Situated just across the Unied Arab Emirates’ eastern border in Oman, the Hatta Rock Pools are spring-fed pools that flow through the rock passageways of the Hajar Mountains.
Visitors come here to escape Dubai’s urban crowds, swim in the turquoise waters, and enjoy picnics amid stunning scenery and cooler mountain climates. The Basics
The Hatta Rock Pools are a series of natural pools where it’s possible to swim between the walls of rock crevices. In the deepest waters, swimmers can watch fish in the depths and, at one pool, bathe in a small waterfall. Picnickers can relax on the rock ledges while savoring the tranquility and gorgeous scenery.
The Hatta Rock Pools are a popular stop on Hajar Mountain trips from Dubai, which usually include time to swim or simply admire the aqueous setting. Many Hajar Mountains tours also include visits to the town of Hatta and Hatta Heritage Village, an open-air museum that honors bygone local life. Other activities en route to Hatta can include 4WD dune bashes in the Dubai desert.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Hatta Rock Pools are ideal for nature buffs, families, swimmers, and photographers.
- If you want to swim, pack a bathing suit, towel, and plenty of sunscreen.
- Wear wet shoes or footwear with a good grip, whether you’re swimming or not—the smooth rocks can get slippery.
- Bring your passport—you will likely need it to travel into Oman.
- Restrooms and shaded barbecue areas are available nearby.
How to Get There
Unless you’re a UAE or Omani resident, traveling independently to the Hatta Rock Pools from Dubai is near-impossible; you’ll most probably be refused entry at the UAE-Oman border. As a result, your best—and probably only—option for swimming in the pools is to join a tour where the organizers already have permission to visit the area.
When to Get There
The pools are at their best during the UAE winter—from November to April—when they’re at their deepest. That said, the Hajar Mountains get more rain than the western UAE, so visiting after a day of rain in the early fall or late spring may also be worthwhile. Watch for Wildlife
Keep an eye out for the fish that swim in some of the deeper pools—they favor the shade of rock overhangs. Frogs, too, can sometimes be seen sheltering under the rock ledges. Sightings are rare—and more likely after it rains.