What: Explore the brilliant hues of the salt domes at Sir Bani Yas Island
Where: Stay at Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa
How Much: Activity packages starting from AED 1,450
Contact: Visit Anantara.com, call +971 (2) 656 1399 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The renowned island of Sir Bani Yas is not only famous for beautiful resorts, pristine beaches and rich wildlife, but also for its interesting geology. As the weather cools down, we bring you a weekend getaway like no other close to home.
The island of Sir Bani Yas lies 9kms offshore from Jebel Dhanna. Its history dates back to 600-750 A.D when a Christian monastery was built as shelter for the monks that were in the pearl trading business. Later – more than a 100 years ago, UAE’s most ancient tribes, the Bani Yas, lived on the island where they mined salt. But what is even more special, is the way this peculiar island was formed.
Once you see past the clear blue waters and the impressive population of wild animals, the grounds of the island itself carry a natural beauty that is hard to miss. After heading to the higher parts of the island, the colours of the ground start to make a greater impression. From light yellow to dark purple, the island which is 87 km2, is composed of coloured minerals and is 80% salt.
These colourful formations are called the Salt Domes, a geological term to describe a larger subsurface structure in the form of a vertical cylinder of salt. These beautiful mounts started forming around 600 million years ago, with the help of lava and movements on Earth’s tectonic plates. On the island the salt domes penetrate 5000m of sedimentary rock primarily cretaceous with limestone, gypsum and igneous rocks.
Triggered off by earth movements, some 150 million years ago the salt migrated upwards along faults and other paths of weakness, pushing up and rupturing the overlying limestone. Today the original salt layer is approximately more than 6,000 metres below sea level and the column of salt reaches from there up to the surface. It is about 3,000 metres wide and has penetrated the topmost layers of sediment- forming mounts up to approximately 150 metres high. The associated sediments, often rocks and minerals are left as an insoluble cap, forming hills of beautiful colours — mauves, greens, yellows, reds and oranges.
So, take the weekend off and head out. Anantara Desert Islands Resort & Spa has teamed the Wadi Walk to give you the perfect weekend-getaway experience with limitless artistic and educational opportunities for the whole family. This includes luxurious five star accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The activities team offers a wide selection, including the Wadi Walk, which will take guests on an informative and beautiful journey to discover the geology and salt domes of the island from AED 1,450** per night for two.