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Sneak Peek: Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Jennifer Ashton Ryan

Track cheetahs and giraffes within Abu Dhabi’s bona fide safari experience via the new Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort.

Why Go: Find Al Sahel Villa Resort on Sir Bani Yas Island, one of Abu Dhabi’s largest natural islands. The resort is located within the island’s main attraction—the Arabian Wildlife Park. Home to giraffes, gazelles, cheetahs, peacocks, and other free-roaming animals, the park hosts guided wildlife drives and walks lasting around two hours.

What to Expect: Al Sahel Villa Resort is one of two new all-villa retreats on Sir Bani Yas. Al Yamm opened on the beach in July, and Al Sahel opened in December within sight of grazing sand gazelles. Each of Al Sahel’s 30 villas (from $510) is a welcome retreat for couples or families seeking privacy. One- and two-bedroom layouts are available, and most villas have private plunge pools off a shaded back patio. The Savannah Grill & Lounge was designed to look like a safari lodge and serves three meals daily. Transportation is provided to additional restaurants at Al Yamm and the island’s third Anantara resort, Desert Islands.

How to Get There: Arrive by boat in 15 minutes from the Jabel Dhana jetty in mainland Abu Dhabi. Rotana Jet flies from Al Bateen Executive Airport to Sir Bani Yas in 40 minutes, and both seaplane transfers and domestic flights are available from Dubai. (+971.2.801.4300, www.al-sahel.anantara.com)

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Photo by Janos Grapow