The town of Hatta is to be transformed into a major tourism destination, with an inland beach, lake and cable-driven mountain railway.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the latest vision for the town on Saturday.
Hatta, near the border with Oman, has in recent years been transformed into an adventure getaway, with mountain biking and kayaking popular activities.
Now it will be the subject of major investment to turn it into an even bigger destination for residents and tourists.
“Today, we launched a comprehensive development plan in Hatta, which includes the construction of a beach and a new lake, and transport systems for the mountain slopes – a funicular [cable railway]," he said, “and the longest mountain walk in the Emirates".
In addition, there will be new “hotel facilities, and 120 kilometres of bicycle paths … we have approved a permanent committee to oversee the development of Hatta,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
The projects were unveiled as part of a 20-year Hatta Master Development Plan, which forms an integral part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, launched earlier this year.
A major part of the plan will develop Hatta Beach Project, a year-round tourist destination, while at the same time conserving the heritage and natural environment of the area.
The plan will develop a mountainside health resort and the first tourist funicular system of its kind in the region that will transport visitors to the dam site.
Public transport services to Hatta will be improved, with a new bus service that includes a compartment for bicycles and scooters. It envisages a new ride-sharing service and the provision of an on-demand bus service that will allow visitors to tour various heritage sites.
As well as the 120km network that will connecting key attractions and residential areas, the plan also includes the construction of the longest mountain bike track in the UAE, capable of hosting international competitions and events.
The plan will help young entrepreneurs in the locality to implement projects and creative ideas.
Hatta, high in the Hajar Mountains, has an oasis feel, with temperatures often cooler and with less humidity than the cities of Dubai and Sharjah.