United Arab Emirates
On a long weekend getaway to Abu Dhabi, we partnered up with Visit Abu Dhabi Tourism Board and wanted to explore the capital’s outskirts and hidden (not so hidden) gems and why Abu Dhabi should be your first port of entry in the United Arab Emirates.
Explore the Islands of Abu Dhabi
The emirate of Abu Dhabi is the largest in the UAE, by far, and with a proportionally much longer coast line, has a larger number of offshore desert islands. Abu Dhabi itself is on an island and off the coast of Abu Dhabi emirate, including Reem Island, Saadiyat Island, Sir Bani Yas Island, Sowah Island (Sowwah), Maryah Island, Reem Island, Yas Island. Sir Bani Yas Island is the largest natural Island in the UAE and awarded the ‘World’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination’. On this occasion, we explored Sir Bani Yas Island.
Safari Game Drives at Sir Bani Yas Island
More than half the island is made up of the Arabian Wildlife Park, one of region’s largest wildlife reserves, which is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals including Arabian Oryx, gazelles and giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs. You can take a 4×4 Nature & Wildlife Drive of the park in specially made vehicles accompanied by expert guides.
Stay at Anantara Al Yamm
A 2 hour drive from Abu Dhabi into the natural beautiful Island of Sir Bani Yas, a 25 minute ferry ride and a 7 minute drive into a unique and one of a kind property in the UAE, Anantara Hotels & Resorts & Spa. With three Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas’ retreats on the island, you can chose between 3 accommodation at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, beach front seclusion at Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort on the eastern shores, and take in at the natural beauty of Sir Bani Yas Island at Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort.
Learn to Ride a Horse in Sir Bani Yas Island
If you are a beginner or an experienced rider, the stables in Sir Bani Yas Island has around 30 horses from different breeds and suitable for ages from 13 years old. You have a choice whether to ride by the beach or in the mangroves.
Experience The Bird Sanctuary
Beautiful flamingos can be seen on Sir Bani Yas Island; for the most part they are seen around the many mangrove areas, other birds such as Emu, Blue Neck Ostrich, Grey Crowned Crane and more!
Visit Al Ain Desert
A one and a half hour drive from Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The desert is one of the most beautiful part of Al Ain after the Empty Quarter in Abu Dhabi and so make sure you visit the beautiful Oasis in Al Ain desert.
Experience Waking up in the Desert
Waking up in the desert is a complete isolation feeling. Staying in a heritage like luxury hotel is also one of the experiences one must do when visiting!
Horse Riding on The Beach
There is always something magical about riding horse on the beach and yet alone an island in the UAE. The beautiful Arabian horses are located in Anantara Sir Bani Yas and you have an opportunity to ride the horse by yourself or with an instructor by the shores of the island.
Explore Jabel Hafeet
Rising 1,240 metres, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and UAE’s second. This towering rocky height, which stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman, is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years. Significant fossil discoveries have been made in the area, which are vital pieces in the jigsaw of the city’s ancient history.
Ride The Dunes at The Empty Quarter
Almost like a fairytale! The world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass, the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) will blow you away with massive expanses of awesome desert and enormous dunes. It’s a landscape of ever-changing endless dunes made famous by the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger and his Emirati and Omani companions in the 1940s and 50s.
HOTELS TO EXPLORE IN ABU DHABI
Anantara Hotels & Resorts & Spa in Sir Bani Yas Island, Al Yamm Villas
Telal Resort Al Ain
Anantara Hotels & Resorts & Spa, Qasr Al Serab in the Empty Quarter
Thank you to the wonderful Abu Dhabi Tourism Board for giving me full support and partnering up with Travel Junkie Diary on exploring the capital and the gems of this beautiful city.
For more information, you can click www.visitabudhabi.ae the official website for travel and tourism in Abu Dhabi.
Phone:+9712444 0444 | E-mail: [email protected] |