Bani Yas Island is part of the eight desert islands of Al Dhafra and is a wildlife sanctuary that has more than 10,000 animals, roaming freely. When you are planning a vacation to Abu Dhabi, do ensure that you include this beautiful sanctuary, which will be forever etched in your memories. The Sir Bani Yas Island has been named after the first tribe of people who inhabited Abu Dhabi, Bani Yas tribe.
This island is the work of geological art. Salt deposits from 600 million years ago, formed the original dome, which then got layered with sandstone and limestone; this is what we now know as Yas Island. The natural beauty of the region is mind-blowing.
This island is the only one in the UAE, which has Christian remnants from before the Islamic times. The only Christian monastery, dating back to the 7th century was discovered in early 1992. Besides this, there are many fossils of elephants, dating back to 6million years. There have been archeological discoveries of pottery and tombs, thought to be dating back to the Bronze Age.
Transportation and packages-
The islands can be reached in several ways. Boats and aircrafts that go directly; one can also opt for a car drive and then a water boat from Jebel Dhanna. You also have the option of booking the luxurious seaplanes and chartered flights for a more personal touch.
Accommodation while visiting-
While visiting the sanctuary, you shall be spoilt for choices when looking for accommodation. There are three luxury hotels which you can choose from.
Desert Island and Spa is a 64-room resort, which is ultra-luxurious. This was originally a retreat for Sheikh Zayedbin Sultan Al Nahyan’s and later converted to a resort.
The second resort which is available is the Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort. This is a 30-room resort and is just simply gorgeous; located in the lush verdant green surroundings with a frequent glimpse of elegant gazelles grazing and peacocks strutting.
The third resort is Al Yamm Resort situated on the beach and it comprises just stunning and opulent villas. Staying here will allow you to interact and view the existing marine life. There are packages available from the Abu Dhabi tour operatives, which can ensure hassle-free booking arrangements for the interested parties.
This sanctuary homes many different types of animals. Be prepared to be amazed by the abundance of the endangered Arabian oryx, the northern cheetah, wild cats, hyenas, giraffe, mountain sheep, and Ethiopian hedgehogs to name a few.
There is a rich marine life that can be explored, with many species of reptiles and turtle. The only breading turtle in the region is the Hawksbill turtle, which is a critically endangered species.
This place is also home to many species of bats and birds. The ones which stand out are the abundance of ostriches and the flamingos. There are many species of anthropoids found here, most notably the Black-Tailed Buthid scorpion, typically known for aggressive, lightning-fast movements. It is important to watch carefully while moving.