Saturday, August 8, 2009

Trip to Sir Bani Yas Island

We took advantage of the lower summer prices to go to this resort which opened earlier this year. The island was Sheikh Zayed's own private island retreat and has continued to be a destination for the royal family to visit. Earlier this year it was opened to the public, or at least those that stay at the hotel and spa resort. The island was first populated by members of the Bani Yas tribe several thousand years ago and there are many ancient sites on the island. Sheikh Zayed had a wish to "greenify" the island, so workers started to plant some 4 million trees and bushes, of which around 2.5 million remain. More about the island can be read here.

We had read some "iffy" reports on but I have to say we really found nothing to complain about. The staff were very helpful and friendly and rooms were great. The buffet, whilst not very adventurous, was fine and the food was good quality. I guess the one and only thing I would say, was that the beach wasn't great. My advice would be if you have a few days to spend, then do a night or two on Sir Bani Yas to do the trips and use the pool, but then go and stay at Danat Hotel Jebel Dhanna if you want to go and sit on the beach for a couple of days.

The game drive is a must. We decided to get up and go on the early trip starting at 6am. We were glad we did as it was starting to get really hot by the time we got back 2 hours later. The best moment for us was seeing one of the free roaming cheetahs still with her gazelle prey having just caught it. This was awesome.

At peek times the price of this place doubles, so take advantage now if you can!

My pictures of the trip below....

(click the pictures to see them larger)

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