Dubai: Thrill seekers can now head to the mountains of Hatta to get their adrenalin pumping again as a new adventure sport and leisure destination has opened up in the small town nestled amid the Hajar Mountains.
Already a popular destination among hikers, mountain bikers and picnickers, Hatta is now home to Hatta Wadi Hub, an adventure and activity centre by Meraas, part of Dubai government’s extensive development of the valley.
Developed under the banner of ‘Visit Hatta,’ an initiative by Meraas aimed at offering visitors a glimpse of authentic Emirati culture and rustic landscape, with an tinge of fun and leisure, the new destination is ideal for those who are seeking a fun day out or a relaxing weekend.
The activities on offer include both paid and free options ranging from mountain bike (MTB) coaching and rentals, to downhill carting, a human sling shot, axe throwing, archery, free fall jumps, adventure rope courses, rope bridge, wall climbing, zorbing, trampolines and zip lines for both adults and children.
Located just a couple of kilometres after the main Hatta roundabout, in the direction of Oman, the hub also offers Hatta Drop-in, Asia’s first water jump park, with a crazy jump and slide, drop-in doughnuts and drop-in tracks. Visitors can also book for a kayaking or a hiking experience at Hatta Wadi Hub.
Gulf News took a sneak peek at the new destination and experienced some of the thrills, including zorbing, downhill carting as well as free fall and airbag jumps, while also enjoying the hospitality at Damani Lodges and Sedr Trailers, the two lodging options that offer visitors some quiet time facing the mountains and Hatta Dam.
The lodges feature cosy purpose-built cabins offering hotel standard facilities with access to all modern amenities amid the wilderness.
Hatta’s Sedr Trailers is the region’s first trailer hotel, where visitors can camp along the banks of Hatta Dam in luxuriously appointed trailers.
Visitors can either drive to the trailers or take a boat ride through the tranquil dam waters. The trailers and lodges could be rented for a price ranging between Dh500 and Dh1,000. Apart from the well-appointed lodges and trailers, the destination will soon open a caravan park, offering visitors another luxury outdoor staying option.
Visitors can either choose to pack their own food or cook at the open barbecue areas. Alternatively they can also eat at two trucks and the cafe at Hatta Wadi Hub.
If you are looking for an adventure filled day, try out the region’s first downhill cart, which sets your heart racing as you go on a 100 metre downhill ride on a non-motorised cart. A popular German sport, all a rider has to do is to keep braking as the cart winds its way down a mountain track.
Taking the thrill seekers to the next level, zorbing offers extreme excitement to riders. The sport involves riders (up to three) climbing inside a big inflated ball filled with a bit of water rolling down a hill. The double-walled plastic ball makes the riders bounce around as it rolls along an 80 metre downhill track, giving them the thrill of speed as they get drenched in water.
Climbing up a spiralling set of stairs, the 13 metre high free fall involves the participants jumping off a platform harnessed to a rope and landing gently on the ground. The activity may seem simple, when you see others try out, but only when you climb up the platform you feel the nerves tingling.
Another seemingly harmless adventure, the airbag jump involves jumping from two different heights, 1.5 metre and five metres, whatever you are comfortable with. The sport requires participants to land on their back as they hit the mega airbag and is not recommended for people with back problems.
• Freefall — 13 metres
• Airbag —
Level 1 — 1.5 metres
Level 2 — 5 metres
• Hatta Drop-In Pool — 4 metres
• Downhill Cart — 100 metres skill track
• Zipline — 312 metres
• Zorbing track — 80 metres