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Monday, February 22, 2016

Travels in UAE: Nature Park at Bani Yas Island 57



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Abu Dhabi is a place of wonders.Only 7 decades back it was just a little more than a fishing village, but the discovery of oil changed all that and within 5 decades the UAE is among the richest places on this planet. This entire area was a colony of the British who left in 1970 and the 9 Emeritus states joined together to form the United Arab Emeritus.
The rulers are pragmatic and have developed the UAE into a real wonder. At many places the desert has been transformed into a green belt. I had earlier written about the green belt at al Alain in the heart of the Arabian desert. I was told that there is a lovely wild life park on an island just 9 km offshore from the capital Abu Dhabi. I decided to visit the place about a fortnight back. The island is a beauty and abuts the Arabian Sea, whose crystal blue waters add a wonder all around.
The island is named Sir Bani Yas and is a sj how piece for tourists. Earlier it was a sandy island , but the first ruler after independence decided to transform it into a national wild life park. experts from the west and surprisingly from India also helped  out. It is a pleasure to roam around the park and see the wild animals in their natural habitat( though artificially created). millions of trees were planted and at places the soil brought in from Punjab.
The park has protected species of gazelle,deer,giraffes, oryx and sea turtles. There are no  lions and tigers but the smaller cats like the Sudan Cheetah and striped hyena are available. It mainly has a string of docile animals who breed at this park which is almost 80 sq km in area.one can drive through the park and see the animals as they play around. I was wonderstuck that a sandy desert has been transformed beyond measure into a green area. If one were to visit the island a stay of a minmum of 2 days is a must. There is also a lovely 64 room resort and a tourist can while away the evenings in the cool pool.
The island has historical significance and there is a Christian church that dates from the 7th century. This is renovated and opened to the public. I enjoyed my stay and took some photos which are added to this post.
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Both photos are taken by me