Hatta, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The picturesque oasis village of Hatta with its museum village is set amidst breathtaking scenery in an exclave of Dubai, from where a road leads through spectacular dunes to Hatta.

The picturesque oasis of Hatta is located in the south-east of the United Arab Emirates in a tiny exclave of Dubai and also borders parts of the emirates of Ajman and Ras-al-Khaimah. The manageable town lies in the middle of the spectacular Hajar Mountains and impresses with its breathtaking scenic backdrop.


Hatta is situated about a thousand metres above sea level and thus quite a bit higher than Dubai. The milder climate has been used above all by the upper class from Dubai, who spend the hot summer months here in dreamlike villas and comfortable weekend houses.

From Dubai to Hatta through spectacular dunes

Hatta is located about a thousand meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, UAE - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

You can reach Hatta from Dubai via a four-lane road that leads through a breathtaking dune landscape at the foot of the Hajar Mountains.

The most famous dune in this region is the so-called "Big Red" about 50km from Dubai. The huge sand hill is up to 300 metres high and can be climbed. From its summit you have a tremendous view over the sea of sand and the locals who meet here especially on weekends with their sand buggies or for dune skiing.

Otherwise, in the hot desert between Dubai and Hatta, you are lucky to have a car with air conditioning! Shortly before Hatta, the dune landscape ends abruptly and turns into a tree-covered plain.

Tip: On the route from Dubai to Hatta, you cross a part of the territory of Oman. A visa is not necessary, but you should definitely have your passport with you!

Things to see in Hatta

In Hatta, a classic Emirati oasis village, the grandiose surroundings are the main attraction, UAE - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

In Hatta, a classic Emirati oasis village, the grandiose surroundings are the most important sight. Directly in the village, the historic Hatta, parts of which have been reconstructed or rebuilt in the original, is of particular interest to tourists.

Hatta Fortress

In the centre of the old town, the fortress of Hatta, the oldest in Dubai, is enthroned with two mighty defence towers. It was built in the 19th century by Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al-Maktoum and served as both a residence and a fortification. Behind the 11m-long and 4.5m-high walls, the sheikh's chambers and a collection of weapons can be admired.

In its inner courtyard, a huge water reservoir is still visible, which supplied the inhabitants of Hatta with drinking water in the event of a siege. One of the 8 m thick defence towers can also be visited; it is part of the museum village "Hatta Heritage Village", which is spread around the fortress.


Hatta Heritage Village

Surrounded by beautiful date palms, the Hatta Heritage Village was built under Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and introduces visitors to the culture and traditions of Hatta. Houses made of baked clay, which were specially built for the folklore village in traditional form and exclusively from local materials, serve as museum rooms.

Scenes recreated with life-size figures and films that can be played at the touch of a button breathe life into the exhibits and illustrate everyday life and social life over the past centuries. To the north of Hatta Fortress is the Juma Mosque, built in 1780, one of Hatta's seven mosques and the oldest building in the city.

Hill Park

The secluded Hill Park invites you to linger with shady walks lined with barbecue and picnic areas, and a small defence tower can also be climbed.