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Island escapes

Looking to make the most of the idyllic weather? Book a private seaplane charter with Seawings and fly to your next island holiday in style

Abu Dhabi is well known for its cultural landmarks, plush resorts and glamorous malls, yet some of the greatest adventures can be found on its smaller islands. The UAE capital is made up of more than 200 islands, some of which can easily be accessed by road and ferry. But with so much to discover, one of the best ways to take it all in is by flying to the destination, allowing more time for exploration.

In keeping with the luxury that awaits visitors at these glamorous venues, seaplane charter company, Seawings, offers private flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With Cessna seaplanes for up to nine passengers, each seat is by the window to ensure uninterrupted aerial vistas. The water take-off and landing add to the sense of escape. But nothing beats the thrill of viewing the UAE’s most remarkable sights from 1,500 feet above the ground. What makes the experience even more exciting is cutting down on the long road and ferry commute, and arriving at your destination in style. And en route, you can take in spectacular aerial views of the country’s natural and man-made icons from the skies.

Sir Bani Yas Island

A stunning combination of rugged landscapes, mangrove forests and coastal waters, the charming Sir Bani Yas Island can be accessed over a five-hour road and ferry journey. But a seaplane flight promises the quickest (and most scenic) commute. On the island, embark on a safari through the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to more than 13,000 free-roaming animals, including indigenous species like the Arabian oryx and sand gazelle. Even the waters surrounding Sir Bani Yas Island are teeming with dolphins, sea turtles and other exotic marine species.

For history buffs, the destination boasts one of the region’s oldest archaeological sites with the most significant discovery being the ruins of an ancient Christian monastery that dates back to the late sixth century AD. While a day trip is a great option, those looking to make the most of their visit can extend their time on the island with a stay at a trio of plush Anantara resorts. 

Zaya Nurai Island

Abu Dhabi’s popular private island resort, Zaya Nurai Island packs sun, sand and sea into one mesmerising experience. But it’s hard to imagine a tropical retreat in the heart of the desert. In fact, that first glimpse of the island from the skies will leave you thinking you’ve reached remote Pacific shores, thanks to powdery white sands, lush greens and blue waters as far as the eye can see. Equipped with all the makings of an exotic beachside holiday, Zaya Nurai Island boasts a range of offerings for families with junior travellers, couples and groups. Spend the day enjoying the sandy stretch of beach, hop on a giant swing in the middle of the ocean, take on adrenaline-fuelled water sports, sip and savour tropical beverages and tempting bites all day long, or for a little more relaxation, book a treatment at Nurai Spa. 

Yas Island

Following an exhilarating seaplane flight to the UAE capital’s adventure hub, keep the momentum going at the world’s largest Ferrari-branded theme park on Yas Island. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is just the place for thrill seekers looking to step into the shoes of their favourite F1 champion. The theme park boasts 37 record-breaking attractions under its iconic red roof, which you can first view from the skies on your seaplane tour. On land, take on rides that emulate hair-raising zero gravity while the little ones make the most of the scaled-down Ferrari-themed sports car experiences on offer.

Imagine shooting upwards through the roof at a heart-pounding speed of 102 kilometres per hour to the highest point on Yas Island at 64 metres with Turbo Track. If you’re brave enough to face the challenge, you will be propelled vertically from inside the park through a glass funnel, experiencing a free fall back to earth. The world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, also awaits. This exhilarating ride simulates the rush of what it’s like to drive a Ferrari F1 car, as you zoom along the tracks and reach speeds from zero to 240 kilometres per hour in just 4.9 seconds. The park also offers a variety of experiences for younger guests, guaranteeing a fun day out for the entire family. Junior race car enthusiasts can look forward to racing electric go-karts at the Karting Academy and also steering a small-scale Ferrari 250 California Spider through a miniature recreation of Italy’s cityscapes. 

Experience the ultimate island escape in Abu Dhabi with Seawings. The luxury seaplane tour operator curates packages based on your taste of adventure. Enjoy a thrilling water takeoff and landing before making the most of the scenic surrounds on an island of your choosing in Abu Dhabi. For more information 04 8070708,


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