If you’re looking for more adventure or nature-led experience of Dubai, take a 2-hour drive to Hatta in the Hajer Mountains to open up a whole new world of kayaking, mountain biking, trekking or simply relaxing and taking in the picturesque views. Let’s explore the fabulous things to do in Hatta!
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BEST THINGS TO DO IN HATTA
Take a tour of Hatta Honey Bee Farm
Visit Hatta Honey Bee Garden to understand first-hand how bees are not only extremely vital for humans, but also for entire ecosystems to function. After claiming your bright yellow beekeeper’s uniform and protective gear, you are shown a documentary dispelling any myths about the wonderful world of bees followed by a tour of the garden.
The knowledgeable guide will introduce the types of local trees from which bees collect nectar such as Sidr, Samar, and Ghaf tree. Each type of sweet honey will offer a unique flavour and medicinal qualities. It is interesting to see the range of old and modern types of hives, made from different materials such as clay, palm trunk, and stone, depending on the country of origin.
Now it’s time to see the busy hive up close and hold one of the frames. Learn how the worker bees fill the hexagon with honey and pollen and spot the queen bee marked with a green spot. The tour finishes with a tasting session and it is nearly impossible to leave without buying some of the best honey in the UAE.
See the infamous street art of Hatta
As you drive up through Hatta Village you are met with the oasis of the turquoise freshwaters of Hatta Dam, a beautiful contrast against the brown volcanic rock of the Hajar Mountains. A large mural can be seen which commemorates the UAE’s founding fathers, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. This is believed to be the largest inclining mural in the world!
Enjoy kayaking in Hatta Dam
If you fancy more than just checking out the awesome views, you can tap into your adventurous side by kayaking on the Hatta Dam, believe me, it’s lots of fun. You can book ahead with Hatta Kayak but there’s plenty available if you just turn up. The single kayaks are 60 AED and the doubles are 150 AED for an unlimited time. You can hire out pedal boats, donut boats, yellow boats, and water bikes… depending on what floats your boat (see what I did there).
Get adventurous at Hatta Wadi Hub
The Hatta Wadi Hub is the ultimate adventure centre with a list of outdoor activities that grows each year – there is something for all whatever age you are!
Let’s start with archery, axe-throwing, downhill carting, slides into a plunge pool, and zorbing which will make you giggle from start to end. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush then maybe new wall climbing and cannon will be for you! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a human catapult?
>> LOCATION: Hatta Wadi Hub | OPEN daily 7am-10pm
Take a hike in Hatta
If you’re like me and love to throw on your hiking boots, Hatta is the place for you! At the start of 2017, the project to develop Hatta as a hiker’s paradise began.
There are numerous well-marked undulating trails ranging from 3km to 9km. Having hiked along these trails a few times, each time taking a different route. You pass by spots of green vegetation by the pockets of water by the wadis, a welcome sight against the expanse of volcanic rock of the Hajer Mountains. Most routes lead back to the Wild Cafe to indulge in a refreshing drink and a healthy bite to eat!
Go mountain-biking in the Hajar Mountains
If you’re feeling very active, what about hopping on a mountain bike to enjoy the undulating terrain of Hatta? As part of the development project, there are three mountain biking trails, with different levels of difficulty designed not only for experienced bikers but also beginners and those who are less physically able. The trails are free to ride and are self-guided with clear signs of where to go.
Get cultural in Hatta Heritage Village
If you want to know what life was like outside of Dubai a few thousand years ago head to Hatta Heritage Village. It was restored in 2001 to include two watchtowers, a mosque, and a fort. Inside the ruler’s house, ‘Bait Al Wali’, you can see displays of weaponry, artifacts, palm-tree products, handicrafts, weaving, and traditional dress.
Watch sunsets at the Sedr Trailers
If you want to get the feeling that you are in a remote mountain haven, you will love the Sedr Trailers Resort giving a luxury camping experience.
The resort is the region’s first trailer hotel and houses 13 air-conditioned Airstream trailers with all the mod cons. The reception is on the main road and you are ferried in 4x4s to the resort located on the banks of Hatta Dam.
Each trailer has its own private deck and BBQ so come prepared to cook up a feast. Take in the winning sunset view, spend the rest of the night star-gazing, and love the experience with friends. Could it get any better? Oh yes it can, your stay includes kayaking on the dam. The perfect start to the day!
Chill at JA Hatta Fort Hotel
You can’t beat the JA Hatta Fort Hotel for a getaway from the glitz and glamour of Dubai. The chalet-style rooms are modern inside with character too. The views overlooking the lush green gardens with the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains are priceless.
You can relax by the pool or get involved in the activities at the resort such as archery, mini-golf, garden chess, tennis and much more. JA Hatta Fort Hotel really does combine serenity and adventure. If you don’t have time to stay overnight, you can pay for a day pass!
PLAN AHEAD TO VISIT HATTA
Best time to visit Hatta
As most of the activities are based outdoors you really want to avoid the summer months. It starts getting hot around April and mid-summer is a complete no-go. The weather will start to cool down a little in October but best to wait until November if you can.
How to get to Hatta
FROM DUBAI – Driving time will be approximately 1.5 hours by car taking the Sharjah-Kalba (E12) route is normally the fastest. If you are without wheels, don’t worry! You can get the E16 bus from Sabkha Bus Station in Old Dubai and will take 2.5 hours to reach Hatta.
FROM ABU DHABI – The journey will take you around 2.5 hours in a car. For the public transport mode from Abu Dhabi to Hatta, you will need to take the bus from Dubai.
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