The UAE is composed of seven independent city-states: Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, Fujairah, Ajman, Sharjah, Umm Al-Qaiwain and Ra’s Al-Khaimah.
In 1971, the late President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan unified the small states into a federation — the only one in the Arab world.
In 2004, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became president and has been ruling and carrying out the vision of the country since.
With four-fifths of the country being desert, there are also some contrasting landscapes such as the towering red dunes of Liwa, palm tree-filled oasis in Al Ain and the Hajar Mountains which extend for 700 kilometers through the UAE and Oman and are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian peninsula among others.
But Where is Hatta?
A popular destination for adventuring expats is Hatta, which lies to the southeast of Dubai’s main territory, about 134km of a picturesque drive. It borders Oman to the south and the east, Ras al-Khaimah to the north, and Ajman to the West. Since it is located in the mountains, it was commonly the summer residence of Dubai-based families escaping the humidity and heat of the coast.
Hatta is covered in waving peaks perfect for hiking. You can trek along the wadis at the foothills of the mountains that will allow you to see a diverse terrain, from sandy patches to sharp rocks. The top of the mountains makes it a good meditation spot. Just beware on the way down, as it can be quite slippery.
Hatta Stay and Play
There are different stay options from ground camping to other popular alternatives such as the Hatta Damani Lodges, Hatta Sedr Trailers by Meraas, JA Hatta Fort Hotel and Hatta Art Hub.
Once settled, let the adventure begin by visiting one of the largest water bodies — the Hatta Dam. Where you can rent a single or double kayak, donut boat, or paddleboat. While you enjoy the turquoise waters that set against the mountains.
Only a 5-minute drive from the Dam is the Heritage Village in the central town displaying two military towers from the 18th century, 30 buildings including huts and houses and an old Juma mosque, representing the food and traditions of the Arabian heritage.
When my friend Veronika and I were there, we visited a small restaurant, with several small private rooms, usually preferred by families. We sat down on the carpet, food was served on the floor, and we ate with our hands—the traditional way.
Breathtaking Sunrises and Sunsets
Continuing with the adventure, you must experience the sunrise, sunset or both because the views are breathtaking.
Adrenaline enthusiasts often visit Hatta for off-road adventures in the desert or the mountains including a stop at the Hatta Rock Pools, narrow windy canyons of smooth rock with pools of blue-green water.
I hope you are excited to know more about the culture and way of living in the United Arab Emirates.
After living here for a long time, every year the country surprises me with something new, or is it the constant inflow and outflow of people that keeps changing the energy?
Hatta is definitely a place you don’t want to miss when visiting or living in the UAE.
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by: Tatiana Moreno