Bani Yas Island: An award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve of UAE

isSir Bani Yas Island, an award-winning nature and wildlife island reserve, has long been a popular leisure destination. One of the largest natural islands in the UAE, Sir Bani Yas features three luxury Anantara resorts as well as a wide range of activities for guests of all ages. These include archery, horseback riding, land sailing, pearl diving, kayaking and more. The island also boasts the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to thousands of free-roaming wildlife, which can be explored with a nature and wildlife drive. Island Sky, one of the finest small ships in the world owned by Noble Caledonia, was the first cruise vessel to visit Sir Bani Yas Island for a day-long stay. Abu Dhabi’s Sir Bani Yas Island, which is the Arabian Gulf’s first cruise beach stopover, has started welcoming cruise liners.

Last week, two luxury cruise vessels made their maiden calls at the island as part of their international itinerary. Seaborne Sojourn, a 450-passenger capacity vessel owned by Carnival Corporation, docked for a daytime holiday.”We are introducing this new beach stopover to cruise liners as part of our ongoing efforts to reinforce the emirate’s appeal as a leading cruise tourism destination in the region. This beautiful beach destination will definitely enrich the itinerary of the visiting cruise ships,” said Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Ports.”We are happy to start welcoming cruise vessels now at Sir Bani Yas Island, ahead of another important development the scheduled opening of the state-of-the-art cruise terminal at Zayed Port next month,” he added. The addition of a new component to cruise line itineraries allows Abu Dhabi to differentiate its regional cruise promotion, and complement the opening of the UAE capital’s new cruise terminal, according to the emirate’s tourism promotion agency.”The 2015-16 cruise season will be a defining moment in the development of Abu Dhabi as one of the world’s most exciting emerging cruise destinations,” said Sultan Al Dhaheri, acting executive director of tourism at the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

“The addition of the Arabian Gulf’s first dedicated cruise beach stopover at Sir Bani Yas Island adds weight to Abu Dhabi’s distinct and diversified shore excursion opportunities, and this exclusive desert-island beach cruise passenger experience further strengthens the emirate’s existing attraction, entertainment, shopping and rich cultural tour options.”Abu Dhabi Ports is developing the Sir Bani Yas Island cruise stopover to be opened in late 2016, Cruise passengers visiting these days will enjoy temporary facilities established by the TDIC for their arrival, and will be given access to the island’s diverse activities. Once fully developed, the Sir Bani Yas Island cruise stopover will have wooden boardwalks around the island, barbecue facilities, hammocks, cabanas along the beach, dining and visitor facilities and more. Additional beach, sports, and water sports facilities, including an aqua park, boat tours and wildlife excursions, will also enhance visitor experience.