Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, on Friday visited the Hatta Festival, organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), in collaboration with the Supreme Committee Overseeing Hatta Development. The inaugural edition of the event, which concludes on December 31, seeks to shine a light on what makes Hatta a truly unique place to visit and the diverse experiences it has to offer tourists.
During the tour, Sheikh Hamdan was apprised of the array of events and activities organised as part of the festival, which is being held concurrently with the third edition of the Dubai Destinations campaign. Sheikh Hamdan appreciated the idea behind the festival and its goal of showcasing Hatta as a unique and authentic destination featuring exceptional tourist sites, natural sights, cultural events, sports activities, dining experiences, and luxury resorts. He further directed that the event be organised annually, building on Hatta's standing as a tourist hub attracting people from around the world.
Sheikh Hamdan said that the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, serves as a major inspiration for initiatives to advance the development model outlined by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for areas beyond the big cities across the country. He also highlighted that the Hatta region has emerged as a paradigm of economic development and investment in the capabilities of the youth, ultimately contributing to the region's collective welfare.
The Crown Prince emphasised Dubai's unwavering commitment to developing tourist destinations in accordance with the highest global standards and in harmony with the cultural distinctiveness of the local communities. This commitment reflects the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to invest in Dubai's extensive potential, encompassing its rich heritage, natural diversity, and archaeological treasures.
Promoting family attractions
Sheikh Hamdan said that the various campaigns and programmes taking place in Dubai during the winter season are mainly geared towards advancing the concept of family attractions, drawing local and international visitors and tourists in equal measure and consolidating Dubai's standing as a leading global destination.
"I visited the Hatta Festival and got a chance to take in its diverse events and activities. I am delighted with the projects benefiting the region's residents, especially the youth, and am also pleased to witness the enthusiastic participation of families enjoying Hatta's unique winter ambience. We are committed to further developing the Hatta region and showcasing its rich history to the world. The Hatta Festival adds significant value to Dubai's global standing and tourist appeal," His Highness said.
"We issued directives to host the Hatta Festival annually, providing all resources for building on the success achieved by the inaugural edition of the festival. Our goal is for all areas in Dubai to be seen as destinations of choice for families and visitors to the emirate. Every accomplishment we achieve today brings us closer to realising the targets of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). Our aim has been and will continue to be the well-being and happiness of Dubai's residents."
The Crown Prince was accompanied during the visit by Mattar Al Tayer, Dubai's Commissioner General for the Infrastructure, Urban Planning, and Wellbeing Pillar and Chairman of the Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Director General of the Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai; Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of Dubai Media Council; and Ahmed Al Bedwawi, Assistant Director General of Dubai Council's Affairs at the Executive Office.
Sheikh Hamdan was briefed by Shaima Al Suwaidi, Director of Brand Dubai, on the diverse cultural, entertainment, and family experiences featured in the festival's inaugural edition.
Sheikh Hamdan noted the significant community engagement across the cultural, sports, and social events, as well as creative workshops catering to various segments of society at the festival. He was also apprised of the support provided by Brand Dubai to Dubai's startup community through the 'Proudly from Dubai' initiative. The 'Proudly from Dubai Market' held as part of the festival showcased 30 diverse projects, including 17 directly benefiting the youth and residents of Hatta.
Furthermore, Sheikh Hamdan was updated on the vision for developing the Hatta Festival into an annual event and a family destination that would further enhance Dubai's position on the global tourism map.
During the visit, Sheikh Hamdan toured some of Hatta's top tourist draws including the Al Sharea area, Hatta Heritage Village, and Leem Park, the focal point of the festival, which covers an expanse of three hectares in the heart of Hatta's mountainous terrain. The lake offers visitors vantage views of breathtaking landscapes and sunsets amidst the mountains.
During the tour, Sheikh Hamdan was also given an overview of various projects initiated by young Hatta residents with the festival itself serving as the perfect platform for them to promote their products. Sheikh Hamdan also visited the GoGravity project, the first and only outdoor zorbing track in the Middle East that was launched in 2018 by two brothers, Khalifa and Ahmed Al Bedwawi.