Construction work is under way on a Dh46 million waterfall attraction in Hatta which will be at the heart of the Dubai beauty spot's ambitious tourism drive.
The Hatta Sustainable Waterfalls Project was first announced last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, as part of a major push to promote Hatta as a leading destination.
Hatta, an exclave of Dubai high in the Hajar mountains, on the border with Oman, has been central to the UAE's world's coolest winter initiative, which aims to encourage more people to explore the Emirates.
Hatta has been named “The Highlands of Dubai” in a tourism campaign that began on Sunday.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) is overseeing the striking waterfall scheme.
The authority did not reveal when work on the project will be complete.
An upper dam's slope will be used to create the waterfall. Water will be collected at the end of the stream, recycled and pumped back into the dam.
The area will include recreational spaces and restaurants.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of Dewa, said: “Dewa is implementing pioneering projects in Hatta in line with the vision and directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for comprehensive and sustainable development all over Dubai, and to transform Hatta into a tourism and investment hub, while preserving its heritage."
"The Hatta Sustainable Waterfalls project aims to create a sustainable natural environment, in addition to developing the area and turning it into recreational spaces and a tourist attraction in the UAE.
"The idea began with creating a natural water stream aligning with Hatta’s nature. Investment opportunities abound with four oases that have coffee shops, restaurants, and children’s playgrounds, in addition to shops for selling natural honey, local products and souvenirs. The shops will be given as grants from Sheikh Mohammed to the citizens of Hatta to create additional job opportunities and meet the needs of social, economic and environmental development,”
The hexagonal beehive design of the waterfall was inspired by Hatta's status as a hub for high quality honey.
The project’s oases are linked with bridges crossing the water canal, creating a picturesque scene for visitors.
High hopes for Hatta
Images released by Dubai Media Office on Sunday highlighted some of the developments taking shape under the Hatta Master Development Plan.
These include plans for Hatta Souq, a space that will house shops selling local farm produce, cafes, restaurants and entertainment spaces.
As part of the tourism campaign, 11.5km of cycling trails have been developed, stretching from Hatta bus station to Hatta Dam.
Known for its greenery, the region’s natural landscape has been boosted by the addition of more than 13,000 indigenous trees.
Planning is also under way for the much anticipated Hatta Beach Project. Designed as a year-round tourist destination, it will be home to the Crystal Lagoon — an artificial lake with a beach area where leisure and entertainment facilities will attract travellers, along with shoreline activities and watersports.