Dubai has long been considered one of the world’s most beautiful and progressive cities. I have lived in Dubai for over two years and I have still yet to conquer all of the city. I can say, without shame, I have not ventured over to The Palm. Bur Dubai is a complete mystery to me and the closest I’ve been to the Creek is Dubai Festival City, if that even counts.

Throughout my time here, I’ve noticed the increase of fellow explorers of the African Diaspora visiting the United Arab Emirates, in particular Dubai. This metropolis boasts boundless avenues of luxury and the adventure remains worthy of the praise and attention it continues to receive. For some reason though, I’ve been more inspired to travel the world, seeking adventure elsewhere rather than take any opportunity to explore my new “hometown.”

That is until a colleague of mine decided to mention her hiking trip to Hatta.

Hatta is an exclave of Dubai, located approximately an hour outside of the city. Nestled between the intricate and breathtaking Hajjar Mountains, this village is the perfect place to escape the grandiose and fast-pace culture of Dubai. I decided to take a day trip with a friend to do just that. What I discovered had me smacking myself for delaying such a wonderful scenic paradise. I truly couldn’t believe that a place so quaint and unspoiled could exist so close to the skyscrapers of Dubai.

As the city escaped further and further into our rear view, the desert landscape anxiously greeted us. Sand swirls around the highway became so frequent sand seeped into our air conditioned vehicle causing our eyes to sting and noses to itch. Before long, we were enclosed by mountains, each immaculately different from its predecessor.

The village itself is extremely small with the Hatta Heritage Village serving as the main attraction. While there, we enjoyed Arabic coffee and dates with some of the villagers. Several off-road actives are available to experience including camping, hiking and quad-biking. For relaxation and true serenity, the jade waters of the fresh water springs come highly recommended. Wander through the winding canyon and chase after adorable mountain goats if getting in touch with nature is more your speed.


As a word of advice, however, if you’re going to venture to Hatta during your next visit, be sure to take your passport. Interestingly enough, about 15 miles of your journey to Hatta takes you through Oman – not a part of the United Arab Emirates – then back through to Dubai.

This story was curated by LaToya Jones

 
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