Abu Dhabi plans new resort to resemble Maldives

Friday, 14 November 2008 22:42

Tourism authorities in Abu Dhabi have released details of a new and ambitious project that would transform eight islands into a major tourist centre in the style of the Maldives.

Located off the coast of Al Gharbia, Sir Bani Yas Island is the first to be developed, and will be opened for visiting tourists in 2009, in an attempt by the government to build tourism in this Middle Eastern country. The project will also involve the development of Dalma Island and the Discovery Islands, which were previously unexplored. Two of the Discovery Islands will be turned into Maldives-type resorts.

Sir Bani Yas Island was originally planned as a wildlife reserve that would help ensure the survival of some of the most endangered species of the region. It is a legacy of the late UAE President, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Arabian Wildlife Park covers a large part of the island’s 50 square miles, and is home to 23 animal species, such as antelopes, giraffes, hyenas and the Arabian Oryx. There are also more than 60 species of migratory birds as well as dolphins, dugongs and sea lions.

The first resort to be built on the island, the Desert Islands Resort and Spa, is a 64-room Anantara resort that opened to guests in early November. Plans are in the works to construct five lodges and resorts, 500 luxury waterfront homes and a golf course.

Source: asap.co.uk

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