One of the first projects to be completed under the new initiative between Action Impact and TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) was a project on Sir Bani Yas Island, a natural island off Abu Dhabi’s western region, Al Gharbia. The once-private royal nature reserve of the late UAE President, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has been opened up to guests who can stay at the Desert Islands Resort & Spa and opt for a range of adventure activities. The opening of Sir Bani Yas Island, which includes the Arabian Wildlife Park with one of the world’s largest herds of Arabian Oryx, marks phase one of TDIC’s multi-experiential Desert Islands destination which encompasses eight islands and an onshore gate.
For the opening of Sir Bani Yas Island, our task was to design three independent arrival and departure terminals. One on the mainland at Jebel Dhanna, and two on the island, one being a seaplane terminal and the second a light aircraft terminal. Facing extraordinary logistics, the Action Impact team set to work on a 67 day fastrack programme throughout Ramadan and the remaining hot summer months.
The project's fast-track nature left little time for research, but Action Impact’s creative team found time to conduct an audit of the island’s various architectural and decorative elements, as well as the naturally occurring colours and materials, and used this as a starting point to create a palette that would form a visual bridge between brand and destination.
The only practical solution in the time was to deploy three temporary structures, but the design team took particular care with the external cladding to reflect an authentic look throughout, and to blend with the surrounding landscaping. Internally, the combination of local materials and contemporary finishes with a subtle colour palette created the perfect backdrop to display stunning photography of the islands. The photography was carefully selected for each location, so that arrivals areas contain imagery designed to give visitors a taste of things to come, whilst departing guests view images chosen to leave a lasting memory.
Visitor attractions include game drives through the Arabian Wildlife Park, which spans three quarters of the island's 87 square kilometers. It is home to 23 species of free-roaming animals, including giraffe, hyena, antelope and Arabian Oryx, as well as mountain biking, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking the island’s salt domes. http://www.palme-middleeast.com/event360/Awards.html