Sheikh Mohammed tours Hatta as part of domestic tourism push

The Ruler of Dubai was pictured in the emirate's adventure playground, which boasts kayaking, mountain bike tracks and camping sites

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has been pictured enjoying the sights in Hatta.

The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE visited the area on Friday as part of a campaign to encourage residents and Emiratis to holiday at home.

The 45-day "world's coolest winter" campaign aims to get more people out exploring the country in the next few months.

It invites people to visit tourist attractions that make each of the seven emirates special and contribute to the UAE as one destination.

Hatta, which features heavily in the campaign, is an exclave of Dubai that is located high in the Hajar mountains on the border with Oman.

The Ruler of Dubai can be seen walking, biking and taking in scenery such as the turquoise coloured lake formed by the Hatta Dam.

“From my Hatta trip today,” wrote Sheikh Mohammed as he shared the images on Twitter.

“Tourism is an important pillar and support for the nation. Exploring the homeland helps in discovering its identity, roots, ancestors, and the limits within which a person can reach in his homeland.”

The images were accompanied by a video of Sheikh Mohammed exploring Hatta.

In July, Dubai became the first emirate, and one of the first destinations globally, to reopen to tourism following the Covid-19 outbreak.

Abu Dhabi reopened to tourism more recently, but its hotels were busier in July compared to the same period last year, despite not having any visitors from overseas, due to staycations.

By the third quarter, hotels in Abu Dhabi had recorded a 46 per cent surge in revenue, according to authorities.

The "world's coolest winter" campaign aims to build on the trend to holiday at home by doubling the annual Dh41.2 billion ($11.2bn) spent on domestic tourism and encourage staycations by 2030.

A video posted by Sheikh Mohammed to social media at the launch of the push showcased the breadth of activities available across the country, from boating to hiking to dune-bashing.

"We ... launched a unified tourism identity to promote the UAE as a single tourist destination that shares the same national economy and provides equal opportunities for UAE youth," said Sheikh Mohammed.

"Working as a single Emirati team in the tourism sector will have good effects on all regions and strengthen our global reputation as one destination, diverse and rich."