Hatta - Plan an epic and unforgettable day-trip
Blog written on 17-01-2022
Hatta is an exclave of the emirate of Dubai, that has established itself as Dubai’s adventure hub. Enclave means that it’s part of a state that is geographically separated from the main part by the territory of one or more states. So this means you will be driving through other emirates, before you land back into a piece of the emirate of Dubai. If it’s confusing, don’t worry. The signage is very clear so you won’t get lost. In this post I will share with you my recommendations of how to spend your time in Hatta! I must warn you, this list is a bit comprehensive for one day, so pick out your favourite, otherwise plan to go for a weekend! All places listed in this blog post can be found very easily on Google Maps or Waze.
Hiking to the big Hatta sign
Hatta is surrounded by the Hajar Mountains. So it is only fitting that you include a hike in your itinerary. The hike to the sign is not very difficult. I would say it’s suitable for a beginner. To get to the start of the trail, you need to drive to the Hatta Wadi Hub and park there. You will find Hatta Wadi Hub on Google maps or Waze. Once parked, you will want to walk across the rope bridge, past the Wadi Hub on your right, until you reach the big board that shows you the hiking trails. In order to get to the big sign, you need to follow the blue trail. It will take you about an hour to get to the sign, so it really is not very difficult. It’s a satisfying hike
Kayak on the Hatta Dam
You can’t go to Hatta and not kayak. The dam is not close to the hiking trails, so you have to drive about 15 minutes, from Hatta Wadi Hub, to Hatta Dam. You will have to park at the bottom of the mountain, and then make the painful walk to the top! A single kayak will cost AED 60, and a double-seat kayak will cost AED 120. You can get a wider view of the boat types and prices here. The best part of the kayaks is, the time is unlimited. So if you get there early, it’s great because you get to spend as much time as you like. The flip side is, if you are waiting for available kayaks, you will be quite annoyed, because there is no telling when the next kayak will be free. There is a variety of other boats available, that do have a time limit. That can be your back-up plan should you want to limit the waiting time. Again, have a look at this website for a comprehensive price list.
Walk through Hatta heritage village
The Hatta Heritage Village is an open air museum, that gives you insight into how the Emirati people who inhabited Hatta lived. Entry was free when I visited in December 2020. The museum is a replica of a small village, so you can walk through the houses, see the old wells, and learn about how they sustained themselves back in the day. The village is also home to the Hatta Fort, which served as a defense lookout for the villagers. You can climb the stairs to the fort, and it will give you a view of Hatta. The walk through the heritage village will likely work up an appetite. Fortunately, you’ll be right next to Al Hajarain, one of Hatta’s more popular restaurants.
Enjoy Emirati cuisine for lunch
Whilst there are numerous restaurants in Hatta, I have tried two, so those are the ones I’ll recommend here! My first pick is Tanoor Restaurant. This is a good choice if you’re coming from the Hatta Wadi Hub. It’s a small restaurant specialising in Emirati cuisine. The food is exceptionally good, so expect long queues when you get there. You can choose to sit outside, on tables indoors, or in a family room where you can sit on the floor. My second pick is Al Hajarain restaurant. This is a good option if you’re coming from the Heritage Village, because it’s right next to it! This is also a very small restaurant, so it is usually very full. Try calling in advance if you can, so that you can reserve a table.
Cool off in the shade of Shari’a Rest Area
The beauty of Hatta is the varied landscape in such a small area. If you want to experience a mini oasis, then you must visit the Shari’a rest area. It’s a small paved area, shaded by palm trees, with a small falaj (irrigation) system running through. The sound of the running water is so relaxing as you walk through the cool, shaded area. If you intend to have a picnic, this is a good place to come. But you can also just walk straight here after lunch at Al Hajarain restaurant, or after a visit to the Hatta Heritage Village.
Get raw honey from the Hatta Honey Bee Farm
The range of experiences in Hatta is so varied, and that’s what makes a trip here worth you while. The Hatta Honey Bee Garden allows you to get suited up, and get close to the bees whilst you learn about honey. The experience costs 50 AED. You can also buy some honey to take home with you. They let you taste the different types of honey so you choose which to buy. I thought that was pretty, sweet. The range of medicinal and cosmetic uses of honey is beyond what the average person would know. So I’m pretty sure you’ll learn something new after your visit!
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I’m a travel curator who has visited over 30 countries and is currently based in Dubai. For more of Tingu Travel’s experiences, you can follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok @tingutravel