The island has one of the largest breeding herds on Earth.

Abu Dhabi - Just over 160km southwest of Abu Dhabi is an island retreat that demonstrates a different kind of ambition; one that even by the standards set in this part of the world is a little barmy.

Sir Bani Yas has recreated the African safari experience in the heart of the Middle East.

You will drive past Arabian oryx, with their distinctive white coats, and the equally-endangered scimitar-horned oryx, brought to the island from Morocco as protection from hunters who use their keratin-rich horns for nail and hair treatments.

The island has one of the largest breeding herds on Earth.

All the species come from somewhere else - blackbuck antelope from the Indian sub-continent, crowned crane (Uganda’s national bird) and the elegant and towering giraffe from sub-Saharan Africa.

There are 14 000 animals on the island, looked after by a large conservation team.