Sir Bani Yas Island
- TOP TIPS if you’re planning to stay on Sir Bani Yas Island
- A short video
- What is Sir Bani Yas Island?
- Where is Sir Bani Yas Island ? With Google Map
- How do you get to Sir Bani Yas Island?
- Where should you STAY on Sir Bani Yas Island?
- What’s the best place to EAT on Sir Bani Yas Island?
- What is there to DO on Sir Bani Yas Island?
- Is Sir Bani Yas Island worth a visit?
TOP TIPS if you’re planning to stay on Sir Bani Yas Island
1. Leave PLENTY of time to get to the jetty, at least 4 hours if you’re driving from Dubai
2. Choose your ACCOMMODATION type carefully! It will make a real difference to your experience. I recommend the AL YAMM villas.
3. Take your DIVING SHOES for yourself and any children, alot of the beach has tiny fossil type shells and rocks, so you’ll be more comfortable.
4. Do eat lunch at the SAVANNAH GRILL at Sahel ON THE TERRACE behind the restaurant, inside is too dark.
5. Try the GAME DRIVE if you’re only doing one activity, it’s really worth it. Take binoculars if you have them and prepare to get really DUSTY. We saw 2 cheetahs and loads of game!
6. If you need to eat a meal on the way home when you’re back on the mainland in Abu Dhabi, I recommend the poolside service at the Jebel Dana hotel. The Indian Biriyani is DELICIOUS and both the vegetarian and non vegetarian are equally good. About 15 minutes drive from the jetty when you get off the boat, you’ll be sustained for the long drive back to Dubai.
A short video
By the way I know I say Tropical Island a couple of times but I know Sir Bani Yas is part of the Desert Islands! Just felt tropical sometimes!
What is Sir Bani Yas Island?
Sir Bani Yas Island is one of 8 natural islands in Abu Dhabi that are collectively known as the Desert Islands. In 1971 under a Greening of the Desert programme initiated by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Sir Bani Yas was earmarked to become a conservation area and home to a variety of birds, animals and plant life. Today Sir Bani Yas is one of Arabia’s largest wildlife reserves. To read more about the island click on this link to the official TDIC website. I met some of the very knowledgable staff from the TDIC at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai who informed me about a number of new initiatives connected to Sir Bani Yas Island. So do scroll down the TDIC link page to find out the latest information presented in a very user friendly fashion.
Where is Sir Bani Yas Island ?
How do you get to Sir Bani Yas Island?
1. DRIVE all the way to the jetty in Jebal Dana (Abu Dhabi) then make a 20 minute boat journey. Then be picked up by the resort staff for a 20 minute or so ride to your hotel. You don’t need a car on the island and your own vehicle is safe at the Anantara Jetty in Jebal Dana.
2. FLY from either Dubai or Abu Dhabi all the way to the airstrip on the Sir Bani Yas Island. Note flights from Dubai only go twice a week.
Where should you STAY on Sir Bani Yas Island?
There are 3 options of where you can stay on Sir Baniyas Island all of which are operated by the Anantara Resort.
1. The original hotel
The first set of accommodation built on the island, with a lively atmosphere and a choice of restaurants. It can feel a little busy at times though and this does feel a little dated relative to the Al Yamm and Al Sahel.
2. The Al Yamm Villas
30 beachfront villas, this is where we chose to stay and I would recommend you do too. It felt as if we had the place to ourselves, although it was nearly full! Easy access to the beach, pool, restaurant and your villa room. Gorgeous terraces and great opportunities to walk.
3. The Sahel Villas
The Anantara have recreated a real African Lodge type atmosphere with the Sahel villas on Sir Baniyas Island, independant villa rooms in a green, savannah type environment, children will love this atmosphere.
What’s the best place to EAT on Sir Bani Yas Island?
Our FAVOURITE MEAL was lunch at the Savannah Grill restaurant in the SAHEL PROPERTY. We sat outside on a rustic terrace facing some woodland. A couple of baby sand gazelles were oblivous to us taking photos of them! My lunch was excellent value at Dhs 50 for a fillet of fresh sea bream, homemade coleslaw and hand cut chunky chips!
A blanket appeared from no where when I said I was cold so full marks for food, service, value and ambience on this one. We also ate at Amwaj, the Middle Eastern restaurant at the original hotel for dinner, and while food and service was excellent, the ambience wasn’t quite right for the evening. It was dimly lit and the decor was very bare, rattan furntiture detracted from our dining experience, so maybe this one is better for lunch in the open air facing the sea. Our Italian restaurant at Al Yamm was good and we really enjoyed our LEISURELY BREAKFASTS with the views of the mangroves, beach and gazelles!
What is there to DO on Sir Bani Yas Island?
Apart from enjoying the nature, food and generally chilling, there are a number of activities you can get involved in while you stay on Sir Baniyas Island, shopping is NOT one of them! We LOVED the wildlife game drive and despite it being the morning of the worst sand storm of the year, it was still a fabulous experience. We even saw 2 cheetahs! It was worth the Dhs 250 per person for an almost 2 hour drive with a very experienced guide and 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Other activities include
- Wildlife walks
- Snorkelling and scuba diving
- Mountain Biking
- Deep sea fishing and horseriding.
Is Sir Bani Yas Island worth a visit?
Yes I think so but choose the right time of year when it’s not too hot or cool so you can enjoy the sea but you won’t get too tired from walking around the mangroves! Deals in the summer are best if you are on a budget.
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