In among the luxurious hotels and giant architectural monuments is a different side to Abu Dhabi: the love for animals and its environment. Its efforts towards the environment and conservation have not gone unrecognised, and many of its newer buildings have top-rated eco-friendly awards from around the world.
From its historic ties with falconry and the Arabian horse to recent efforts to help protect endangered species, Abu Dhabi places large amounts of importance on the animals and environment around it.
The creation of Sir Bani Yas Island emphasises this outlook. The island is one of eight that makes up the Desert Islands in Al Gharbia, and is a nature-based destination, full of animals, wildlife and adventure activities. Awarded the World’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination in 2014, the island is making huge progress in saving species from extinction and helping to educate the public.
There are large number of equestrian-based activities to try, as well as the Arabian Wildlife Park to explore. Covering over half the island, the wildlife park is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals, including cheetahs, giraffes, gazelles and hyenas. Similar to Al Ain Zoo, it is an important education and conservation tool.
Visitors to Abu Dhabi should also experience a Falcon World Tour. You’ll learn the importance of these magnificent birds and their place in Arabian history, as well as being able to witness incredible falconry shows, see them flying freely in a giant aviary. You’ll also get the chance to have a photo with the majestic falcon.