You might be surprised (and delighted) to learn that Abu Dhabi is built across over 200 islands, several of which are miniature satellites of fun simply loaded with family attractions, marvellous wildlife experiences, fascinating heritage and sublime winter sunshine, naturally.
Yas Island is sheer, non-stop entertainment just 30 minutes from the city centre. It’s where you’ll find Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Yas Marina Circuit: host to the annual F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Many of the UAE’s leading resorts are close to Yas Beach and offer guest shuttle services for a day on its stunning white sands. And of course, there’s Yas Links Abu Dhabi, the island’s award-winning course which no self-respecting winter golfer should dream of missing.
Sir Bani Yas Island was named the ‘World’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination’ at the 2014 World Travel Awards. It’s one of Al Dhafra’s eight Desert Islands, and more than half its area is given over to the Arabian Wildlife Park. A guided 4 x 4 tour of the park is an extraordinary adventure, although you can also stay on Sir Bani Yas: the island has three, five-star Anantara Resorts.
Saadiyat Island is a unique experience. The much admired Louvre Abu Dhabi opened here in 2017, and both the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi are planned for the future. Then, by complete and charming contrast, you discover that 9km long, Saadiyat Beach isn’t just a protected dune zone, it’s also Hawksbill Turtle nesting site. Definitely hop over to this island at least once on holiday.