Tired of spending your weekends in the busy city? This stunning place is only a short drive away, and the views are incredible.
Words: Priyanka Rajput
Hatta, which is only an hour and a half drive from the city, is one of Dubai’s hidden gems. It’s the perfect getaway if you’re looking to go on a fun day trip with family or friends, especially now before it gets way too hot to be outdoors.
We took a trip up there last weekend, and trust us – pictures do no do it justice.
The rocky mountainous area is more that just a pretty view – Hatta is also home to lakes, a cycling path, the stunning Hatta Dam and even a brand new hiking trail.
If you’re planning on heading up there this weekend, here are a few insider tips. There are no bathrooms at or near the Hatta Dam, so make sure you use the bathroom before – the JA Hatta Fort Hotel is not too far. There’s isn’t any food or beverage stalls either, however we did spot a Find Salt food truck on the way up!
You can explore the waters at Hatta Dam by renting out kayaks or pedal boats! If you’re a group of three or more, we suggest renting out one of each, and then take turns swapping because both are equally as fun!
Speaking of the new hiking trail, here’s some good news – Dubai Municipality has completed the first phase of the Hatta Hiking Project.
What does this mean? Well, a nine-kilometre trail through the spectacular mountains of Hatta is now open to the public.
The first route to open is one of four trails, planned under Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan, and ends at the Hatta Dam where the second phase of the project will start from.
Designed in an eco-friendly manner, which allows it to blend with the unique natural environment of the area, the first trail is named ‘City Hiking’ and links tourist attractions like the Hatta Biking Track and Hatta Kayaking.
One finished, the project will feature four different four-lane hiking trails. The first one is a 3 km flatland hike, while the three others are mountain walks with different levels of difficulty.
You can also bring along your young adventurers without stressing over their safety, as the trails have been designed not only for experienced hikers, but also for beginners and disabled people, making sure everyone gets to enjoy the al fresco fun!
Along the way there are lots of family recreational areas with mini-play areas, cafes and cute tiny pods to eat at.
So before summer really kicks in, save some fuel and burn calories, while walking along the trail to explore popular tourist hotspots like the Hatta Heritage Village, the Three Dams and Al Tala Park.
What else is there to see?
The Al Sharia area is home to a number of farms that make for lovely photo stops (make sure you stop there for quick selfies). After that you can visit the fruit and vegetable market and check out the colourful produce that’s grown in the desert! There’s also a wide variety of dates (plenty of these are available on your trail walk as well) – the perfect on-the-go snack.
The hiking project is part of a AED 1.3 billion development to transform the Charea area of Hatta into a major tourist destination, with a new park, hostel and market.
Here’s His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inspecting details of Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan, and the hiking trails, back in November.
Omar Al Mutaiwei, head of Dubai Municipality Hatta Centre, says: “The ‘Hatta Hiking Project aims to provide visitors with new opportunities to explore the region and the hiking trail seeks to attract more visitors to Hatta.”
So whether you’re an adventure freak, a nature lover or a tourist here to explore the traditional villages and ancient monuments, the new hiking trail has something to offer everyone. Plan a trip before temperatures hit 40 degrees!
Here are three other places that you can go hiking in the UAE
Ranked third highest peak in the UAE, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted or the average walker. If you’re in for a challenge, walk your way up and the views will be worth it.
The Shawka Dam Loop – Fujairah
This one is a 10km loop around Shawka Dam. It’s a great place for hikers and bikers with clean, well-built roads and spots for camping too.
Wadi Tayyibha – Dibba Al Fujairah
Situated 20km north of Masafi is this beginner friendly, one-way hike. It’s a fun one-day trip with beautiful natural pools and family parks.
For more information, and all-important safety tips from www.dubaihiking.org