Sir Abu Nu'air is one of the UAE's larger offshore islands, with an area of nearly 10 square kilometres. Formerly uninhabited except for a few transient fishermen, it has been extensively developed in recent years. It rises to 81 metres above sea level and is a typical salt-dome island. The central area is hilly and has many igneous intrusions, while the landscape is heavily gullied and vegetation remains sparse.
Green turtles still nest on the island, although seabird communities have been adversely affected by the presence of feral cats.
Evidence of occupation from the early Islamic period onwards has been recovered from the island, although no detailed archaeological investigation has been carried out.
Today, Sir Abu Nu'air is of major strategic importance, lying close to one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.