If you are looking for ways to kill time during the winter break, then you have the perfect excuse to leave the town behind and pop over to the Hatta Festival in the mountains. The brand new free event opened its gate on 15th December offering tons of activities and entertainment for people of all ages.

Scroll down and learn more about location, entry, and activities!

You might also like to read: 6 Christmas Markets in Dubai That You Must Visit This Festive Season

A Quick Overview of Hatta Festival 2023

Located amongst the Hajar Mountains, Hatta Valley has long been a favorite spot for UAE residents who seek refuge from the busy urban life. The calm and soothing surroundings and cool temperatures make it a preferable holiday spot for tourists and residents looking for a serene atmosphere.

If you haven’t been to Hatta yet, now can be the perfect time to visit the destination for all the right reasons. Hatta Festival 2023 has officially kicked off with much oomph and splendor. It’s not just a festival but a perfect opportunity to immerse in the local culture and spend quality time with those you love.

The free-to-attend festival is attracting tourists and residents from all over the country. The free event that started on December 15th will last for 17 days till 31st December and has a lot of activities and attractions for the attendees.

This two-week-long event can be a perfect way to kill time during the winter break and take a fresh breath of air amid the mountains. While the festival is planned across two destinations i.e. Hatta Wadi Hub and Leem Park, most of the action will be happening in the Hatta Wadi Hub.

To top it off, the Hatta Fort will be all decked up in bright-hued colors throughout the event. The streets and adjoining areas have also been adorned with pretty décor and shimmery lights creating an ideal ambiance for the visitors.

There is a wide range of activities, games, shows, and entertainment for people of all ages including mesmerizing fireworks all set to grace the skies every weekend until December 30th. The fireworks display will begin at 8 pm from 15th to 17th December, 22nd to 24th December, and 29th to 30th December.

Free Entry:

Hatta Festival 2023 is a free event and anyone can attend without having to purchase any ticket. You would have to pay for the food and activities as per your personal choice.

The Festival is open to attend on Monday to Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm.

Hatta Festival: Things to Do

Family-Friendly Attractions and Activities

Scores of tourists and residents from UAE and Oman have been flocking over to the Hatta Festival to enjoy the festivities and make lasting memories. There is something for everyone including entertainment shows, musical performances, games, fun activities, food, and firework displays. Kids on the winter break can have a time of their lives and indulge in a variety of interactive games.

As it’s officially the winter season in UAE, the weather is ideal for spending time outdoors, and what better than soaking in serene vibes and cool mountain air? You can plan on coming early in the morning and spending the day doing activities and trying out local food prepared fresh in the mountains.

There are a lot of family-friendly spots to visit on the hills and designated areas for families to gather and grill food. The authorities have also set up restrooms to allow visitors to spend quality time while maintaining hygiene.

The festival comes to life during the evening when lights start to light up the attractions and adjoining streets. Shopping stalls start to pop up attracting visitors to indulge in some retail therapy and embark on a gastronomic journey.

The weather in the region fluctuates between 17 C and 24 C and is the perfect weather to plan a fun family day out in the mountains.

Entertainment Shows and Performances

Hatta Festival will be hosting several entertainment activities and shows for people of all ages. The popular Anooki creatures decked up with bright lights are the highlight of the festival. The Anooki Duo will be making an appearance at the festival allowing visitors to snap pictures with the inflatable creatures.

Live entertainment shows, musical performances, fireworks, and light shows will be gracing the festival to keep the visitors hooked. A lot of local artists and musical groups will be performing at the event so keep an eye on the dates to catch up on all the fun.

Leem Park along with the Hatta Wadi Hub will turn into an ultimate entertainment destination featuring light shows, dance performances, and traditional winter activities for everyone.

Pop-up Food Stalls and Restaurants at Hatta Festival

Dubai foodies will be spoilt for choice at the Hatta Festival. There will be a lot of local eateries setting up food stalls serving delicious Emirati delicacies. You can try new flavors and taste a variety of dishes from different parts of the world. Saddle, GOAT, La Maison Ani, and Home Bakery are some of the many restaurants setting up stalls at the festival.

There is a fresh fruits kiosk in the Hatta Wadi Hub which will be serving fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes, juices, and other treats to keep you energized throughout your escapade. You will find many fruits local to the Hatta region and can bring home some to devour later.

Besides the food trucks and stalls, there will be a lot of local retailers and shops displaying their merchandise at the festival. The market section will also feature “Proudly from Dubai Market” which will showcase items and products from more than 30 local and home-grown businesses.

Visitors will get the opportunity to get their hands on traditional locally made products, artisanal goods, and souvenirs at best-priced rates.

Games, Workshops, and Fun Activities

A lot of workshops, fun activities, and games have been lined up for small and big kids at the Hatta Festival. An ice rink has been set up for rollerblading and slides. Padel tennis, car parade, zip-lining, indoor cycling, and ice skating are among the many games available to play at the site.

There will be workshops and classes for enthusiastic learners who want to try out new adventurous sports. There will also be a photography workshop in collaboration with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards. There will also be a competition where prizes will be handed over to those with the best-captured videos and photos.

Kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining can be the perfect recreational activities for adults. Those interested in overnight camping can book camping spaces and caravans. While the event itself is free to attend, you would have to pay for each activity.

Location of the Hatta Festival

Hatta festival is part of the 3rd edition of the Dubai Destinations Winter Campaign. The free event will be taking place in Hatta Wadi and the newly opened Leem Lake. Hatta is located on the eastern side of Dubai and is just an hour’s drive from the city center. The destination is popular for its cool temperatures, scenic landscapes, calm atmosphere, and luscious greenery.

Leem Lake is a three-hectare newly opened lake in Hatta which along with Hatta Wadi Hub will also be hosting many recreational activities and experiences for the visitors. Not only this, but the scenic sunsets along the lake are the focal point where you can gather with family and friends to enjoy the beautiful weather and landscapes.

How to get to Hatta Festival?

For those going by car, Leem Lake is easily accessible via E44 highway aka Dubai-Hatta road. When heading out from Dubai, keep the car on E-44 and once you enter Hatta, take the very first exit from the Fort Roundabout. Popular landmarks near the destination include Hatta Public Library, Wadi Hatta Park, and Hatta Wadi Hub.

Those going on the bus can take the Hatta Express Bus (HO2). It’s a daily bus service operated by RTA daily to allow Dubai residents to commute to and from Hatta with ease. The bus operates from Dubai Mall station and drives all the way to Hatta Main Bus Station. Once you reach Hatta by H02 bus, you can then take the H04 bus to reach Leem Lake.

The route to Hatta from Dubai is easy to navigate and offers stunning scenic views of mountains and deserts along the way.

Bottom Line:

If you are tired of visiting the malls and parks, head over to Hatta Festival to take a break from the monotonous urban life. This can be a perfect opportunity to spend quality family time amidst scenic mountains and a calm atmosphere. The best part is that the festival is free to attend and anyone can join.

Also read: 6 Free Places That Feel Like Europe in Dubai


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