The Ghost Town of Jazirat Al Hamra

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Known as the ghost town of the United Arab Emirates, Jazirat Al Hamra is said to be the most haunted place in the country, with a series of spooky incidents experienced by locals and curious visitors.

The town was originally a tidal island and, by 1830, was home to some 200 people mostly occupied in pearl fishing. At the time, it was a dependency of Sharjah.

The Sheikh of Jazira Al Hamra in 1820, Rajib bin Ahmed, was one of four independent signatories to the original 1820 treaty between the Trucial States and the British, following the 1819 punitive expedition mounted against Ras Al Khaimah by the British. In the treaty, the sheikhdom was named as ‘Jourat Al Kamra’.

The Ghost Town of Jazirat Al Hamra 1

The town has also been called Jazirah Al Zaab, as it was predominantly settled by members of the Zaab (some 500 houses at the turn of the 20th century). A tidal island, it was split into two sections, the small northern quarter of Umm Awaimir and the southern Manakh. Although the Zaab had some 500 sheep and 150 cattle at the time, there were no palm groves, although the tribe tended groves at Khatt. Jazirah Al Hamrah maintained a fleet of some 25 pearling boats, the principal source of income for the tribe until the crash of the pearl market in the late 1920s.

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Following an agreement between Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Qasimi of Sharjah and Sheikh Sultan bin Salim Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah in 1914, the town became part of Ras Al Khaimah, but was often in dispute with the Ruler. This led, in 1968, to a dispute with Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah which resulted in the majority of the tribe accepting an offer from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to move to Abu Dhabi. This movement left behind an almost completely abandoned village which had housed some 2,500 people.

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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