New State-of-the-Art Riding Facility Opens on Sir Bani Yas Island, Enriching the Desert Islands Experience

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Abu Dhabi, March 15th, 2012 – Desert Islands today announced the opening of the impressive Sir Bani Yas Stables on the heritage-rich Sir Bani Yas Island in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The state-of-the-art horse riding facility, located next to Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, has capacity for 30 horses, and is home to a range of highly-talented horses of different breeds from Arabia and around the world.

Wholly-managed by Anantara, the renowned Asian hospitality group, and developed and owned by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the modern, purpose-built stables were designed with a strong focus on protecting the environment, and feature sustainable lighting and irrigation. With facilities consisting of two stable barns, six sand paddocks, two large grass paddocks, a lunge ring, a covered riding arena, training ring and riding ring, the stables will provide a five-star equestrian experience.

The stables feature a variety of horseback riding activities and lessons, each tailored to meet individual needs and abilities. This fantastic new facility for equestrian lovers offers horses that are trained in dressage and western riding, while those who wish to try riding for the first time are also catered to. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the horses and the heritage of Arabian horses within the UAE, and experience a unique perspective of the island’s Arabian Wildlife Park, which is home to an array of wildlife species including Arabian Oryx, Sand Gazelle, Cattle Egret and Peacocks.

Ahmed Al Fahim, Executive Director of Marketing, Communications, Sales & Leasing at TDIC comments on the opening: “TDIC is delighted to add this new adventure facility to Sir Bani Yas Island, and we are committed to promoting the island as a world-leading, environmentally-friendly destination. A number of other facilities will be launched later this year to enhance our visitors’ experience, including the Desert Islands Watersports Centre and the Desert Islands Conference Centre. This gives guests even more incentive to come and join us on this special island.”

Equestrian Coordinator, Laura Jane MacLucas, who joins Anantara with thirteen years experience in the equestrian arena, and herself a competitor in Eventing and Dressage, comments:

“Sir Bani Yas Stables will make horseback riding accessible for people of all abilities, and allow a unique equestrian experience, from riding along the island beach, to exploring the Arabian Wildlife Park on horse back. This is the only-known facility of its kind in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, and will therefore play an important role in enhancing the offerings of Sir Bani Yas Island to international guests, local communities, the region itself and in communicating local heritage.”

“We are also extremely lucky to have some fantastic horses from various backgrounds and of different breeds. These include Ronan, a pure Arabian ex-show horse that is a very good example of its breed due to its extravagant movement, and Cachorra, a bay Polo pony from South America that had an extremely successful Polo career, including playing in Gold Cups, before coming to Bani Yas Stables,” she says.

With a variety of horseback riding activities and lessons now available, each tailored to meet individual needs and abilities, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara adds another twist to the exhilarating adventure awaiting guests at this unique resort. Gallop into the exotic world of Arabian wildlife on a luxurious getaway, amidst an island haven that provides a sanctuary for royal relaxation and a taste of genuine Arabian hospitality.

Horse Riding Experiences at Sir Bani Yas Stables
From a short 20 minute ‘Beginner Loop Ride and Lead’, perfect for first-timers; to a two-hour ‘Royal Bay Ride’, each horseback riding activity promises an unforgettable journey of discovery.

Beginner Loop Ride & Lead (20 minutes)

The beginner experience is the perfect opportunity to explore riding for the first time, with encouragement and guidance from the resort’s trained equestrian team. The ride will be conducted in the island’s beautiful stable complex.

Royal Bay Ride (2 hours)
For advanced riders, the Royal Bay ride is a two-hour horse ride along the sandy beaches of Sir Bani Yas Island. Experienced riders will have the chance to take the horses for a splash in the shimmering waters of the Arabian Gulf and canter along the sand and bush land areas of the island.

Wildlife Horse Ride (1 hour) (will be introduced at a later stage)
Enjoy an off-road exploration of the island and wildlife park with the Wildlife Horse Ride. This activity enables guests to enjoy up-close encounters with the inhabitant animals and birds. For a more adventurous exploration of the rugged landscape, experienced riders can canter along the salt domes, sand dunes and bush land to complete this epic journey.

Riding Lessons at Sir Bani Yas Stables
In addition to the wide selection of horse rides and treks, Sir Bani Yas Stables offers lessons for those looking to take up horse riding as a sport or hobby. Children aged 5-16 can sign up for the Horse Ride, consisting of a 20-minute session walking around the stables. Beginners and novices are taught in 45-minute group sessions, focusing on basic riding skills as well as boosting their confidence and ability to ride a horse.

For the more serious enthusiasts, the Intermediate to Advanced group lessons offer skills and techniques to further increase confidence and riding ability. Private instruction can also be arranged for those who require more dedicated sessions, whether dressage or jumping focused.

Set on the island haven of Sir Bani Yas, Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is regarded as one of the most exquisite Abu Dhabi resorts, offering intrepid travellers an unforgettable island escape in one of the region’s most spectacular natural destinations.

Be inspired by the range of activities on offer both within and surrounding the resort. Explore nature and wildlife; whether by walking through wadis, kayaking, snorkelling or sailing or simply enjoying a blissful spa journey at the Anantara Spa.

For bookings and reservations contact the activities centre at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara (riders must be 10 years and above).

Tel: +971 (0) 2 801 5400; Email: [email protected]

Pricing/Ability Information

ActivityBeginnerNoviceIntermediateAdvancedDurationPrice (AED)
BeginnerLoopRide & Lead





20 Mins250++





2 Hrs350++
Wildlife Horse RideWill be introduced at a later stage





1 Hr

Horse Riding Lessons

ActivityDurationPrice (AED)
Beginner45 Mins200++
Novice45 Mins200++
Intermediate/Advanced45 Mins200++
Private Tutorial1 Hr300++



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