- The visit is part of the Authority’s efforts to achieve HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to develop the Hatta region.
- Cultural tourism in Hatta and Dubai’s cultural footprint are being consolidated globally.
- The needs of the cultural and creative community in Hatta, as well as the best ways to support their aspirations, were identified and explored.
- A clear vision and a comprehensive plan for developing the region in cooperation and coordination with the relevant government entities in the emirate was established.
Dubai Culture and Arts Authority: In line with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s vision aimed at supporting Hatta’s comprehensive development plan, which was launched in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, visited Hatta to explore prospects for its cultural development.
Commenting on the visit, HE Hala Badri said: “This visit comes as part of the Authority’s efforts to promote Hatta’s local culture, in line with the tourism pillar of the ambitious development plan launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2016 that seeks to comprehensively develop Hatta. We seek to explore the best and most effective means to enhance Hatta’s presence at the local and global levels as well as to create new forums that would meet the cultural development trends of Hatta’s society. This will contribute to expanding its horizons among various cultural and creative platforms within the nation and beyond.”
Badri explained: “Our efforts would enhance Hatta’s cultural tourism and contribute to positioning the area on the regional and global cultural tourism map, strengthening, as a result, the emirate’s cultural scene, in line with the sectoral pillars of the Authority’s strategic road map that seek to consolidate Dubai’s cultural footprint on the global stage”.
During the tour, Hala Badri visited some of the most prominent archaeological and heritage sites and monuments in the Hatta region. This tour included the Hatta Heritage Village, which represents a window into Hatta’s history; the village was recently annexed under Dubai Culture’s umbrella.
Badri stressed the Authority’s principle role in activating the village with initiatives that would enhance its presence on the regional tourism agenda. She said: “Hatta village is an ideal destination for cultural-tourism enthusiasts due to its many archaeological sites and historical and heritage monuments. The Authority is developing various programmes within a vision that includes many cultural and creative projects that would contribute to advancing Hatta’s development and enhancing the customers’ experience and journey.”
Hala Badri also visited the Hatta dam on the site of a lake that represents a popular destination among kayaking enthusiasts. She praised the ‘Hatta Kayak’ project, the success story of entrepreneurs Khalfan and Ahmed Al-Badwawi, who were able to turn challenges into opportunities and attract tourists to Hatta from all over the world.
Badri continued her tour with a visit to the Hatta Honey Bee Discovery Centre, which is an educational and entertainment site that supports eco-tourism and focuses on the issue of food security and the sustainability of the bee sector in the country. Badri emphasised that this centre is yet another success story for the youth of Hatta that validates their importance in the development of the area. Emirati Manea Al Kaabi was inspired by his environment to launch his beekeeping and honey production project; he established a species of queen bees through hybridisation that would withstand the UAE’s climate.
The Director General also visited Hatta’s ancient tombs, many of which had been restored.
Hala Badri also held a session with Hatta representatives and discussed with them ways to activate the area on the cultural and creative level. The emphasis of the session was to identify ways to highlight Emirati heritage and Hatta’s customs and traditions to attract tourists from inside and outside the country as this would create job opportunities that would benefit everyone.
The session also touched on Hatta’s development needs from an infrastructure and service sector perspective that would also contribute to creating opportunities for promising talents in the area’s cultural and creative community. This is made possible by facilitating the establishment of their businesses and enabling them to develop their projects in a way that would support the growth of the regional cultural and creative industries as well as that of their economies. This would also reflect positively on other economic sectors in Dubai and while also boosting the GDP.
Badri underpinned the importance of the meeting’s outcomes, saying: “We were keen to meet with representatives of the cultural and creative community in Hatta, which constitutes an essential part in achieving the goals of our efforts. The area has promising cultural and creative economic opportunities. We will work to develop a comprehensive vision and plan of action through which we would define the next steps and mechanisms for implementing joint programmes in cooperation with our partners from other concerned government entities.