Look: Action-packed Hatta festival promises music, food, games amid serene mountains

The festival, which began on December 15 and will go on until December 31, promises a variety of attractions and activities for people of all ages


SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photos: M. Sajjad
KT Photos: M. Sajjad

Published: Sun 17 Dec 2023, 11:06 AM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 1:44 PM

Nestled amidst the Hajar mountains, Hatta has long been a retreat for UAE residents who are seeking respite from the bustling city life. The serene landscapes and cool mountain air make it a favourable destination for residents yearning a tranquil escape.

Now, there is another compelling reason to visit the highlands of Dubai as the most anticipated Hatta Festival 2023 has kicked off. The highlight of the festival is at Hatta Wadi – where all the action is taking place.

The festival, which began on December 15 and will go on until December 31, promises a variety of attractions and activities for people of all ages. It is not just a festival but an immersive experience that transforms the Wadi into a magical wonderland.

Making memories

Families from across the UAE and Oman flocked to the festival, creating a vibrant and memorable gathering of hundreds seeking a good time on Saturday.

“We wanted to have a great family outing during the weekend. We read it online and planned for a trip,” said Abdullah Al Damani, a resident of Sharjah who came along with his family.

“My children are loving it. They have tried all the games and are wanting more. The place is exactly what we wanted for a memorable weekend,” said Al Damani.

There were many Omani nationals attending the festival with their family. “We just arrived from Oman for family visit and business. The place was lit up and we wanted to check out what was it. Before even we entered the festival, we were sure of a good time,” said Saif Al Balooshi, who accompanied his wife and children.

“The kids are not willing to leave the place. We have a long road ahead to Dubai. I have promised them to visit again on our return,” said Al Balooshi.

Pleasant, breezy weather

The pleasant weather adds to the charm of the festival, as visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of Hatta. Residents can plan their trip to this hilly town in the morning, making most of the day, as the temperature is significantly lower than Dubai.

It hovers between 17ºC and 24ºC making it perfect weather for a family outing. Families can visit various spots in the hills before hitting the wadi.

Barbecue lunch

Families often head there for a get-together and cook their meals at the bottom of the hills, in designated spots. They spread out mats and set up camping chairs to have lunch outdoors, under the shade of trees, surrounded by mountains.

At the Hatta Wadi Hub, there are designated spots of barbecues where one can get their marinated meat, light up the charcoal and start grilling. A rest area has also been provided by authorities where visitors can take a quick nap before an action-packed evening.

As the sun sets, the wadi comes alive with several attractions, including entertainment games and shopping stalls.

Light shows, performances

Throughout the festival, Hatta Wadi Hub will be the centre of entertainment for all ages. Anooki creatures adorned with neon lights take centre stage, turning the venue into a dazzling wonderland. Live entertainment will be a constant feature, with the soulful tunes of local artists, fire shows, LED lights shows, and performances by local Hatta groups and musicians.

Workshops, games

Children are in for a treat with many activities at the Hatta Festival. From games and an ice rink to rollerblading and slides, the excitement knows no boundaries.

Your little ones can unleash their creativity with face painting, embroidery, knitting, gardening, painting, and more by participating in the workshops.

Movie under the stars

The festival features a stunning outdoor cinema for those looking for a cinematic experience under the stars. Carnival stalls and arcade games add an extra layer of enjoyment for attendees, providing a perfect blend of nostalgia and modern entertainment.

Delectable cuisines

Experience the culinary delights of Dubai as visitors can enjoy dinner at various stalls proudly representing the scene of the city. These food stalls offer a diverse range of flavors where they can indulge in a feast of local and international dishes within the festive ambiance of the Hatta Festival.


The festival starts at 12pm to 12am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On weekdays, it starts at 4pm until 11pm.

How to reach

Residents eager to join the festival can drive to Hatta via the Sharjah-Kalba Road or opt for convenience by taking the RTA bus departing from Dubai Mall at 7am, running every two hours.


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