“Don’t expect all the frills. It’s about all the thrills instead.” Visit Hatta
Ditch the five star lifestyle and get back to nature with a visit to the Hajar mountains in Hatta. Stay in the national park in a mountain side cabin, retro airstream or static caravan and enjoy an array of outdoor pursuits at the new Hatta project by Dubai Developer, Meraas.
Hatta is an eco tourism project developed to give guests the opportunity to escape from the everyday hustle and bustle and experience the diversity of life and adventure in the mountains. The Hatta Wadi Hub is the activity HQ and home to both the Damani Lodges Resort and the latest addition, the Caravan park. There’s a cafe, food trucks, BBQ areas, mountain bike rental shop, retail area, it’s family-friendly resort and there is certainly plenty to do with a range of both free and paid activities.
With twenty purpose-built cabins dotted across the rugged terrain, Damani Lodges Resort provides guests with a unique experience. Each cozy lodge has an outdoor terrace that affords spectacular panoramic views of the local landscape especially at sunrise and sunset as well as being the perfect spot for stargazing. There are three types of modern lodges available; four standard, nine standard plus and seven suites which are basically the same design and layout but just vary in size. Our suite was the largest of the three lodge styles that can sleep a family of four with a king size bed and a double sofa bed as well as a compact bathroom, TV and additional seating on the terrace.
The lodges are accessible by mountain terrain carts only, or on foot if you are feeling particular active, with drivers on call 24/7. The static caravans are at the base of the mountain so easily reached by your own vehicle, the airstreams are located at Sedr Trailer Park near Hatta Dam. Dining options are quite limited with Hatta Wild Cafe really just a coffee shop with a few food items and the only other options being three food trucks; Doner Race Sandwich, Juicy Fruity and Damani Bites. The latter serves lunch and dinner options as well as varied breakfast choices, authentic local food can be arranged by reception for delivery from nearby Hatta restaurants. The best option is too bring your own food and drinks and have a BBQ at one of the designated areas or if permitted outside your accommodation.
Archery, axe throwing and 3-wheeled downhill mountain carts are free of charge but you can try the various other pursuits such as freefall jumps, twin and childrens zip lines, palm course, human slingshot, big and small plunges, cannon, Dr Rock station, adventure rope courses, rope bridge, wall climbing, trampolines, as well as twin and kids zip lines and horse chariot and horseback riding and camel rides. The hub also has Hatta Drop-in, the region’s first water jump park with a crazy jump, crazy slide, drop-in donuts and drop-in tracks. An all activity pass is also available for those energetic guests looking to have a go at everything – click HERE for price list.
The 52 kilometre Hatta Mountain Biking Trails (MTB) has four different levels and offers the UAE’s first MTB coaching facility with three dedicated areas for new riders, children and people with limited experience of riding a bike. Sixty mountain bikes are available to rent and there’s a fully equipped bike workshop, washing and storage facility. A range of MTB accessories including helmets, elbow pads, knee guards and apparel are available for hire or purchase in the bike rental shop.
Hiking trails take you through wadis and different terrains as you trek the Hajar mountains near the Oman border. Zorbing, aka rolling down the hill in a giant plastic ball, is another paid activity at Wadi Hub along with football zorbing, where players wear inflatable balls on their upper bodies and bump into opponents. Water based activities such as kayak rental, water bikes, donut boats and pedalos are run by Hatta Kayak and take place on the lake at Hatta Dam, a 15 minute drive from the Hub. Bookings must be made adventure HQ and guests have to make their own way to the lake – visit Hatta Kayak for more information.
This unique getaway is a perfect escape from the city for a mountain glamping adventure and activity filled staycation. Totally worth the couple of hours drive from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, it’s great to chill in the mountains and enjoy the picturesque scenery, wild environment, fresh air and slower pace of life that this part of the UAE offers.
The Nitty Gritty
Damani Lodges Resort, Hatta Wadi Hub, Hatta.
Telephone: 800-637227 (800 MERAAS)
Check-out: 12 noon
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Modern & comfortable lodges
Plenty of activities and adventure
Free and fast wifi
The Not so Good…..
Limited food options
Inexperienced cafe staff
Late check-in of 4pm
Hatta Wadi Hub activities and Hatta Caravan Park, Sedr Trailers Resort & Damani Lodges Resort will close for the summer period from 4th May 2019 and will reopen on 1st October 2019.
Read more about Visit Hatta in previous post In Pictures | A Postcard from Hatta
The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2019. All rights reserved. Lodge interior photo used with courtesy of visithatta.com/en/damani-lodges/