century. Forty-two phenomenal archaeological sites have been discovered on Sir Bani Yas Island since it was first conquered by the “Bani Yas tribe”, each providing a distinct insight into the island’s history. One of the oldest sites that have been found on the island are the remains of a Nestorian Christian monastery, dating back to the late 6th Century AD.