Hatta Dam Overview

High atop the Hajar Mountains, just 90 miles from bustling Dubai is an exclave of the city, Hatta. The renowned Hatta Dam is a popular tourist attraction owing to its picturesque locale in the midst of rugged peaks, serene turquoise waters and the calm respite it offers. Visitors spend an entire day here amid raw nature, enjoying water sports and relishing the beautiful sight which is in stark contrast to the desert sands.

About two and a half hours drive from the city of Dubai on the south east side and very close to the country’s border with Oman, lies Hatta, the oldest fort in the Dubai Emirate. The natural beauty of the Hatta Dam, which lies calmly surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Hajjar range, is breathtaking. However, the best way to imbibe the surreal beauty of the place is possibly directly from the water.

There are several water sports and activities that you can do here including kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, among others. You can directly drive your car to the edge of the water and the go hiking from one picture-perfect spot to another, all the while soaking in the sheer beauty of nature of this mountainous land and the dam in the middle. 

Visiting Hatta Dam in the cooler months of the year is especially enjoyable as it involves a certain amount of trekking and climbing. Kids too, find this place worth their while because of the plethora of activities that are on offer, tailor-made for children. A particular attraction not to be missed while here is a huge mural celebrating the two founding fathers of the nation, that overlooks the water.

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• There is much that this little mountain village offers travelers who head here to spend a perfect weekend hiking, adventure seeking or simply exploring the cultural heritage.
• The place is best explored from the water either on a kayak, paddle boat or water bike which you can rent from a nearby kiosk or book online.
• Let your adventurous side loose and go hiking through the rugged peaks and troughs of the Hajjar mountains, especially the area behind the dam for its magnificent landscape.
• Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned biker, you can ride along the clearly marked trails by the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Center. This is one of the best ways to explore the hills and wadis.
• Take a trip through the cultural richness here which goes back 3,000 years. You can visit the museum, an old fort, a watch tower and a mosque from days of yore.

How To Reach

You can drive down the 125 km stretch from Dubai city to Hatta Dam in no more than 90 minutes. Take S 112, Maliha road from Dubai and follow E -102 route towards Hatta. It is a scenic drive from the city through the desert and the mountains of Hajjar.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Hatta Dam is in the autumn from September to October and again in the spring from February to March. It is best not visited during peak summer and peak winter owing to the nature of the hub. Moreover, all activities remain shut during the summer months.

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Other Essential Information

History of Hatta Dam

This dam was built in 1989 to ensure proper supply of water and electricity in the surrounding area. In the olden days, the local people had to depend on groundwater wells and springs for water due to scarcity of rainfall. The construction of the dam ensured availability of water all year around in the wadis surrounded by the mountains. Earlier known as Hajarain, Hatta came to become a dependency of Dubai during the reign of Hasher Bin Maktoum. Due to its location in the mountains, Hatta had become a summer habitation of many Dubai-based families to escape the heat and humidity.

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Point of Interest for Hatta Dam


The Hatta Dam is the largest water body in the area and its serene, clear water offers a good opportunity for boating. Renting a paddle boat is one of the best ways to explore the dam in a composed and relaxed manner.

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Experience the thrill of venturing into hidden passageways and sneak behind cavernous rock formations by hiring a kayak and exploring the Hatta Dam. Rendezvous with local birds and fish along the way, if you are lucky.

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Hatta Dam FAQs

What is Hatta Dam famous for?

Hatta Dam is very popular with thrill-seeking nature lovers for ample opportunity of outdoor activity here like biking, hiking, kayaking, boating, and camping. The famous Hatta Fort built-in 1896 is located here which is one of the most significant architectural monuments in the UAE.

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When was Hatta Dam built?

Hatta Dam was built in 1989 to control the flow of water from the mountains to the village below. It also supplied the area with sustainable water and electricity and was a true respite to the local population. When initially built, it had taken the reservoir two years to fill, but there has never been a shortage of water here ever since.

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