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Tue 22 Jan 2019 02:16 PM

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Dubai ruler orders Hatta tourism projects to be fast-tracked

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum keen to speed up plan to turn Hatta into a key tourism and investment hub

Dubai ruler orders Hatta tourism projects to be fast-tracked
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on walkabout in Hatta.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered government entities to speed up the execution of projects related to Hatta’s comprehensive development plan.

The plan seeks to turn Hatta into a key tourism and investment hub, with Meraas Holding behind projects to position the mountainous area as a global destination for eco-tourism.

During his visit to Hatta, Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of giving priority to service, environmental and heritage-related projects, given its significance in preserving the national identity and heritage.

A 10-year Hatta Development plan is already starting to take shape, with Airstream-style trailer accommodation and lodges opening recently in the Hajar Mountains, 115km from Dubai.

A big part of the eco-tourism drive is glamping, a term coined due to the more lavish facilities on offer than on the standard camping trip.

Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, director-general of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai.

He was briefed about the various projects being executed in the area, and reviewed the map of projects that are being developed by Meraas Holding.

He was also briefed about the projects developed jointly between Dubai Municipality and Meraas, which aims to rehabilitate and develop the environmental aspects of Hatta, as it is a key for the development of tourism sector and preserving the heritage aspect of the area.

In November, Meraas opened the Hatta Wadi Hub to offer adventure experiences, inviting visitors from UAE and beyond to rediscover the region’s breath-taking landscape, its mountains and waters.

The Hatta Wadi Hub features a coaching centre and activities such as mountain biking and Hatta Drop-in, Asia’s first water jump park plus a glamping experience at the Hatta Damani Lodges.

Meraas has also unveil plans for Riad Hatta, a new boutique hotel, currently in design stage and is also collaborating with Dubai Municipality on several projects to redevelop the old heritage village and adding new stores to support Emirati entrepreneurs. There are also plans for a majlis which will be a meeting point for senior Emiratis from Hatta.

Another highlight is Hatta Zorbing, a specialised zorbing centre for adults and kids where riders roll downhill inside a giant transparent orb.

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