A cheetah walking around peafowls on Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Take an exciting 4x4 vehicle tour of the Arabian Wildlife Park and spot some of the free-roaming wildlife. Look out for the oryx (a cousin of the African antelope), Barbary sheep, ostriches, sand gazelles, cheetahs and giraffes. In between wildlife sightings, admire some of the serene desert landscapes. There's a viewing platform you can take advantage of for supreme pictures.
Landscape of trees and mountains in Sir Bani Yas, United Arab Emirates
Visit the United Arab Emirates' only ancient Christian monastic archaeological site on the eastern side of the island. The Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery is believed to have been built around 600 A.D. and was discovered during excavations in 1992, but archaeologists are still unearthing treasures. A tour will give you a fascinating understanding of the area's history.
Step in a kayak to observe the captivating mangrove trees from close by. Watch the elegant flamingos in the shallows, and encounter schools of flying fish while you paddle through the tranquil waters. You can go paddle boarding as well, or take a swim in the warm sea water during your cruise vacation.
Sample the sumptuous cuisine at the hotel restaurants, managed by hospitality group Anantara. Savannah Grill serves gourmet delicacies from the African continent, and the Al Shams Restaurant and Bar offers authentic Arab dishes. Enjoy chicken mandi — a half chicken coated with cumin, cardamom and other spices, served over rice with almonds and raisins — with a glass of champagne and the lapping sounds of the ocean in the background.
As opposed to most other destinations in the United Arab Emirates and in the rest of the Persian Gulf region, Sir Bani Yas isn't overflowing with malls. The Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara features a small souvenirs shop. Cruise to Sir Bani Yas and pick up a lovely silk shawl, a handpainted lamp or ornate shoes for your journey home.
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