Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has inaugurated the Sir Bani Yas Island visitor center.
The center will act as a cultural resource for both local and international tourists to learn more about the historic landscape of Sir Bani Yas Island.
After exploring the church and monastery grounds, visitors can explore the interactive displays at the center, which help them visualize the history of Sir Bani Yas. In addition, a curated selection of objects from various locations on the island, spanning different time periods, are also showcased in the center, each accompanied by an interactive tablet providing more details.
Mr. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, stated that, “The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is committed to safeguarding and promoting the UAE’s cultural heritage. The new Sir Bani Yas visitor center will provide residents and international guests with the opportunity to explore the rich and fascinating history of Sir Bani Yas in greater detail and help them view the island through the eyes of our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed.”
Following DCT Abu Dhabi’s conservation efforts, in 2019 the Sir Bani Yas church and monastery site reopened to the public with enhanced facilities and informative panels to guide visitors. The site will provide a comprehensive description of the island’s natural and cultural history with the opening of the visitor center.
The cultural heritage sites of Sir Bani Yas are not limited to the church and monastery, the island is also home to sites that date back to the Neolithic period (Late Stone Age). Sir Bani Yas has served as an important natural resource and shelter for fishermen and seafarers for around 8,000 years.
The island was turned into a sanctuary for threatened animal species and declared as a nature reserve under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed. On the island, Sheikh Zayed’s buildings are marked as important modern heritage sites and are safeguarded by DCT Abu Dhabi.
These sites and buildings are also showcased in the visitor center, as they are key to understanding the significance of Sir Bani Yas to the late Founding Father. The public can visit the Sir Bani Yas Visitor Center from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturdays through Thursdays and from 2 pm to 6 pm on Fridays. There is no charge to enter the center.