36 Hours of adventure in Hatta #VisitDubai #TravelLog
Hatta is an exclave of the Dubai emirates that’s popular for its scenic mountains. It sits only 90 mins away from the city, bordering Dubai and Oman. Hatta offers a relaxing getaway with humidity-free temperatures and tons of outdoor activities, attracting hundreds of weekend adventurers.
“I’m late” I mutter under my breath as I packed my carry-on for my first trip to Hatta, my brain fondles over the details of the weekend to follow. Swimsuit for kayaking at Hatta Dam, sunscreen for mountain biking through the Hajjar mountains, yoga pants for yoga at JA Hatta Fort Hotel and a warm shawl for dinner at the Hatta Heritage village. I stuff my checklist into my hoodie pocket, pick up my car keys and head for the meeting point.
8:30 am | Departure from Dubai City
“Great, not only am I late, but I'm the last one on the bus” I think as I apologize and make my way to the back of the bus. I look up and see some familiar faces, media personalities also invited by Dubai Tourism for the weekend getaway at Hatta. I start to relax as I engage in chatter with the girl seated next to me, "this is going to be fun" I muse.
I’m hungry. This is not a surprise, I didn’t have any breakfast before leaving, and I also forgot to pack snacks for the road. For someone with the metabolism of a baby shark, the pangs of hunger in my stomach felt like the universe punishing me for my lateness, “Ughhh” I mutter under my breath, trying to soothe my angry stomach by inducing sleep.
I’m wide awake.
“Wow”, I think as I shake myself from a half state of slumber to look out the windows. Our vehicle has navigated through the towering Dubai skyscrapers, vast deserts dunes and now into the scenic mountains of Hatta. It’s beautiful beyond words.
10:00 am | JA Hatta Fort Hotel
We arrive in at JA Hatta Fort Hotel. I'm immediately transfixed by the lush greenery of the property, established in the 1980s, the JA Hatta Fort Hotel Dubai is one of the oldest hotels in the UAE and is home to 52 charming deluxe mountain view rooms and villas, I’m ecstatic at the thought of spending the night in one.
Check in isn’t till 3pm so we head directly for breakfast much to the relief of my empty stomach.
I’m full of eggs, bacons and croissants. I’m happy.
12:30am | Hatta Hill Park
We hike up the Hatta Hill Park and we are rewarded with a stunning view of Hatta beneath and around us. It’s an easy hike up dotted with Instagramable moments, so we stop here and there for pictures, after ensuring we have the perfect shots, we head back down for lunch at the base of the hill. Lunch is traditional Emirati fare served by our warm local hosts. Slowed cooked lamb, roasted overnight in underground ovens with rice and yogurt on the side. It’s delicious.
4:00pm | Mountain Biking
I have a love hate relationship with cycling so I’m a bit nervous about mountain biking. Mountain biking requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance and I only have 65% of these skills. I tell one of the guide that I might be needing extra help and he replies with a friendly smile and a note to stick close to him. We begin the trail and the more experienced bikers in our pack head off but I remain behind with a few more cautious bikers. We travel past pathways of hills, wadis and luscious green farmland stopping occasionally for pictures. It’s a beautiful breezy day and I start to relax feeling more confident on the bike with every meter covered. The entire trip took us about 2 hours and during that time, I’ve become a mountain biking enthusiast, taking daring twists and speeding past rocks.
Note: It's free to ride up the trails and bikes are available for rent at Showka Bicycles (+971 50 859 1934)
8:00pm | Hatta Heritage Village
After an exciting after of calorie burning activities, we tuck into our dinner outside the Hatta Heritage Village, before we are ushered in for a quick tour. The history of the Hatta Village dates back over 2000 years ago and the site stands as an example of true Emirati life in historic times. The village is made up of 17 houses, 2 castles and a fortress, filled with relics from the past. We see everything from traditional weapons, household furnishings, musical instruments to traditional clothing used in the old times.
We arrive back at the hotel. I take a long warm shower and before sinking into the pillowy soft bed of my mountain view villa.
I snooze through morning Yoga on the hotel lawn. I know I’ll regret missing the view of the Sun rising above the Hajjar mountains but sleep wins and I snooze till its time for breakfast.
Food. Need I say more?
9:00 am | Kayaking at Hatta Lake
Kayaking. This was the activity I was most looking forward to ever since Hatta Kayak first popped on my radar via Instagram a few weeks back. The Hatta Lake stands as one of the largest water bodies in Hatta. On arrival, we rented the Kayaks and began a relaxing ride across the clear turquoise hued waters through curved passageways and mountains channels. Hatta lake is famous for its wildlife sightings of fish and birds, and I got to see some of that.
12:30pm | Departure
I'm relaxed and ready to start the week ahead as we head back to Dubai.
Although this trip was sponsored by the Dubai tourism, all thoughts and opinions are my own.