Dubai: A road trip in the UAE doesn’t just have to be about a long drive with friends, making pit stops on the way for your favourite snacks. If you plan to visit Hatta, there is no dearth of options whether you are travelling with your family or friends. Here are the top 13 things you can do when you visit this popular tourist destination.
1. Hatta Hill Park
Sitting on top of the residential Hatta hill, the Hatta Hill Park offers mountainous and natural green areas for picnics and family gatherings, a winding walkway for park visitors, designated areas for picnic and barbecues on the hills, shaded areas with seating arrangements, a children's play area and a park gym.
Timings: 8am – 11pm
2. Wadi Hatta Park
This park provides open barbecue areas and other shaded private picnic areas, and has a 1km running track and two park gyms.
The park is also decked with waterfalls and natural rocks, and two age specific play areas for younger and older children.
Timings: 5am – 11pm
3. Hatta Kayak
The vast lake formed by Hatta Dam and its surrounding mountains is extremely popular among visitors, where you can hire a kayak or water bike for the day, or a pedal boat on an hourly basis.
You can also enjoy a ride on an electric boat, which will allow you to explore the serene lake and the surround mountain range.
4. The Hatta MTB Trail Centre
The Hatta Trails are free to ride and are open all year round, giving cycling enthusiasts up to 50kilometres of trails to use. There are four routes, colour-coded according to difficulty. You can pick up a map from the MTB trail centre, and even rent a bicycle if you haven’t brought one with you.
5. The Hatta Wadi Hub
Apart from the MTB bike trail, the Hatta Wadi Hub also offers other activities like archery or axe-throwing, or zorbing nearby where you will roll downhill inside a giant transparent ball. There is even a huge 12m-high water slide where you can splash down, cool off and practise your flips.
6. Hatta Swano
Hatta’s Swan Lake is a great place to visit if you wish to spot birds and ducks along the Hatta lake. You caneven take a ride on a swan shaped pedal boat that lets you glide alongside the swimming birds. Be sure to equip yourself with food if you want to make friends.
Each boat can sit a maximum two adults and two children
7. Sedr Trailers Resort
Enjoy a stay at the region’s first trailer hotel, along the banks of Hatta Dam. You can leave your car at the reception, from where you will be taken to your own trailer nestled in the mountains.
Trailers are provided on a first come, first served basis. The amenities include bathrooms, WiFi, a television set and bedding.
8. Caravan Park
If you are looking for some ‘glamping’, the Hatta Caravan Park features static luxury caravans that visitors can rent. You can park right next to your caravan, and enjoy some meals from the food trucks in the area, or even fire up a grill in the barbecue spots.
9. Damani Lodges
Damani Lodges are purpose-built lodges imbedded in the Hatta mountains, overlooking the Hatta Wadi Hub activity park. Each lodge has a private terrace and allows you to have a comfortable stay while staying close to Nature.
10. Heritage Village
In the heart of the town, you will find the Hatta Heritage Village, which has been preserved and reconstructed by the government to showcase rural living dating back centuries. Opened in 2001, the village brings to life Dubai’s heritage, with reconstructed huts and buildings selling traditional wares.
Timings: Saturday- Thursday: 7:30 am till 8:30 pm & Fridays: 2:30 pm till 8:30 pm
11. The Hatta Watch Tower and Hatta Fort
Built in 1896, the Hatta Fort is one of the most significant architectural monuments in the UAE. The detailed structure served as a residence and defence facility with a large internal courtyard and an 11m-high watchtower. The building, which was restored in 1995, is made of mountain stones and mud bricks, while the ceiling is constructed using palm fronds, trunks and mud.
12. Hatta Honeybee Garden and Discovery Centre
Don a bee suit and protective gear, and get close to one of 300 hives filled with thousands of honey bees, at this bee sanctuary. If that is not something you are game for, you can also learn the important role that bees play in the environment and learn more about these fascinating creatures at the Bee Museum.
The centre also has options for children’s activities, an outdoor and the chance to purchase some local honey or hive products like royal jelly as a keepsake.
Timings: 9am – 5pm
13. The ‘Hatta’ sign
The iconic ‘Hatta’ sits atop the highest peak of the mountains visible to anyone who enters Hatta. This can be a picture-perfect ending to your trip to Hatta, which you can get only if you trek for around 30 minutes from the Hatta Wadi Hub.