Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, visited Hatta on Sunday to review progress being made on an ambitious master plan aimed at transforming the area into a major tourist attraction.
Sheikh Ahmed was briefed on developments taking shape under the Hatta Master Development Plan, set out by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
He learnt of the successes of key archaeological sites in the beauty spot, hospital expansion plans and the construction of a hydroelectric power plant, which is a first for the region, state news agency Wam reported.
He was told of efforts to ease access to and from the town through the Hatta Border Crossing, which handles 350,000 travellers each month.
The tour also took in Hatta Heritage Village and Sharia Farms, which contain the oldest documented charitable endowment in the history of the UAE, dating back 130 years.
Sheikh Ahmed said the Hatta scheme was integral to Dubai's wider development goals and commended the work of all involved in the wide-ranging plans.
Bright future for Hatta
In October 2021, Sheikh Mohammed unveiled a bold vision for Hatta.
There are plans to build a beach, a new lake, a cable railway, several hotels, and 120km of bicycle paths.
In January 2022, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, issued orders to form a supreme committee to oversee the mega project.
The Hatta Master Development Plan, part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, sets out to draw further tourism, business and investment to the area.
Hatta, near the border with Oman, has already become an adventure getaway, with mountain biking and kayaking popular activities.
Sheikh Ahmed later visited a private school in Hatta which serves 500 pupils.
He also inspected Hatta Dam, where he was told of building work on a huge hydroelectric power plant.
The station is planned for completion towards the end of 2024 and will have a production capacity of 250 megawatts. One megawatt can typically power 500 to 1,000 homes for a year.
It is expected to have a storage capacity of 1,500 megawatt hours and a lifespan of up to 80 years.
Sheikh Ahmed was joined on the official tour by Mattar Al Tayer, Dubai’s chairman of the Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta; Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; Maj Gen Mohammed Al Marri, director general of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai; Dawood Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality; Dr Amer Sharif, chief executive of the Dubai Academic Health Corporation, and other senior officials.