I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Middle East on numerous occasions over the past few years, and I thought I’d seen everything I wanted to see… until I heard about the previously undiscovered island of Sir Bani Yas.  Sitting in the Persian Gulf, less than 300km from the bright lights of Dubai and 170km from the expat haven of Abu Dhabi, this tiny desert island is home to beautiful flora and fauna – as well as hosting a range of unexpected wild animals such as hyena and even cheetah which can be spotted on a guided safari tour.  As if that wasn’t enough to entice you, these gorgeous images from Laïla at Rock Your Love Photography are sure to put this firmly at the top of your destination wishlist!

Destination: Sir Bani Yas Island, United Arab Emirates

Travel time: The flight to Dubai from London takes about 7 hours, then you need to get a jet to reach Sir Bani Yas Island which is located about 170km from Abu Dhabi, it’s about 45min. You can also fly to Abu Dhabi and get a jet.

Time of year: April

Why did you choose Yas Island? I had to find the compromise between what my husband likes doing during holidays, which means nothing but being lazy under the sun, and my expectations, being close to the nature, discover the animals, the environment.

Where did you stay? There are only 3 hotels on the island, We choose to stay at Al Yamm Villa Resort. This hotel is an oasis of serenity surrounded by thousands of free-roaming wildlife. You have your own luxury villa on the beach, it’s just like a no man’s land.

What to do?  Go on safari to discover the wildlife as giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles. Half-way, the guide will take you for a amazing breakfast in the middle of the valley.  You can also go horse riding along the reserve.  Enjoy a massage in the luxury Spa, or for the more energetic – run along the beach during the sunset. 

What to eat?  You have the choice to dine in different restaurants of the resort but honestly what could be better than ordering a room service dinner and enjoy your meal with your lover on your terrace facing the beach and under the moon and the stars.

How to get around? It’s a car-free island, so you’l need to arrange transport with your hotel to venture outside the resorts.

What to pack? Bikinis!!!

Anything else we need to know? Sir Bani Yas is a peaceful retreat, that is what luxury means to me, it’s not about ostentation, it’s about peace and calm.

Would you visit again? I wish and I am sure I will go there again.


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.


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