Hatta Dam

Top choice in United Arab Emirates

Snuggled between craggy mountain peaks which tumble straight down to the shore, this reservoir, built in the 1990s, is the main reason for a Hatta trip. The vast expanse of motionless turquoise water set against such a barren, rocky environment evokes an eerie mirage quality that's only broken by the hoots and laughter of kayakers soaking up the Hajar Mountains scenery as they paddle.

On the road up to the main viewpoint and car park, the dam wall has been painted with a mammoth mural of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid, founders of the nation. From the viewpoint, a short dirt track leads down to the shore where Hatta Kayak hires out kayaks. Free lockers, to store your bags while you take to the water, are provided at the kiosk. Swimming is not allowed.

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