The Desert Islands project has been conceived and crafted as a new master planned tourist destination for the United Arab Emirates, some 290 kilometres from Dubai and 170 kilometres from Abu Dhabi. It comprises a series of naturally occurring islands in the Persian Gulf, varying in size, usage and configuration, from 87 square kilometres to small coral atolls rising out of the Gulf. Sir Bani Yas Island in particular, the largest of the Islands, was envisioned by Sheikh Zayed some 20 years earlier as a wildlife reserve and sanctuary to ensure the survival of Arabia’s endangered species.
The landscape strategy for the Islands is founded on
a ‘systems-based landscape’ and establishes itself in the context of: sustainability and energy production; hydrological systems and water management; ecologies and wildlife; eco-tourism; education; expressed natural and cultural amenity; and recreation.