The Hatta Festival is apart of the third edition of the #DubaiDestinations winter campaign. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: There’s a new outdoor family festival in the UAE and it is free to attend. The Hatta Festival starts from today and will give you a chance to not just enjoy the scenic beauty of the Hajar mountains, but also experience the UAE’s heritage and try your hand out at different adventure activities. The festival will continue till the end of the year, with December 31 being the last date of the inaugural festival.

Hatta is an exclave of Dubai located in the Hajar mountains and just an hour’s drive away from Dubai. The region is known for its cool temperatures, greenery, wadis, lakes, scenic views.

Here is what you need to know about the new Hatta Festival.


Where is the Hatta Festival located?

It is being held at the newly developed Leem Lake in Hatta and the nearby Hatta Wadi Hub. Leem Lake, the focal point of the festival, is a three-hectare lake in the Hatta area, which offers visitors views of landscapes and sunset scenes.


When does the Hatta Festival start?

It will start on December 15 and last until December 31, 2023.
• From Monday to Friday – 3pm to 9pm.
• Saturday and Sunday – 10am to 10pm.

Five major activities at the Hatta Festival

While entrance to the festival is free, for specific activities like ice-skating, zip-lining and padel tennis, you would need to pay per activity.

1. Enjoy light shows and try out food at pop-ups from local restaurants

At the festival, you can grab food from local restaurant pop-ups and enjoy the light shows at Leem Lake and Hatta Fort.

2. Try out exciting activities

You can also enjoy ice skating, roller skating and padel tennis. The festival has special padel tennis classes organised as well for those eager to learn the sport, along with an indoor cycling studio hosting sporting events.

3. Support homegrown businesses - ‘Proudly from Dubai Market’

This market at the festival will showcase unique culinary concepts and products from 30 home-grown businesses.

4. Watch a vintage car parade and motorcycle convoy

As part of the festival, several parades have been organised:
- December 24 – bicycle procession
- December 29 - motorcycle convoy, which will travel from Dubai to Hatta
- December 30 – classic car parade, with cars travelling from Dubai to the festival grounds in Hatta.

5. Join a photography competition

The festival will also be hosting a photography workshop in partnership with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards (HIPA), along with a competition for the best photo and video on Hatta.

6. Head to Hatta Wadi Hub for outdoor activities

The festival will also feature activities at the Hatta Wadi Hub, an entertainment destination offering a range of outdoor activities and experiences amidst the natural backdrop of the Hatta mountains and Hatta Dam.

You can engage in activities such as mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and zip-lining. If you are interested in camping overnight, Hatta Wadi Hub also offers camping spaces and caravans.


Hatta Cultural Nights and Hatta Honey Festival

#DubaiDestinations winter campaign for Hatta also includes the third edition of the Hatta Cultural Nights and the Hatta Honey Festival.

The Hatta Cultural Nights will be held from December 21, 2023, to January 1, 2024. The cultural festival aims to educate visitors about Hatta’s heritage through folkloric and artistic performances, Nabati poetry, and displays of products and crafts from local artisans.

Also, part of the campaign is the Hatta Honey Festival, which invites visitors to taste Hatta's renowned locally harvested honey. The initiative supports local economic activities, provides a platform for sharing expertise in honey production and displays a diverse range of honey products.

How to get there

By Car:

Leem Lake is directly accessible via the E44 highway (Dubai-Hatta Road). When travelling from Dubai, stay on E44 and take the first exit from the Fort Roundabout once you enter Hatta, to reach the lake. Some of the nearest landmarks are the Hatta Public Library, Wadi Hatta Park, and Hatta Wadi Hub.

By Bus:

Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) operates a daily bus service – ‘Hatta Express Bus’ (H02) ( ) from Dubai Mall to Hatta Main Bus Station. Once you are in Hatta, you can take the ‘Hatta On and Off’ bus (H04) to get to Leem Lake.