Island Sir-Bani Yas

Sir-Bani Yas Island wears a proud title "Environmental Reserve" Emirov Abu Dhabi and all Arab Emirates. This is the National Park, once a deserted island planted with trees, and now in the natural environment, wild animals are bred.

Naturally, tourists are taken here, but a trip to Sir-Bani Yas has a lot of nuances, which will be talked in this article.

Geographic information

The modern name of the island is derived from the name of the Arab tribe "Bani Yas". This is the biggest and most influential tribe in the UAE, the Al-Najian dynasty Emirov Abu Dhabi and Al-Maktum Emirov Dubai occur from the Bani Yas tribe.

The island is located 9 kilometers from the coast of Emirate Abu Dhabi, 260 kilometers west from Abu Dhabi. On the mainland on the contrary there is a settlement of Jabel Dunna, from where the boats are followed.

Sir-Bani Yas Island Small, Area – 87 kV.KM., Approximately 17 kilometers in length and 9 kilometers width. Despite the modest sizes, it is the biggest island in all Arab Emirates.

Since Sir-Bani Yas is a national park, everything is here with the prefix "Eco". Electricity is produced first in the region with a wind power station with a capacity of 850 kilowatt. Separate villas and houses use their own solar panels. Masdar (headquarters in Abu Dhabi) announced a plan for creating wind power plants with a capacity of 30 megawatts.

How to get

Visit the Island of Sir-Bani-Syan is possible only when booking a hotel or villa. Organized group excursions are not satisfied here. To come on your own for one day theoretically possible, but in practice it will not see anything.

There are many ways to get. The cheapest is the X87 bus, which follows from Abu-Dhabi Bus Station right to the pier Jabel Dunna. Travel time – 3.5 hours, ticket price – 35 Dirhams. Actual course, see our article "Dirham Arab Emirates".

You can drive by car, follow the E11 highway from Abu Dhabi. After the city of Ruwais (Ruwais), go off the highway towards Jabel Danna (Jabel Dhanna), arrive at the marina.

Shuttle service, price – 650 Dirhams.

We do not recommend using a taxi, not every taxi driver agrees to go to such a distance. And if you agree, it will require surcharge, and the cost of the trip will be even higher than the price of the transfer. Read the details in our review "Taxi prices in the UAE".

From the pier on the boat of tourists will be taking to the island, then the car will deliver to the hotel or villa. Motor transport on the island provides a hotel, and the price of a boat and car trip to the hotel is included in the price. Boat walks every two hours, on the way for about 20 minutes, then another 20 minutes on the car from the pier to the hotel.

On the island of Sir-Bani Yas, there is own airport SIR BANI YAS ISLAND AIRPORT (Code: XSB). It is small, with only one GDP 2,670 meters long. Takes charters and flights from Abu Dhabi Airlines Rotana Jet. At the time of updating this article (February 2021), flights to Sir Bani-Yas are not carried out.

If funds allow you to fly to Sir-Bani-yas on a private hydroplane, such a service is provided by Seawings LLC. Time in flight – 1 hour 10 minutes. Price – 11,500 Dirhams (about $ 3,100).

Hotels and resorts of the island

The hotel is only one, it belongs to Anantara, called Desert Islands Resort & SPA 5 * (on the photo next, click on the photo to enlarge). Here are 64 rooms, including 6 VIP bungalows.

The hotel has 3 restaurants with excellent European and Arabic cuisine, spa, kids club and conference room. The hotel is located on the north coast of the island.

Prices for rooms in Desert Islands Resort & SPA: from 200 to 500 US dollars per night.

Besides this hotel, there are two groups of villas – Anantara Al Sahel Villas and Anantara Al Yamm Villas. In these villas you can also settle.

Price for rental villas: from $ 400 to 2000 dollars per night.

Perhaps there are more hotels on Sir-Bani-Jan Island. In May 2014, TDIC (Tourism Development and Investment Company) stated that it prepares such a project. But after this statement there were no news about the project.

Recent prices for accommodation in hotels and at villas, see the form below.

As for excursions and entertainment on the island, their price is from 30 to 80 dollars. We will talk about this at the end of this article.

The history of the island and the creation of the National Park

Judging by the archaeological finds, people appeared on the island of Sir-Bani-Yas still in the era of Neolithic (late Stone Age), polished stone tools found here.

The earliest find is dated 5,500 D.N.NS. This does not mean that until this point, people did not live here, simply stone tools cannot be given by radio-carbon analysis.

About 2000.N.NS. Civilization has already been here, archaeologists found ceramics and tombs of this period. Probably, Sir-Bani-symptoms were actively used by sailors of that time.

The real "golden age" island worried in the 1600-1900s, when a lot of pearls were mined here. Sir-Bani-Ya is mentioned by the Venetian jeweler Gasparo Balbi in the book "Sirbeniast" as a place of production of a large number of pearls.

In the central part of the island, which is now called Wadi Al-Mil, there are natural salt deposits that go straight to the surface. This salt was the second source of islanders wealth. In the mines mined iron ore and lead sulphide, which was valued in the Arab countries and was used as cosmetics for the eyes.

