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!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN HATTA
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 doubles are 150 AED for an unlimited time. You can hire out pedal boats, donut boats, yellow boats and water bikes… depends what floats your boat (see what I did there).
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 currently two trails, one 3km and the other 9km with more to come. We took the longer trail, beginning at the Mountain Bike Trail Centre, the walk ended by the Hatta Heritage Village. 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. Depending on the time of year, best to set off early to avoid the midday sun.
Go mountain-biking in 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.
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 on the resort such as archery, mini-golf, garden chess, tennis and much more. JA Hatta Fort Hotel really does combine serenity and adventure.
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.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. It comes at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.