Looking for a long relaxing weekend immersed in nature? If there were any heavenly landscape to include in your bucket list, Sir Bani Yas Island’s Anantara Resorts would be somewhere very close to the top. From the wondering wildlife to the panoramic views and the salt-domed hilltops, it very nearly feels like you are in the heart of Africa. But, that is the beauty of this place. Sir Bani Yas Island is located a two-hour drive followed by a 30-minute ferry ride away from Abu Dhabi.
The island was first established as a reserve by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan when he became the first president of the UAE in 1971. Sheikh Zayed chose this island as a retreat as part of his Greening of the Desert program to preserve endangered and vulnerable animals. Sir Bani Yas Island has a truly deserted, tropical hideaway feel. It is lush and green, with lagoons inhabited by herons and flamingos, and stunning exotic wildlife, which is the ultimate draw.
Things to love:
- an early morning Nature Walk is a must. You’ll spend 1.5 hours on the east side enclosure getting up close and personal with animals like the Beisa Oryx, Axis Deer, Urial Sheep, and Red Deer. And of course, a tower of giraffes getting their morning fuel fix – so bring those cameras, as well as good shoes, sunglasses and a hat.
- a sunset Nature & Wildlife Drive will take you on a 4×4 adventure where you will lay eye on some of the beautiful free-roaming wildlife. The expert guides are really helpful and knowledgeable on everything from flora and fauna to knowing all the tricks of the trades in locating the animals, so that you can have a wholesome, memorable experience.
- an amazing treatment at Anantara Spa. I highly recommend a 30 min Desert Sand Scrub, followed by a 60 min Signature Massage – to stimulate the circulation and promote deep relaxation, while restoring the flow of energy along the meridian lines.
Aside from this, you are spoiled with the option to go sailing, horse riding, mountain biking, snorkeling, kayaking, deep sea fishing, or to take a cultural and historical tour amongst other awesome activities.
Not only is Sir Bani Yas Island the coolest eco-friendly staycation in the UAE, it’s one of the most breathtaking. You will not be disappointed!
Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – http://www.anantara.com