The UAE is turning mountainous spot into a new eco-tourism destination

A mountainous getaway in the United Arab Emirates is aiming to be a youth-focused eco-tourist destination, complete with glamping and a massive sign similar to the one in Hollywood.

Lake between mountains at Hatta Dam, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image by ©clicksbyabrar/Getty Images

The development company Meraas has announced its plan to turn the already popular outdoor area of Hatta into an eco-tourism destination. Located in the Hajar Mountains, the region is an exclave of the Emirate of Dubai. It is already popular with those who enjoy the outdoors, as it is famous for its mountains, lakes and wadis that bring in travellers who love mountain biking, hiking and kayaking. Only an hour-and-a-half drive away from the glitz and glamour of the city of Dubai, the area is positioning itself for a tourism boost.

There are plans for a new glamping site. Image by Meeras

There will be a number of projects hoped to bring in more visitors to the region over the next 10 years. In addition to promoting the outdoor activities, they are also hoping to draw visitors to historical, social and cultural sites. One of the first projects will be giant letters spelling “Hatta” about 450 metres up the Hajar Mountains, similar to California’s famous Hollywood sign. The company will also open an adventure centre and interactive tourism information hub to help travellers meet with tour guides and learn about the people of Hatta.

The plans for an eco site in Hatta. Image by Meraas

There are also plans to open mountain lodges that offer up incredible views of the mountains, and a trailer hotel where guests can go glamping in the mountain range. According to the company “developments are being kept away from local residential areas to preserve the privacy and lifestyle of the people of Hatta.”

The plan comes a year after the completion of the first phase of the Hatta Hiking Project, a trail that links a number of tourist attractions in the area.

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