Aside from the azure glazed Arabian Sea and sparkly desert, the UAE’s natural landscape is filled with mountains, wadis, mangroves, dams, sabkas and oases. Set against the backdrop of the Hajjar “rocky” mountains and crystal blue coloured bodies of water, Hatta is an enclave located around 2.5 hours from Abu Dhabi, and is an escape for all the senses.
The scenic route while driving through the Emirates forms a confluence of contrasts as you say goodbye to the city’s skyscrapers and become immersed with the diversity of the landscape. During the drive you will pass by the golden desert dunes of Sharjah and encounter plenty of camels, until you catch a glimpse of the rocky terrain signalling the start of the Hajjar mountains.
The route takes you directly through the winding mountain-scape for approximately 30 minutes until you arrive to the quite town of Hatta. The destination has been popular among residents for the famous Hatta Dam, however recently, increased investment in development has helped to shape tourism.
Things to do
The most popular reason to visit Hatta is of course the Dam, and is ideal for those seeking relaxation, if only for the clean fresh air and beautiful sights. The view from the top deck of the Dam is breathtaking and almost unbelievable as the turquoise water blends with the backdrop of the rocky mountains, while the sun brilliantly reflects it’s rays.
The Dam offers kayak and pedalo rentals for limited time and are absolutely the best way to enjoy the tranquility of the destination during the cooler months. Please don’t underestimate the length of the Dam – it is large. We rented a pedalo for 1 hour and didn’t even come close to touring the entire reservoir.
Adrenaline junkies will be delighted to explore the rocky terrain through mountain biking or hiking. The Meraas Hatta Wadi Hub offers activities like zipline, archery, human slingshot, adventure ropes, and much more.
Hatta also has it’s own Heritage Village which offers a small snapshot of history through the years in the arae. The restored complex is encapsulated between 2 towers which stood watch over the town, and one of the exhibits showcases all the famous forts around the Emirates.
Where to stay
Driving from Abu Dhabi to Hatta is lengthy so I would definitely recommend an overnight stay either in Hatta, or in Dubai which is only 90 minutes away. The town offers accommodation options either in the quaint JA Hatta Fort Hotel , or in the campers at the Meraas Hatta Wadi Hub.
There aren’t that many options for dining, apart from in the hotel and the odd local restaurant, so my recommendation for picky eaters is to pack a picnic box. There is a large supermarket however, for those who are looking to grab a snack and refreshment before the drive back home.
Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary.