Dubai has mountains too! And it's in its exclave, Hatta. It's a community complete with Emirates NBD, a fire station, a clinic, library, schools, a hyper market.
Hatta has an interesting location in reference to sharing the borders with Oman. The more known road to head there is the Dubai-Hatta Road (E44) which passes both the UAE and Omani border post and back to UAE territories again.
To avoid the border post (my husband had an existing Oman entry visa he didn't want to risk) we took the Sharjah- Kalba road which takes almost twice as long (time, considering speed and terrain) as E44. At Munay, it's signposted to take right to Hatta. The road turns into a single-carriage way on a winding drive through the mountains.
It was already almost 5pm when we sprung out of Hatta's roundabout on E44 so we decided to stay at Hatta Fort Hotel for the night.
In a nutshell, the route we took was one great road trip:
1) Enjoyed a winding drive on Munay Road after Sharjah-Kalba Road
2) Stayed at Hatta Fort Hotel which is a visitors' have in itself (check my post here).
3) The Gremlins played the waters of Hatta Pools (check my post here.),
4) Trekked Hatta Pools a little further
5) Ascended the steep road to Hatta Dam's view deck (check my photos here).
6) Drove past UAE borders further to Al Shuwayhah Pools. It's the best wadi in the region we visited so far (check my post here)
7) Drove through open wadis and back to the countryside tarmac leaving Oman towards UAE borders
8) Drove by E44, or the Dubai- Hatta highway, first time.
9) Stopped by the big red dune along
We brought our passports with us, and the only time it got checked was once at the border to Hatta Pools (we returned there twice). We crossed the borders six times and on the other five, we just held up our passports and the local guards just made us pass. No stamping made.
It will be Eid next weekend and Hatta and around it is one fantastic retreat place.