Hiking events

Watch: Hatta, UAE is the ultimate weekend adventure spot for hiking, kayaking, mountain rovers and more with your family.

Is it also Dubai? This is the first question that came to my mind when we reached Hatta. Nearly two hours from the city life of Emirates, we passed through the beautiful mountainous enclave of Dubai, nestled in the Hajar Mountains. A light drizzle and overcast sky made the view look better than it already was.

If you are looking for a winter weekend with the family or a mini day out with friends, look no further. Hatta is hands down the best place in Dubai for that much needed break. A favorite spot for hiking, biking, kayaking and many other adventures, Hatta sits on the border of the United Arab Emirates with Oman.

In December 2021, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, announced plans to transform Hatta into a tourist destination, complete with an inland beach, lake and railway. cable mountain.

The road to Hatta

Get ready for one of your most Instagrammable trips to the UAE. Hatta is about 130 kilometers from the city, high in the Hajar Mountains. And the road to Hatta is beautiful, especially the sandy desert you cross on the Sharjah-Kalba road.

As you get closer to Hatta, you start to see the silhouette of the mountains on the horizon.
Image credit: Evangeline Elsa/Gulf News

As you get closer to Hatta, you start to see the silhouette of the mountains on the horizon. Soon you cross the rocky wadis (valleys). Now before you ask, no you don’t need a 4WD vehicle to get to Hatta, the roads are paved and smooth.

Hatta is a 90-minute drive from Dubai. Take the S112 road, Maliha road from Dubai, and follow the E102 road towards Hatta.

A bus ride from Dubai to Hatta will take you a bit longer – around three hours. Bus E16 departs from Sabkha bus station near Deira and will take you to Hatta.

If you are coming from Abu Dhabi by car, the journey will take approximately two hours and 40 minutes. From Abu Dhabi to Sweihan take E20 road then E66 road from Dubai to Al Ain then take E55 road near Al Shuwaib towards Al Madam to Maliha now take E102 (Sharjah- Kalba Road) then the E44 road until you reach Hatta.

You do not need a PCR test to enter Hatta, nor to return to Dubai.

On your way, from time to time, you will spot cafeterias where you can stop for delicious club sandwiches and a steaming cup of karak chai.

Things to do in Hatta

Once you are in Hatta there is plenty to do. From kayaking to ziplining, from paragliding to trekking, we wanted to try it all.

We reached Hatta on a Saturday evening and drove straight to Hatta Wadi Hub, located 3 km from the main Hatta Fort roundabout.

It was buzzing with families, enthusiastic children and happy groups of friends. A friendly manager, Jacqueline, greeted us at reception and told us we could try a few activities while we waited for our rooms to be ready.

So we left our bags in our car and headed straight to the Wadi Hub business area. Here’s a rundown of some activities I’ve tried and recommend…

1. Walk on the net

It was the first activity I tried – simple, but adventurous. You cross the wadi on a suspended net bridge, a fun activity if you have children with you. Adults and children over the age of five can try net walking. A net bridge can safely support 120 kg at a time, which is why only one person is allowed to cross at a time.

Cost: 15 Dh for 15 minutes
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2. Deep dive

The big dive is like a giant net trampoline for adults

The big dive at the Hatta Wadi Hub is like a giant net trampoline for adults.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

I’ve never tried a trampoline, and this is almost what the big dip was like – a giant mesh trampoline for adults. Well, technically anyone from the age of eight can use the big dive, but the Hatta Wadi Hub has a smaller dip for kids. A fun activity if you want to unleash your inner child. I’ll never forget trying to jump high, but my feet barely left the net, or the few times I fell on the net as kids around me were jumping.

