Travel Tips

A Guide to Planning Your Escape to Hatta

Crisp air, rocky mountain peaks, and untamed surroundings make Hatta the best spot for nature-lovers, adventurers and those looking for a rejuvenating mountain retreat and sports activities in Dubai.

It was once known for its small desert farms, but today, it attracts locals and travelers with varying interests because of its beautiful scenery and the ongoing development of eco-tourism that opens great opportunities for entrepreneurs, local business and even young people wanting to explore or settle in.

If you are looking for a unique, fun destination for your next travels, choose Hatta. Here’s everything you should know to plan a memorable escape to this beautiful destination.

How to Get There

If you use a private car, preferably with an experienced driver, it will take about 90 minutes to get to Hatta from central Dubai. Alternatively, if you choose to ride a bus or a train, the trip can take around three hours. But with the scenic journey ahead of you, you may not even notice the time passing. Expect to see deep red mountains and terrains with golden sands.

What to See and Do

●      Hatta Dam

If you are looking for a tranquil place, make sure to see Hatta Dam. This features breathtaking turquoise water surrounding by mountains. Drive along the dam and make a stop at some of the picture-perfect spots. You can also hike a bit for more selfies and general photography. Get ready to see beautiful views of the natural beauty of the mountains.

Recently, a huge mural that commemorates the founding fathers of the UAE was uncovered here as part of the Dubai Street Museum project. Moreover, you can try the new paddle and kayak rental service to burn some calories and enjoy the water.

●      Hatta Heritage Village

A must-visit destination for travelers, the Hatta Heritage Village dates back to about 2000-3000 years ago. It was opened to the public after it was restored in 2001 and is located in the midst of the mountainous area of Hatta, which overlooks two mountains. The village boasts a group of farms with a freshwater canal that runs through them and shops that sell traditional heritage collections. In fact, this village hosts events like the Dubai Shopping Festival, UAE National Day, and Flag Day.

Be awed by the original prototypes, sculptures, documents, models, audio/graphic materials, and illustrations of different aspects of the region’s traditional life. Also, you’ll get to see traditional weapons, such as daggers, swords, cannons, guns, and rifles, along with household materials like pottery, furnishings, musical instruments, traditional clothing, and many more.

Indeed, a visit to this heritage village gives you the opportunity to learn about traditional life in Dubai. You can see houses built in mountain rocks, inhabited by the locals. Also, they made use of metal and copper, which are abundant in Hatta Mountains, for creating household tools like ornaments, utensils, and equipment.

●      Hatta Rock Pools

The Hatta Rock Pools are one of the best stops for those seeking peace and adventure. You can swim through the rocky but slender corridors which display remarkable mountainous scenery and waterfalls. This site is also conducive for picnics, but make sure to pick up your garbage before leaving and don’t let anything fly away. Also, bring only reusable containers and cutlery, and don’t bring any plastic bags, to help preserve the environment.

●      Go mountain biking

While you are in Hatta, consider mountain biking on some of the trails. Whether you are an amateur cyclist or a professional one, you can see Hatta’s magnificent mountainous region on a bike. Just follow the trekking routes at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre.

There are four route levels; beginners should follow the green routes whereas veteran riders can take on the black trails. These trails are open daily and are free to use – you just have to bring your own bike. If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one in the city before going to Hatta. Before taking on any route, make sure to get a copy of the trail map.

Where to Stay

Hatta can be visited for a day trip. But if you don’t plan on returning immediately to the city or you want to enjoy the natural scenery more, consider booking a room at JA Hatta Fort Hotel.

This is a four-star mountain retreat resort that has been catering to travelers for almost four decades. It has holiday villas and 52 Mountain View rooms, with some specially designed for people with limited mobility and special needs. Also, it offers a lot of leisure and recreational activities, along with luxurious beauty treatments.

From sightseeing to hiking to mountain biking, Hatta surely is the best destination for your next travel. For your safety and comfort, make sure to bring jackets because Hatta is a bit cooler than central Dubai and the night can get too chilly. Also, bring emergency supplies, safety gear and equipment, GPS tracker, and hydration supplies, especially if you want to go mountain biking. Enjoy!


Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”