While the growth of Dubai has seen a city rise from the desert over the course of the last 42 years, another UAE driven initiative mirrored its success on Sir Bani Yas Island. An ecology programme created by Sheikh Zayed in the 1970s to save the near extinct Arabian Oryx saw the millions of trees planted and an environment in which the animals could thrive. Al Sahel Villa Resort is the most impressive of the three on the island.
Designed with the look and feel of an African game reserve, 30 thatch-roofed villas are found among the 10,000 animals that roam freely. Giraffes, which you’ll often find milling around the gates, gazelles and Oryx are all in abundance after successful mating programmes.
While it may take the form of a traditional lodge experience, the contemporary stylings are firmly in place. You can be as lazy or as active as you like here. It should go without saying that every guest should take in the game drive, while off-road bike rides around the reserve are a real highlight too. If you’d rather take things easy then this is a pretty great place to try that too as every villa has its own plunge pool and as the sun goes down over savanna, there can’t be too many better places around to watch it than at the bar with a drink in your hand, before ordering a well cooked wagyu steak at the Savanna Grill to end the evening.