The Deserted Village

‘Al Jazirah Al Hamra’ is a town to the south of the city of Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates. It is known for its collection of abandoned houses and other buildings, including a mosque, which are widely believed locally to be haunted.

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Photo : Arvind Madhu

The town was originally home to three tribes, who re-located to Abu Dhabi. The town, popularly called as ‘a village that always sleeps’ and ‘ghost village’, was originally a tidal island and, by 1830, was home to some 200 people mostly occupied in pearl fishing who made it a major pearl-trading-hub. The once-inhabitants of this village had been a strong contributor to the economic growth of the UAE.

Photos : Arvind Madhu

Restoration works and archaeological research are being undertaken in a fort on the outskirts of the old town and an annual heritage festival is gathering momentum.

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Photos : Arvind Madhu

Al Jazirah Al Hamra is easily accessible for Dubai/Sharjah residents. Plenty of flags and boards on the way to Ras al-Khaimah steers you straight to this wonder-site.

Directions When you come to Ras Al Khaimah from the E311, take a left at the roundabout that marks the end of the motorway. Take a right after 5.5 kilometres, after the row of shops. You will see a sign for Al Jazeerah Al Hamra Archaeological. This road is marked by flags. Turn right after 900 metres, at the sign for Al Jazeera Port. Turn left at the next sign for Al Jazeerah Al Hamra Archaeological, onto another road with flags. Turn left onto a dirt track after 200 metres. The village souq will be directly ahead of you, surrounded by a chain-link fence. The village is accessible by two-wheel-drive vehicles and the tour is focused on the market area; it’s walkable.

Courtesy : The National

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