A nature-based desert island, Sir Bani Yas is found in the Al Gharbia region of the United Arab Emirates. It’s the largest island in the UAE, one of around 200, and is situated off the mainland’s western coast. Home to the protected Arabian Wildlife Park — where you can observe 17000 roaming animals including giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles — Sir Bani Yas also has several significant archaeological ruins, salt domes, beaches and a shipwreck. Equestrian activities are popular here, with state-of-the-art purpose-built stables, as are 4×4 safaris. Access to the island is via boat or private air taxi.
Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara
Stay in one of 64 bedrooms and suites or a pool villa overlooking the Arabian Gulf at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. All room categories come with private balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, the brand’s own bath products and classic furnishings in neutral shades, featuring Emirati motifs inspired by the surrounding desert. Eat and drink in five restaurants and bars; book treatments in the spa; and swim in one of three temperature-controlled swimming pools — including an enormous infinity pool beside the ocean, containing mini islands with palm trees. Kids have their own club with a programme of activities and adults can take part in watersports, or exciting excursions.
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort
Forming a cluster of just 30 villas, this low-rise resort blends seamlessly into its surroundings, with thatched roofs and canopied buildings, Each has between one and two bedrooms, all have their own plunge pools, terraces and around-the-clock room service. A stay here feels much like a safari, as you observe the local wildlife pass by your door. Dine al fresco at the African-inspired restaurant Savannah and unwind in the spa. Its nature-based, off-the-beaten-track setting makes the Al Sahel Villa Resort perfect for a romantic retreat (there’s also a babysitting service for parents needing some alone time).