Humidity in the desert can be a bit too overwhelming, especially during the summer. But this doesn’t stop tourists and locals from enjoying the wonders of the most lavish city in the United Arab Emirates. Instead of taking refuge in the comfort of air-conditioned malls and hotels, a lot of people flock to Hatta, a traditional village located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, about 71 miles east of Dubai. Situated in a higher altitude, this town features the mildest and least humid climate than anywhere in the city, making it a favorite getaway of residents and tourists from the steamy metropolis.
Apart from the weather, another reason to visit the town is its natural scenery. Geographically bounded by the desert and the rugged Hajar Mountains, this town offers off-road adventures that compete with the luxurious experience in the city. Adventurous spirits may join 4×4 drives to explore the rocky terrain, admire the luscious greenery, mountain trek, and even swim in the famous rock pools in the region.
After crossing wadis and river banks, one will find his way to the small yet magnificent canyon highlighted by cascading waterfalls. Visitors can take a dip in the refreshing crystal clear waters of these famous rock pools as well. After swimming in the cool waters, visitors may visit the heritage village which is only half an hour drive away from the pools.
Another prominent tourist attraction is the Heritage Village which is most remarkable for 30 traditional loamé (mud) houses and fortified structures that were reconstructed to recreate the original impression of the mountain village. The old village also features historical landmarks such as the Juma (Friday) mosque which is the oldest town building that dates back to the late 1700s, a pair of 18th century military towers, and a large central fort that surveys the whole village. The two towers, the Northern Tower and the Southern Tower, were built under the reign of Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum bin Butti to defend the town from external attacks.
The heritage village is more suitable for people who seek calm and relaxation rather than those who seek adrenaline-pumping adventures. Visitors can marvel and learn about the culture and tradition of the old shipbuilding village. The traditional houses depict various traditional practices such as honey making and dyeing textile with vegetable pigment. They also have houses that showcase poetry and traditional folklores, as well as handicrafts and vocations. One house has a photo booth where guests can wear traditional costume and take photos of themselves. They are likewise treated to the local fare in a traditional café. These traditional houses are open to guests who wish to take a glimpse of the village’s past.
Unlike the metropolis, this town hardly has any shops. However, there are several nearby hotels to stay in. Even the heritage village is provided with resting areas that serve coffees and dates. Visitors can shop for souvenirs in street markets and hotel stores.
Hatta is one of the oldest settlements in Dubai, built around 20-30 centuries ago. With its luscious green oasis, rocky terrains, and serene village, the town presents a pleasant contrast to the modern and lavish Dubai landscape that most visitors are familiar with.