Cost: 20 Dh for 20 minutes
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

3. Tube slip

Tubing at Hatta Wadi Hub

Tube sliding at Hatta Wadi Hub is a fun activity for kids and adults looking for thrills.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

I never thought I’d try this – sitting in an inflated doughnut-shaped tube and sliding down a grassy slope. As we watched the other visitors scream and laugh as they glided by, Ahmed Ramzan, our Senior Visual Journalist, thought it would be “great for the camera.” So we have a huge twin tube that can accommodate two people. As I was seated, not yet ready, one of the guides assured me that it was very safe and that I would not fall out of the tube – that never happened, ever. A minute later, I found myself screaming as we slid.

Cost: 45 Dh per round
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

4. Archery

Archery at Hatta Wadi Hub

From beginners to experienced archers, everyone can put their archery skills to the test.
Image credit: Ahmed Ramzan

Want to test your archery skills? This sport can be enjoyed in a specially constructed area with five lanes and a target distance of 10 meters. From beginners to experienced archers, you’ll be hard pressed to stop at a round. For beginner archers, the activity guides explain the basics of hitting the target.

Cost: 35 Dh for children
60 Dhs for adults
Opening hours: Week: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Weekend: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5. Kayaking

Kayaking in Hatta

Kayaking across Hatta Dam Lake is a surreal experience, especially in the early morning or early evening.
Image credit: Evangeline Elsa/Gulf News

Get ready to kayak through the beautiful Hatta Dam Lake. After recently trying out the self-contained mini speedboat at Dubai Marina, I was cool as a cucumber when I headed to the kayaks, ready to try a new water activity. If you arrive early like we did, it’s a surreal experience as you paddle through the waters in the cool breeze. For your safety, four lifeguards follow you a few meters away in a small fast boat, in case of emergency. But, as long as you keep your legs straight forward inside the kayak and keep your body steady as you row, everything is pretty much under control. Other water activities are also available, such as pedal boats and water bikes.

Cost: 60 Dh for single-seater kayaks, 120 Dh for two-seater kayaks
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

6. Mountain Rover

Mountain Rovers at Hatta Wadi Hub

Adrenaline junkies, hop on the mountain rovers and ride the rocky mountain trail.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Coming to the mountain rover was my favorite activity on this trip. I will definitely go back. You put on your safety gear – a helmet, elbow and knee pads, hop on a not-so-small four-wheeled rover, which you can stand on or sit on, and drive through the mountain trail. Rovers are ridden in groups, so if you are not visiting a group of friends or family, you will be asked to wait until there are enough riders for the trip. The rovers are very easy to maneuver, a guide first shows you how to drive them and two guides assist your group on the mountain trail ensuring the safety of visitors.

Cost: 150 Dh for 45 minutes
Hours: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

7. Mountain hike

Mountain hike in Hatta

Hike through the wadis and on the mountain trail. There are different difficulty levels to try.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Do you like mountain hiking? With the weather perfect, this is a good time to explore Hatta by hiking the entire 32.6 kilometers of ability-graded hiking routes, available as self-guided or guided tours. The trails start from the Hatta Wadi Hub and include four routes of varying difficulty levels – for beginners to experienced hikers and off-road racers. Routes are color coded green, blue, red and black, ranging from easiest to hardest in difficulty.

Cost: 50 Dh per person
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

That’s not all. Here is a list of other activities to try:

A sign at the entrance to the Hatta Wadi Hub

A sign at the entrance to Hatta Wadi Hub lists activities visitors can try.
Image credit: Evangeline Elsa/Gulf News

8. Twin Zip (Zipline)

Weight range: 45 kg to 90 kg

9. Climbing wall

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays

Cost: 35 Dh for children, 60 Dh for adults

Weight range: 15kgs to 120kgs

10. Drop in (water activity)

Cost: 75 Dh for children, 100 Dh for adults – 1 session lasts 1h30

11. MTB

Time: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays

12. Ax Throwing

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays

Cost: 60 Dh for 15 minutes

13. Obstacle course

Cost: 100 Dh for two tours

14. Inflatable Labyrinth

15. Horseback Riding

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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