The Arabian oryx is a beautiful, almost luminously white antelope. But, after being over-hunted by humans in the 20th century, it only narrowly escaped extinction. Today, on the desert island of Sir Bani Yas, the endangered animals find refuge. Part of an archipelago west of Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas is home to a large wildlife reserve, where animals from Arabia, Asia and Africa roam freely. You can watch cheetahs hunting, and imagine how the Bedouins once lived, under open desert skies. Established in the 1970s, extensive ecological measures turned Sir Bani Yas into a man-made “paradise for wild animals.” Now, the reserve stands for the region’s desire for a sustainable future. It’s also a great place to see the magnificent Arabian oryx running free, once more.
Sir Bani Yas Island is part of the Al Gharbia region of the United Arab Emirates. It’s dominated by the Arabian Wildlife Park, with its roaming giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles. Multiple archaeological sites across the island include the ruins of an ancient Christian monastery. Salt dome hills define the island’s desert interior. The coast features beaches, sea kayak routes and a shipwreck.
A 4 bedroom penthouse apartment in a prime Dubai Marina location. This really is a one-of-a-kind property. Located on a high floor this 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom penthouse comes with its own, spacious private terrace from which residents can enjoy expansive views of Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Al Arab and the Marina. If the view itself wasn’t enough, the property has been fully upgraded with Fendi design touches, marble floors and beautiful Crate and Barrel furniture.
The massive dunes of the Empty Quarter and the oasis settlements of Liwa dot Abu Dhabi’s southern flank.
While others see the desert as an empty void and the Bedouin as unsophisticated tribesmen, Thesiger saw them as they saw themselves—noble men for whom the desert was a sea upon which they roamed freely and found refuge. To them, and to him, the desert was life itself. Beautiful. Harsh. Epic. The “desert Arabs,” as he called them, full of an “austere dignity.”
Those dunes still exist, as do the oases of Liwa, just an hour and a half south of the city of Abu Dhabi by smooth highway, and to camp in them or drive over them in a four-by-four is to experience one of the sublime beauties of the Earth.
Over the years the Beautiful Destinations Team has been to the Emirates many times. However, we’ve only ever explored Dubai & Abu Dhabi. For our first trip of 2021 we’ve decided to come to the Emirates to show you something a little different. You’ve all seen the futuristic skylines of Dubai & Abu Dhabi but have you ever seen the great outdoors of the Emirates? This was shot across Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai as the #BDTeam explored the mountains, deserts, beaches and waters of the country. There are so many hidden gems in the Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman and Saudi Arabia, and has maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.