In the 1930-40s, pearl mining declined and people left Sir-Bani-Yas Island, the ruins of houses and one palm grove remained.

In 1971, Sheikh Zayd became the first President of the UAE (this in his honor was built by the Sheikh Zaid mosque), he left the island "about the stock". In 1977, a decree on the ban of hunting was announced, the program "Gardening of the Desert" was announced, and Sir-Bani-Yas was chosen as an "ecological reserve" for this program.

The program "Gardening of the Desert" assumed to irrigate the deserted territories of the UAE, and then plant trees and shrubs on these lands, to produce wild animals. Plants and animals for this program were assumed on the island of Sir-Bani Yas.

To be honest, such a plan was too ambitious. To defeat the Arabian desert is impossible even with Arabic oil revenues. But at that moment the Arabs seemed to be that it was possible.

On the island of Sir-Bani Yas, several million trees land. Released several animal species: gazelles, ostriches, giraffes, origins, cheetahs, hyenas. The status of "environmental reserve" also implied some "insurance" in case of extinction of these species in a natural environment.

Soon, the park was opened to visit tourists. At one time, tours on Sir-Bani-Yas were so claimed that they booked them for a year ahead.

In 1999, in the zone of 8 kilometers from the coast of the island completely banned fishing, that is, the reserve has expanded even in the sea. In 2007, the Abu Dhabi government founded the "Desert Islands" zone, which entered Sir-Bani Yas, the neighboring island of Dalma and 6 more neighboring small islands. Now these 6 islands are closed for tourists, and Sir-Bani Yas and Dalma are open.

In 2009, half of the Island of Sir-Bani-Yas was transformed into the "Arabic Wildlife Park".

In 2010, in December, the discovery of the remains of the Christian Monastery of the 7th Century.

In 2014, an important event was held. 14 Orixes from Sir-Bani Yasa released in the desert near Oasis Liva. That is, the plan of Sheikh Zaid after all embodied in life, although in a much smaller scale than planned. Wait, see, maybe the Arabs and will be able to ride the desert?

What tourists look

All excursions and distinctions, tourists are ordered at the hotel (or on villas) in local guides. These are safaris and watching wild animals, inspection of excavations, boating and inspection of mangrove thickets, sporting events.

Safari to wild animals

There is nothing unusual here. Tourists put in jeeps and carry giraffes, origins and gazelles. The jeep moves strictly by dedicated paths to minimize environmental impact.

Excursion price – 60-90 USD. Duration – 1-1.5 hours.

Island Sir-Bani Yas

First of all, during this excursion, see the Arabian Orix (he is white Orix), it is easy to find out on white wool and long horns. Watch photo on the right, click on the photo to enlarge). This kind of antelope is officially considered extinct in wildlife, now white origins can only be found in zoos or here – on the island of Sir-Bani Yas. There are already more than 400 individuals here.

In total, about 13,000 mammals of 30 species live on Sir-Bani Yasa.

Boat ride to Mangrove Thickets

Park staff land one new mangrove in the calculation for each visitor. Naturally, mangrove thickets on Sir-Bani Yas only grow.

Tourists float to mangrove thickets on single or double kayaks. Children under 13 can not swim alone, only on a double kayak accompanied by an adult.

Excursion price – 40-50 USD. Duration – 45 minutes.

Important moment. Instructors speak English only.

Salt dome

Millions of years ago collision of tectonic plates led to the exit to the surface of rocks and the formation of the Island of Sir-Bani-Yas. A small hill of 130 meters high formed, it is called Karn-Bu-Nadar (or Salt Dome).

Tourists can go look at this natural miracle. At the same time to explore the hill.

Price – contractual. Duration – about 2 hours.

Important note. All walking routes in the island pass away from wildlife habitats. Plus this fact – to walk on these routes safely. Minus – wild animals "bonus" do not look.

Historical monuments

42 places of archaeological excavations were already organized on the island of Sir-Banja. Most of them do not roll actively, fear of losing artifacts, waiting for technology development.

The most noteworthy place is the collapse of the Christian monastery. Presumably, the monastery was founded about 600.NS.

To be honest, it is especially nothing to look, only the foundation remained from the monastery (in the photo nearby, click on the photo to increase). You can see either separately with the guide, or during the excursion "Mini-tour of Sir-Bani-Yas", or during the excursion "History and Culture".

Excursion price – 40-60 USD. Duration – 2 hours.

Sports events

Mountain bike, horseback riding, windsurfing on sand, boat walks, archery, snorkeling.

Good to know

– About the creator of the reserve – Sheikh Zaid, read our interesting article "Sheikh Zayd – Father Nation";

– hotels and villas areland have their own beaches. Considering this fact, the prices of rest here do not seem excellent high. Resting at the hotel with its beach in the UAE expensive, in Abu Dhabi. See prices in our article "UAE Hotels with Private Beach".

A pleasant stay on the island of Sir-Banja Yas, and read our interesting articles about the UAE (Links below).

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