Often after working like a maniac for weeks in the office, we yearn to flee from the cacophony of the city and hard toil of the workplace. My group of friends in the office and I along with them often plan small trips nearby to rejuvenate our senses and come back fresh. This time we planned to visit the Hatta Heritage Village, about 100 kilometers South East from the central Dubai City.

With three of my friends, I drove to this old village which took us around two hours to reach the destination. Situated on the crown of the Al Hajar Mountains, this place took us back in time to centuries where there were forts and citadels. The visit to this place provided us with the opportunity to be aware of the Arabian heritage dating back to 2000 to 3000 years. The heritage village has about thirty houses, shops selling traditional, heritage goods, the Falaj canal that waters the neighboring farm and an archeological cemetery. This serene townlet hosts visitors from various places and events such as the UAE National Day.

Parking was free in front of the village. Even no admission fee was charged, and we were accompanied by a trip advisor who too did not charge a single buck. The place remains open from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm from Saturday to Thursday. The place wasn’t quite busy when we entered around 9:30 am. We were astounded amidst the cosmic fortress and the two castles. We were allowed to view the traditional weapons such as daggers, swords, cannons, rifles and household materials such as pottery, furnishings, clothes, music instruments, jewelleries, and sculptures. There was a masjid as well; a place for the residents of the town to pray. The displayed items exhibit the culture, customs, norms, folkways, and more of the people.

We learned from the guide that this place was built for the dual purpose of residence as well as supervision which would help defend enemies. There were two watch towers from where guards would keep a watch on invaders. The village displays rural life having houses made of mud and bricks and the most significant house, called the Bait Al Wali is where the ruler would stay. The Palm tree farm called the AL Sharia site is located a few minutes away from the village. We walked to this hushed place under the soothing shade of the trees and enjoyed the Falaj canal that provides water for irrigating the farm. The next captivating spot was the Hatta Hill Park near the village which was a personal favorite of mine. The place is ideal for picnics and has a tower which we climbed to get a panoramic view of the entire landscape including the mountains and the village.

The most beautiful scenery of the place was the Hatta Dam. The blue crystal clear water of the Hatta Lake against the natural rocks forms a picturesque view providing an opportunity for the visitors to click souvenir pictures against a striking background. Adventure seeking tourists can opt for the kayaking experience at the river to get a view of the places isolated behind the curved passages of the rocks which are not visible from the reservoir point. Kayaks and paddle boats were available for hire. We boated for a while on the blue-hued lake and caught the view of several birds and fishes. With fresh air blowing over our faces, making it a memorable event. Bike riding along the winding pathway of the mountain is another great adventure. Many trails have been set up with markers for visitors to bike through the rugged enclave.

The relaxing experience encountered here has served its purpose of restoring peace and calmness to our overworked minds by giving us fresh, unpolluted air to breathe in makes me look forward to a revisit to this place very soon. We spend around four hours exploring the heritage, but visitors might need more time if they want to stroll around and try mountain biking. The place is quite underrated. High recommendation for visiting this place and from personal experience I may say that one shall have a splendid trip. The site is ideal for visiting during winters for a picnic or a family day out and do not worry about bookings as it does not require any such preparations. So make plans soon to visit this tranquil place which is just a few hours away from the central city making an ideal gateway for both nature lovers and adventure seekers without spending a penny and with the bonus of a long drive.

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