So it’s Saturday night and you’re endlessly scrolling through social media before bedtime, virtually creeping on your friends’ feeds, envying their scenic shots of mountain backdrops, watching everyone have fun without you and wishing you were half as adventurous. The wanderer in you is dying to let loose and you’re feeling left out. It’s time to stash that smartphone away, because here’s a remedy from us. Newbies, check out our list of things to do for a day in Hatta, Oman.
How to get there
Get your road trip playlist ready because it’s about to be a long ride to Hatta. Okay not really, we may have exaggerated a tiny bit. The journey to Hatta from Dubai takes about a little over an hour and half, just about enough time to marvel at the Omani terrains on the way, before you arrive at Hatta Village. Be sure to take along a form of identification as it will be required when crossing checkpoints. And to be on the safe side, take your passport with you (just in case).
Hajar Mountain hike
Why hit the gym when you can explore a sweet new mountainous hiking spot at one of the highest mountains in the region instead? Get in the zone and let the nature trail of the Hajar Mountains tickle your senses when you discover unexpected terrains and picturesque landscapes. You’ll have to cross a little over the border of Oman to get here, but it’s totally worth it.
Tip: The hike begins as a path but be prepared to get your hands dirty at an attempt to balance yourself as the paths slowly turn to rocks. The trail stretches on for 9 kilometres, beginning from the campsite at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre, coursing through the Hatta Heritage Village and ending by the Hatta Dam. Need a proper pair of hiking shoes? We’ve got you covered. Head down to Stadium with your ENTERTAINER app ready to save you AED 70 when you make a minimum purchase of AED 350.
Mountain biking through Hatta Mountain bike trail
If hiking’s not your thing, here’s an activity at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre that might interest you and keep you energetic. Set aside two to three hours to take on a couple of mountain-biking routes and challenge yourself at every manoeuvre of this 50-kilometre single-track trail. The trails are free to explore and ready with clear colour-coded markers in red, blue, green and black, for beginner-level to advanced-level bikers. There’s no better way to explore winding pathways and lush green farmlands than to hop on an exhilarating mountain bike ride.
Tip: No bike? No problem. You can also make use of your ENTERTAINER app to book your one-day rental bikes from The Cycle Hub for a 2 for 1 deal! Estimated savings: AED 150. Surrounding area is equipped with BBQ facilities, showers and WCs. Hatta, we’re coming for you!
Explore the ancient culture at The Heritage Village
Just right around the corner is the Hatta Heritage Village. Go back in time and learn more about the rich and historic Emirati culture at this quaint location. The coolest part about this site lies in the architectural structure of the houses and huts – they’ve been reconstructed to duplicate the way things were in the 16th Century, using materials like reeds and mudstones. Through documentations and artefacts from the past, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to know about Dubai’s traditional heritage.
Tip: On your little village expedition, stay on the lookout for the famous old Hatta Fort and the two watchtowers. Friday markets are also held at the village with a variety of items like fresh fruits, carpets, pots and handmade items. Hatta Heritage Village (+971 4 852 1374)
Kayaking through Hatta Lake
We’ve clearly saved the best for last. With all the hype revolving around the Hatta Lake judging by the influx of photo shares on your social media timelines, this breathtaking place has remained the talk of town for a while now. To get there, type in “Hatta Reservoir Visitors Point” on your Google Maps application and it takes you right to the exact location. Get ready to feast your eyes and go on a relaxing kayak ride through the pristine waters of the teal-hued reservoir to a panoramic view of the Hajar Mountains as the sounds of mountain wildlife fill the cool open air.
Tip: Besides renting kayaks, small motorized boats and paddle boats are also available. You will find them at a small kiosk near the lake (AED 60 for a single kayak, AED 150 for a two-seater kayak, unlimited timings. Prices and packages may vary: HattaKayak.com). Free parking available at the parking lot below the lake, parking right by the lake will incur police fines.
Hatta makes a perfect escape from city grind and lets you soak in silence to the serenity of mountains and calm waters. You didn’t think these places existed in Dubai, did you? Time to get packing – and don’t forget to hype yourself up with that road trip playlist we talked about.
If you’re looking for a mini holiday that takes you a little further away from Dubai, make sure you check out these 5 trips from the UAE in under 5 hours.