Electric Adventure: Exploring the mountains and valleys of Hatta in an EV

Located just 130km southeast of central Dubai, the picturesque enclave of Hatta is easily reachable by electric vehicle – and with an expanding charging network it’s more popular than ever.

Fringed by the craggy Hajar mountains, the area was once known for its historic fort and desert towns. Today, its stunning natural scenery is a playground for adventure enthusiasts who flock from the city to enjoy everything from mountain biking through otherworldly landscapes to kayaking on the Hatta Dam.

Recently, the Hatta Development Project has announced a string of new attractions, with cable cars, waterfalls and all-season beaches in the works. And, with high-speed water slides, horse riding and trekking trails already open for business, there’s never been a better time to fire up the electric car and head for the mountains.

How to get there: Electric Vehicle charging stations

The drive to Hatta – which takes 90 minutes from Downtown Dubai – is an experience in itself, with desert sands morphing into deep red mountains as the skyscrapers disappear in your rearview mirror. The best route is from E102 (Sharjah-Kalba Road) via E611 (Emirates Road) and most electric vehicles should be able to complete the round trip on one charge.

If your battery runs low en route, the final charging point in the city is at Al Khawaneej, next to Roast Coffee Story. There are also several EV charging points in Hatta including DEWA charging points at ENOC Petrol Station on Dubai-Hatta Road, Hatta Public Library and DEWA Customer Happiness Centre.

Along the way, you’ll encounter natural pools and streams, some of which are hidden gems that only the locals know about. These tranquil spots offer a refreshing break from the heat of the desert, so make sure you leave enough time for a quick dip or a picnic by the water’s edge.

What can I do in Hatta?

The most exhilarating way to navigate Hatta is on two wheels. The Hatta Mountain Bike Trail has 50km of graded single-track trails to explore, with rental bikes available from Adventure HQ. The trails cater for all fitness levels and abilities, or you can even take part in a mountain biking lesson to learn something new while exploring the rugged terrain.

For thrill-seekers, Hatta Wadi Hub offers everything from zorbing in a giant transparent ball to zip lining and freefall jumps. Hatta Drop-In is one of the hub’s latest and most riveting attractions, which sees daredevils launch themselves from multiple slides at speeds of up to 80km/h into a plunge pool below.

Once your heart rate returns to normal, it’s time to head to Hatta Dam. Here, steep jagged peaks tumble down to a vast expanse of turquoise water where serene kayakers paddle against the breathtaking backdrop. Rent a kayak from the water’s edge and spend an hour paddling across the glistening waters with the sun on your face.

To see the mountain scenery from another perspective, mount a steed and explore Hatta on horseback. Hatta Horses in Hatta Village is a riding school with experienced guides that will lead you through old farm roads, sharing their knowledge of the local flora and fauna, while you take in breathtaking views of craggy peaks and lush valleys.

What can I see in Hatta?

Hatta is one of the oldest preserved heritage areas in the UAE and the Hatta Heritage Village showcases life in ancient times. Opened in 2001, the village brings to life Dubai’s heritage, with reconstructed huts and buildings selling traditional wares.

Just a short drive from the Heritage Village is Hatta Hill Park, a sprawling green space perfect for picnics after a hard day’s hike. Also close by is the Hatta Honeybee Garden, a 16,000 sqm bee sanctuary where you can immerse yourself in nature. Donning a protective suit, visitors are invited to discover one of 300 hives filled with thousands of honeybees.

Don’t leave without stopping by the gift shop to pick up some delicious local honey or honey-infused beauty products.

Where can I stay?

With its short range and accessible roads, Hatta is ideal for a day trip, but if you want to immerse yourself in nature for a little longer, there are plenty of places to rest your head.

JA Hatta Fort Hotel is a four-star resort that has been open for over 30 years, providing stunning views of the Hajar Mountains. Guests can take advantage of the resort’s pools, hill park and outdoor activities like archery, golf and shooting.

For a more sustainable stay, Terra Cabins offer accommodation options closer to the rugged outcrops. Similar stays can be found at Hatta Sedr Trailer Park, Hatta Dome Park and Hatta Damani Lodges. To discover the landscape for yourself, pitch a tent near one of the mountains, or grab a spot at one of the many dedicated camping sites.

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