Camping with Kids

Hatta Wadi Hub - Activity Camping

Don’t get me wrong, I love remote camping spots with sunsets, and sunrises and all that sand, but I also rather like someone (or something) else doing some of the heavy lifting in the entertaining-the-kids department and (call me old-fashioned) I am rather fond of feeling clean at least once a day.

If you’re nodding and smiling in agreement with this, look no further than Hatta Wadi Hub!

Arrival and Setup. Checking in is like a hotel, you need to show everyone’s Emirates IDs, sign something and then you will be shown to your pitch. They also have motorhomes and dome tents on site which you can book if you don’t fancy lugging your own canvas about, and after attempting for little while to bang pegs into the impenetrable stony ground I was about to give up and go looking for an upgrade, when the bright idea of using the environment crept into my mind - so with the aid of a couple of large, heavy picnic tables from the site used as anchors the tent was up in no time.

Activities. The obvious choice after all that messing about with the tent was to cool off in the water. The water in this case being the drop-in slides. This is fun for the whole family and when you’ve got a little confidence up with the smaller runs, the longer, higher slides become a little less daunting. You have to wear an impact-vest and a helmet for safety and the staff are courteous but firm with their instructions. The 10 year-olds were on the big-boy slides more times than I dare think about and even us old duffers had a few inelegant goes. You get 90 minutes for the price, which flew by, but it wasn’t busy and luckily the staff were in no hurry to move us on. We chilled in the adjacent pool once everyone had their fill of adrenaline for the day, before heading back to camp to get the BBQs lit.

Cooking. Each site comes with a BBQ station, including a study metal grill BBQ - you need to bring your own charcoal and lighters. We had a couple of the BBQs on the go to feed everyone and what an awesome feast we had as the sun set. The kids set off after dark with their torches to play in the on-site play park, then returned just in time for marshmallows on the open fire, before finally turning in.

Sunrise. Camping usually involves waking (being woken?) at dawn especially when there are kids involved and this was no exception. But what a lovely dawn it was! The air was cool, and the sun itself just poking above the distant mountains. We had thought about going for an early ride on rented mountain bikes, but the kids opted for a go on the assault course instead – lots of fun, but hot. Being from Nottingham, I have a self-proclaimed natural affinity with the bow and arrow, so then followed a highly competitive archery session with me and a bunch of kids fighting for supremacy and I’m glad to say I came out on top, just - to the bemusement of the other adults watching from a safe distance.

There are plenty of other activities to do here from hiking and biking on an extensive trail network to zorbing and axe-throwing. The café is well-stocked with sweet treats, cold drinks and decent fresh coffee, and in the same building you have the bike hire, main reception and shower rooms, which are some of the cleanest camp site facilities I’ve seen - spotless!

I would highly recommend Hatta Wadi Hub for a family adventure holiday.

We paid AED199 for the camp site for the night and the activities have varying additional costs.

Note that the nearby Hatta Dam is currently (Nov 2021) closed so there’s no kayaking there at the moment, so check before you go.


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