Kayaking at Hatta dam has always been my short weekend getaway, especially whenever I have visitors over. Hatta dam is not only scenic, and a great place for safe Kayaking, but also a great drive to reach there.

This mountainous road is definitely one of the most beautiful drives in the UAE, it is indeed the cherry on top of your kayaking experience.

What is kayaking:

Skip this section if you know what kayaking is.

Kayaking has different forms for different purposes and different types of water.

  • Sit-on-top kayaks are usually used for leisure trips (fishing, camping…) on calm water.
  • Sit-inside kayaks are like sit-on-top kayaks but with the option to stay dry thanks to the outer skirt.
  • Whitewater kayaks are used for racing in rivers.
  • Sea kayaks are used for ocean/sea racing.
  • Hybrid (canoe) kayaks are slow and used for fishing, family, camping in calm water.

Kayaking at Hatta

I have made it a habit to go kayaking at Hatta dam whenever I face an unplanned weekend and it is the warm season. I often hit the road around 6am, and within 2 hour drive (yes, I am a slow driver) I find myself renting kayaks at the dam.

Not long ago, a tour operator took over the dam and offered to rent out kayaks, pedal boats, water bikes, and all other sorts of water floaters… I believe the rates are super cheap for the value and experience you get out of being there. Check their site for more info

Hatta dam (as per my Garmin watch), is about 4.5km loop, with few side passages that add stunning landscape to your experience. The place is made family friendly, so I highly suggest taking your kids there and have them go through such kayaking experience. But make sure they were a life jacket.

Extra stuff:

    • You can rent out kayaks from a few shops around the UAE. But you have to pre-arrange the pickups and availability. My choice of renting kayaks always goes to Global Climbing (and no they do not pay me to advertise their shop).
    • If you are a couple, I recommend going for a double seater kayak, it is fun.
    • Feel free to take whatever games/toys you want, make it fun as long as you leave no trace behind.
    • For more Kayaking adventures, you probably should try kayaking between UAE’s remote islands and kayaking in the heart of Abu Dhabi

Red Tape:

  • Hydrate well and have some sun protection.
  • I have heard there are oil refineries (or some sort) which you should not come close to. So if you see a fenced area, stay away and do NOT take photos.
  • Some of the islands around are privately owned, so stay away from them unless you were invited.
  • If you get seasick, or have problems with motion sickness, make sure you have some meds.
  • Do not litter the sea. Take all your garbage with you. If you find plastic in the water, please pick it up.
  • Respect the mangroves, and don’t do any harm to the plantations.
  • Keep the life jacket on you if you do not know how to swim.
  • Make sure you have all your belongings in waterproof bags or drum barrels.
  • Watch out from driving on soft sand and mud. Getting your car stuck there could be painful.

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