OverviewHatta Crag is very popular because of it’s close proximity to Dubai. The crag itself is located in Oman near a stone marble quarry. The crag is composed of limestone and has an excellent selection of large holds that have been eroded into impossible shapes. The limestone can be extremely abrasive and sharp in places. Most of the routes are a short 9 to 30 meters (sport & trad). Hatta Crag has many overhanging problems as well as some decent slab routes. Many of the routes start with large holds then finish with a crisp slab. The crag also offers several good trad routes from chimneys, to cracks, to face climbs. Over all Hatta Crag has something for everyone.
Getting ThereFrom Dubai take road E44 toward Hatta. The drive takes approximately one to one and a half hours.
It is also possible to bypass the stone quarry altogether by going left at the fork in the road. This road is a little rougher and not as easy to follow. Just contour your way around keeping the mountain on your right if you choose this route.
Red TapeThe crag is physically in Oman and there is one boarder checkpoint to cross. Until recently (Jan 2011) you did not need a passport. In Jan 2011 we were turned around because we didn't have one. Be sure to bring a passport for everyone in the car. There is no fee or need to get a visa if you are only going to the crag. You do not even need to get out of the car. The boarder-post is on the main road and only takes a few minutes to cross. If you plan on driving further, to the town of Hatta, you will have to pass through a second checkpoint which is further down the road past the crag. At the second checkpoint there are additional formalities (i.e. paperwork and visas).
The dirt road used to access the crag tracks through private property (the stone quarry) so be respectful as to preserve this privilege. There are a few laborers that live out here full-time and you will drive near by there accommodations.
When to climbThe wall is primarily north-facing, making it cooler throughout the day. The sun is on the face for only a few hours in
Some people do climb throughout the summer months. It is HOT but doable. I prefer the afternoon in the summer. The early morning (sunrise) is good but you may only get in a few routes before the sun hits and the temperature climbs quickly. In the afternoon the temperature is warmer than in the morning, but the entire crag is in shade. Bring plenty of water, and a headlamp is useful if you plan to climb till sunset.
CampingThere is camping available anywhere at the base of the crag. The ground is flat and rocky. There are a few trees around, but no fire wood. If you don't need all the amenities of "car camping" you could hang a hammock or just bivouac up at the foot of the crag.
Emergency contactU.A.E. & Oman police: 999
Hatta police Station: 04 852 1111
External LinksUAE Rock Climbing by Toby Foord-Kelsey (2009) is a well-prepared, selective guidebook to climbing in the UAE and Oman.
www.redarmadapublishing.comsupports the guidebook with a blog, new route updates and an archive of routes not included in the guidebook.
www.uaeclimbing.com/forum is a web forum for UAE climbers.