Go boating with ducks, watch 'rainbow' sunset: 9 things to do at Dubai's Hatta festival

The 15-day event transforms the wadi into a winter wonderland packed with experiences for visitors of all ages

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad
KT Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 4:21 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Dec 2023, 11:03 AM

With its rugged landscapes and mountain scenery, Dubai's Hatta Wadi is already breathtaking, but wait until the afternoon — when an extraordinary celebration takes over its majestic terrains.

The 15-day Hatta festival, which runs until the end of the month, has been the talk of the town, drawing in families from across the UAE.

Right in the middle of Hatta, the festival creates a magical winter wonderland packed with attractions for visitors of all ages. It is the perfect escape from the busy city life.

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Here are 10 Hatta Wadi activities that you and your family shouldn't miss:

1. Boating with ducks

NA181223-MS-HATTA -- Visitors enjoy kayaking during the Hatta Festival, which began on December 15 and will continue until January 2, 2024; it promises a variety of attractions and activities for people of all ages - Photo by Muhammad Sajjad
NA181223-MS-HATTA -- Visitors enjoy kayaking during the Hatta Festival, which began on December 15 and will continue until January 2, 2024; it promises a variety of attractions and activities for people of all ages - Photo by Muhammad Sajjad

The picturesque Leem Lake at the wadi is the perfect backdrop for a boat ride — which comes with the special participation of quacking ushers. Hop onto the boats with your loved ones and experience the joy of boating with cute ducks as your companion. Cruise through the calm waters and watch your new feathered friends as you paddle.

2. Let your face be the canvas

Add a splash of colour to your festival experience with a face painting activity. Skilled artists are on site to transform children’s faces into unique, eye-catching masterpieces.

3. Take a hike

Lace up your boots and explore the breathtaking landscapes of Hatta Wadi by trekking on the hills surrounding the wadi. The hike offers visitors a chance to connect with nature.

4. Go ice-skating

Ask a child who has been to the fest and he'll tell you that one of its coolest features is the ice rink. Let the youngsters glide and twirl on the rink that was especially designed for them.

5. Watch a rainbow sunset

As the sun sets, witness the transformation of the hills into a canvas of colour and light. A captivating light display projected onto the hills creates a rainbow spectacle to remember.

6. Fire up the grill

Spending evenings at a wadi won't be compleye without firing up the grill. You'll find several barbeque spots at the wadi. While you can always do this right at your backyard, nothing beats the experience of having your barbeque with a view of the mountains. Visitors can roast their marinated meat at the grills provided by the park authorities.

7. Sit back, relax

Tired after an afternoon of activities? Head to the designated rest areas and savour the serenity.

8. Go on a food trip

Foodies are spoilt for choice at the festival. Several cafes and eateries serve up a wide variety of delicacies — from traditional Emirati dishes to fusions.

9. Groove to local beats

Feel the magic of the hills as you groove to local artists' live music. It's more than just a show — it's an experience that stays with you. Imagine sitting under the open sky, surrounded by the hills, and tapping your feet to the beat.

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