Thrilling, captivating, adventurous, soulful, family-friendly……so how should I describe our weekend we just spent at Hatta? Galivanting around the mountains, uphill and downhill, hiking and cheering around, it wouldn’t be fair if I leave any part of our audacious and adrenaline rushed weekend spent at Hatta Wadi Hub. Nestled in the Hajjar Mountains, Damani lodges provide a unique experience of a solitary night in the lap of nature.
It was our little one’s birthday last Friday and this is the first time, he was so much demanding on what he wants as birthday presents and how his birthday should be celebrated. We booked Hatta Damani Lodges for his birthday, just out of the league than regular hotels, still skeptical whether he would like it or not. He is growing and will now remember everything that happens from now on. It’s better to take kids on a family vacation than buying them expensive gifts. I think more and more people are doing this way now and we started this tradition for the past few years already.
Hatta is around a 1-and-a-half-hour journey from Dubai through Kalba. Nestled in Hajjar mountains, there is a new destination in the wild, “Hatta Damani Lodges”. The navigation can bring you straight to Hatta Wadi Rub, a destination to boost your adrenaline rush. There are tons of free parking available on the site. Hatta Wadi Rub is managed by Hatta Adventures and Meraas and it all comes under Dubai Municipality. Some of the outdoor activities are managed by a local company, GO GRAVITY. You can be there for the day, spending time outdoor in activities, hiking, biking or even rent a lodge for overnight stay.
Reception: – Reception is just a few steps away from the main parking lot. You can leave your luggage in the car and request them to pick it up later. They have buggies to transport things and people in the area. On check-in, we were received by their friendly staff at the reception, they explained the activities and things to do while we were at the site. We were then escorted to our rooms which were on top of the hill, this was so unique.
This place has opened last year only and has gained the popularity from locals and residents, guests include His Highness Sheikh Mohammed as well.
Lodges: – Hatta Damani Lodges operates 20 stylist modern style lodges equipped with the latest facilities and provides the experience of being in the wild. It was like luxury camping but in the permanent chalet. Nestled in the Hajjar Mountains, Damani lodges provide a unique experience of a solitary night in the lap of nature. The rooms are good-sized, have a TV, electric kettle, a mini-fridge, free Wi-fi, a safety box, and a clean ensuite bathroom. The terrace opens to the untamed natural playground where you can enjoy evening coffee and morning tea, enjoy the cold breeze and embrace nature.
It seems the lodges were handpicked, custom-designed, lifted and placed on mountain tops, the sight looks mesmerizing. They are only 20 lodges so have to be booked well in advance.
F&B- There is a small café on site which opens until 10pm and serves food and drinks. There are some food trucks as well which serves different cuisines.
Activities: – This is the best way to bring your kids out of video games and TV shows and give them a present of some physical fun.
- Rent a Bike- There is a store where you can rent mountain bikes and gears for the adventures of the day.
- Archery- When asked, my little one mentioned, “he has done archery on the internet”, like seriously. Our kids only know video games these days. The archery here is so much fun, the trainers will guide you through the process and you can feel like a champ. I am too bad in aiming anyways but trying that was fun.
3. Axe Throwing- I have tried archery before but this one was different. The trainer was kind enough to explain the process and we all tried our hands on it. A little bit of exercise for me and fun.
4. Mountain Ball- This was a kind of washing machine experience where a maximum of three people can sit inside a giant ball filled with water and then the ball rolls down from a mountain. By the time you reach down, you are washed, inside out. They provide your clothes for the ball coz everything is going to be wet. So better change in their clothes or carry your swimsuit for this experience.
5. Zorbing- Zorbing is not just fun for the kids but for adults as well. You sneak yourselves inside in a plastic ball and strap it. Then play soccer and bump into each other
6. Gell Balling- Gell balling was somewhat like Paintballing only but less painful. They use tiny gell balls for the game. The game was similar to PUB G where you can make teams and shoot each other using gel balls. The more you hit the helmet and the vest, the more lives you lose. We lost it to our kids in the game, 😊
7. Mountain Cart- For mountain cart, they drive you to somewhere near the mountain and gear you up for the experience. You will have to drive downhill using brakes if needed, this was too scary for me to try so I skipped it and only the 2 boys did it.
