Monday, May 11, 2009
Desert Islands,Fact Sheet
• Redefining tourism in the Middle East, Desert Islands offers a multitude of experiences from an Arabian Wildlife Park, nature reserve and rich heritage to outdoor adventures, beaches and five-star hospitality.
• Desert Islands comprises eight natural islands that include a nature reserve of Sir Bani Yas Island, the historical Dalma Island and the previously unexplored Discovery Islands.
• The nature-based destination is situated in the Arabian Gulf, approximately eight kilometres from Abu Dhabi’s western coastline (Al Gharbia region) and a 250 kilometre drive from Abu Dhabi City.
• Marsa Jabel Dhanna, the mainland gateway to Desert Islands, features a two kilometres jetty with boat services to the islands.
• Sir Bani Yas Island is linked to the mainland via Desert Islands’ boat service and an 8 seated seaplane service operated in partnership with Empire Aviation; this flight takes approximately 50-minutes and includes of scenic flight over the island before landing. Desert Islands also provides weekend flights to and from the island on its 50 seated Dash 8 plane operated by Abu Dhabi Aviation; this voyage takes 25 minutes from Abu Dhabi Airport.
• Managed sensitively, with respect for local culture and traditions, Desert Islands will provide a significant economic boost to the Western Region (Al Gharbia) and nationals residing there, by increasing employment, education and investment opportunities.
• The first part of the Desert Islands to open, the Desert Islands Education Centre on Dalma Island, provides education for more than 500 locals to become part in the growing tourism industry, on and off the islands.
• TDIC aims to make Desert Islands a model of sustainable development that will meet the needs of the present without compromising the future needs.
• Master planning of Desert Islands has been subject to intense sustainability governance including landscape, water, coastal, energy and cultural heritage management, as well as land and marine ecology.
• The overall energy strategy for Desert Islands is being developed jointly by TDIC and Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Government’s advanced energy and sustainability initiative responsible for developing renewable energy strategies for the Emirate.
• Expanding on the late Sheikh Zayed’s eco-philosophy, TDIC plans to utilise solar and wind solutions throughout Desert Islands.
• Sir Bani Yas Island operates one of the Middle East’s largest wind turbines. It stands 65 metres high, has three rotor blades each with a 52 metre wing span and a production capacity of 850 kilowatts per hour.