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Sir Bani Yas Island

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Nature’s Marvels

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The island is home to important archaeological sites, dramatic geological formations and diverse wildlife
Sir Bani Yas Island is dotted with ancient archaeological sites, geological features and man-made attractions that make it a popular tourist destination in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.

Salt Domes

Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the largest of a group of many islands located along the Al Dhafra Region. The unique salt dome geology that leads to the creation of small mountains in the central area of the island are the remnants of a geological process that created outcrops of haematite and other rocks that rise above the surrounding terrain and sea.

Archaeological Heritage

Archaeologists have unearthed numerous discoveries, including the remains of a Christian church and monastery from the 7th and 8th centuries CE, and flint tools dating back to the Neolithic period (7,000 years ago). In addition, a trading settlement dating to the Bronze Age (4,000 years ago) was recently discovered on the island.
Sir Bani Yas Island was first mentioned in European literature around 1590 by Gasparo Balbi, an Italian jeweller and merchant, who referred to it as being located in a region where pearls were found. The tradition of pearling continued to be important until the early 20th century.

Wildlife Sanctuary

In 1971, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan declared Sir Bani Yas Island a nature reserve that is now the Arabian Wildlife Park. Covering 1,400 hectares, the park is a sanctuary for thousands of free-roaming indigenous and exotic animals and birds, and home to animal breeding and relocation programmes.
Visitors enjoy the island’s isolated, white sand beaches, guided nature and wildlife tours, and visits to archaeological sites.

Did You Know ?

Sir Bani Yas Island got its name from the Bani Yas tribe who first inhabited Abu Dhabi.

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