Apart from the paid activities, there are bouncy castles, swings and play areas for kids to release their energy. There were kids playing till late at night while parents enjoyed barbecues and relaxing.
Hatta Wadi rub is open to the public, you can bring your own tents on the site, there is free parking available as well. You can enjoy your day engaging in the activities they have and hike around, rent a bike and explore the area. There are food trucks where you can eat. If you want an enhanced experience, you can rent their Caravans which will give you a Caravan and a barbecue pit to use. Whatever you choose, Hatta Wadi Rub guarantees a memorable experience.
We enjoyed the activities for the whole day and then had a barbecue at the shed near our lodges, we had 2 lodges booked for ourselves. We sat down to sing some songs with the guitar and relished the barbecue prepared by the chef. We had some mix grills, alongside some vegetables and Arabic bread with salads and hummus. Then we left the kids in the room and walked in the area, had coffee in the café and came back late. The day was filled with adventures, so we just wanted to relax, we had a few activities lined up for the next day.
I captured the majestic sunset through my lenses and was anxiously waiting for the sunrise the next day. I had to also wake up early to experience that. So, the next morning as the Sun worshipper I woke up early and sat outside for the sun to rise. I realized later that I had time and I could have just hiked a little to the nearest mountain top. Nevertheless, the sun had to show himself and like He never disappoints me, I noticed the pink horizon around the mountain, the clouds started getting a darker pink color. It was the time and as majestic as ever, the sun rose amongst those Hajjar mountains blessing me, His forever Sun lover. By the time, hubby woke up, and we sipped our coffee on the terrace wearing our coats. It was chilly at night and in the early morning.
We had planned to go hiking to see the new Hatta sign they have created in the mountains. But since my father in law was also with us, we rather chose to drive close to it. The new Hatta Sign is similar to the Hollywood sign. Only Meraas and Hatta Adventure cars can drive in the area, the rest must hike up to that. There were groups of hundreds of people who were visiting on Saturday and were hiking up there. The views from the top were spellbinding, the chain of Hajjar mountains looked phenomenal. You can see the Hatta town as well. We took a few steps and came down, kids were sleeping. We had to wake them up for breakfast and then we had gell balling booked next. Gell balling was quite an experience, we were defeated by our kids, total family fun.
The next in line was a visit to the Sedr Trailer site and Hatta dam for kayaking. I didn’t know Hatta had so many things to offer. The Sedr Trailers are facing Hatta Dam and the views from here are even more astonishing. There is a viewing deck, I could sit there for hours and adore nature. The trailers are again equipped with everything, have a bathroom inside and even a TV. Every trailer has a private barbecue area.
I don’t know swimming, so we chose a donut boat for me, my little one and my FIL and the other 2 chose kayaking. It was quite challenging for them, but they tried and enjoyed exploring Hatta lake. There were tons of boats and kayaks yesterday as it was the weekend. The lake is green surrounded by mountains. Our donut motorboat was operating with the solar system. Quite enticing, it was, to be around nature.
If you still want to do more, there is Hatta Village and Honeybee Garden you can enjoy with family. Hatta is a perfect destination to visit this season, create memories, indulge yourself in natural adventures and take tons of pictures, create experiences that you and your family will remember for life. We had an enchanting weekend, special mention to the Operations Manager, Mr. Joyji, he was exceptional, he made sure to enhance our experience and made sure we were comfortable. He even helped me by clicking the numbers of photos and videos. Joyji and his team were very friendly and professional in their approach. Well, Hatta Adventures and Meraas team, we have our memories for a lifetime, thank you for making my little boy’s birthday extraordinary.
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