Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has unveiled more details of the emirate's plans to develop Hatta as a tourism destination.
The designs include a 5.4-kilometre cable car, a sustainable waterfall attraction, an international hotel and new hiking tracks up to Jabal Umm Al Nusour – Dubai's highest peak at 1,300 metres.
There are also plans to build 200 holiday homes to support domestic tourism.
Hatta is an exclave of Dubai located high in the Hajar mountains, on the border with Oman.
Sheikh Mohammed first announced these tourism plans for the area in 2020, when he launched the World's Coolest Winter campaign.
This initiative aimed to get more people out exploring the Emirates, at a time when international travel was difficult because of global Covid-19 restrictions.
The development programme in Hatta first started in 2016, and tourist numbers have increased from 60,000 then, to one million by 2020, Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
“The new projects of the Dubai Electricity Authority (Dewa) will provide 500 jobs for the youth of Hatta, and the new holiday homes will provide an annual income of more than Dh100 million ($27.2m) for the people of the region,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“A decent life for our citizens will remain our goal in all our projects.”
In 2019, Dewa commissioned a consortium of companies to build a Dh1.4bn hydroelectric power station in Hatta, which will use water from the dam to generate electricity.
Turbines will use power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to pump water from the dam to the upper reservoir.
Since 2020, tourism in the UAE has surged. The Emirates Tourism Council announced hotel occupancy rose to 62 per cent in the UAE during the first six months of 2021, up from 53.6 per cent reported during the same period in 2020.
Revenue also jumped more than 31 per cent as hotels earned Dh11.3 billion ($3.08bn) compared to Dh8.6bn recorded over the same period a year earlier.