Founded in 1971 by the founding President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayid bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this ambitious visionary project is located on a natural island that has been occupied for centuries. There are over 40 archaeological sites on the island. One of the oldest is a Nestorian Christian monastery dating from 600 AD. Today Sir Bani Yas is a huge ecological experiment that explores “greening the desert” by re-introducing native and endangered species of Arabian flora and fauna. Over half the island is dedicated to the Arabian Wildlife Park. The island is a popular resort, where visitors indulge in active land and water sports and walk or drive to view the over 13,000 rare, free-roaming wild animals.