“Guys! Let’s explore the ghost town this time”

The first thing I heard from Henz, when we planned for a photowalk. After a very long time the four of us found some time together to get out and have a good time with our cameras.

‘Let’s do it’.

I put up a suggestion of reaching the spot, early morning by around 3 am for more starry night photo opportunities and of course it is a Ghost town, so what more do we need!!

By around 3:15 am we reached the spot as shown on the map. The silence was amazingly creepy. By looking at the crippled structures in the dark we could tell; we are almost there. Couple of hours to dawn, gave us the time to explore the area in the dark, before it eventually gets lit up by the blue sky. We parked our car right in front of a mosque where the road ended. Mosque had most of its structure intact and felt as if the minarets are watches over the old town.

We picked up our photo gear and walked through the dark narrow allies of the quiet town. The visibility was not that bad; thanks to the construction work going on close to the place, but it almost spoiled the mood of being in a Ghost town and ruined our starry photographs.

We went on exploring deep inside the town with the dim lights of our mobile phones. We were accompanied by a black cat, which shied away every time we tried to photograph it, which made our quest more interesting. We avoided the main path and wandered through the narrow village alleys. It took us through some of the houses, mosques and other structures. Abandonment has taken its toll on most of the structures as they seem to be falling apart, in all directions.

As read about Jazirat al-Hamra, translates in Arabic as ‘red island’ named after the soil it was built on, was once a tidal island. The people of Jazirat Al Hamra were said to be Hadhr – coastal bedouins who earned their livelihood majorly on pearling. It used to be occupied by the Za’ab tribe since 14th century.

There has been many stories trolling around this small village and by looking at the place, no wonder why people have so many different stories to tell. This place has more history than just being tagged as ‘haunted’. It has been said that the Za’ab defended their coast against many foreign invasions, including the Portuguese and British, and rebuilt the town after a major battle.

While walking around, it’s easy to notice how these structures were built with mud and stone by incorporating the corals and sea shells into the core. The crushed shells and corals are still visible through the cracks on the crumbling walls. The interesting part is that the way these structures withstood the harsh coastal winds, blazing summer heat and the foreign invasion. Majority of the houses are rebuilt, as it seems, with stones. However, some structures have stood the test of time to tell us the great story of Jazirat Al Hamra.

When the pearl industry collapsed and the oil industry took a hike, the people moved out of the village looking for better prospects. The other stories are related to the village being haunted by ghosts. It seems to be true that the people have abandoned the village in an uncanny way.

Based on the ‘hauntedness’ for which this place has been famous for, it was in the back of my mind that something is about to happen in the darkness. Something really interesting. But it never happened!! We passed through the alleys in complete darkness stopping for taking pictures of the ruins. The only thing that came to my mind thinking about the Ghost effect we had that evening was the black cat… Not really! Naah!

There is no wonder why Photographers would love to visit this place. The signs of life can be found everywhere in this place but no living soul to be found, which makes it more interesting to visit and the story of being haunted derives prominence. We spent hours taking photographs and exploring the place. I’m not sure if anything is being done to preserve this piece of history, else it will remain a ghost town in our memories as it may perish forever.

But wait… to be honest with you all, I found some ghosts in there and I carefully captured them with my ever dependable Nikon,

Jokes apart, Jazirat Al Hamra is still ancestral homes to many and it was an honor actually to visit such a historical place. To read and understand a lot about this place and Ras Al Khaimah as a region was truly worthwhile.

43 Comments

  1. Henry G L

    Brilliant travelaouge dude…. the best narrative blog on this subject ever. Every single photo compliments each other and really give us the feel of been there, same time you beautifully finished it off explaining how safe, clean and fun it is to be there. Well done.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks dude. We all had a good time in there and I just wanted to share it with all our blog buddies. 😀

      Reply
  2. Elephant's Child

    Such ‘active ghosts’ you found, in this fascinating town. Thank you – and I am glad to see some of it before it is finally gone.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you EC. I know.. these ghosts are quite active. Glad you enjoyed. 🙂

      Reply
  3. adinparadise

    What a fascinating place to visit. Your photos are wonderful. The ghost don’t look too scary. 🙂

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Yes it is indeed, some place to visit! Glad you enjoyed my winks 🙂 Thanks Adin 😀

      Reply
  4. Ed

    Very, very cool!! Fantastic shots too..:-)

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks bro 🙂 I know you like spooky places.

      Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Sara 🙂 It was fun.

      Reply
  5. shafeels

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful narration…excellent work…seems to be you are lucky to get few stars despite of other disturbing lights around us…

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Dude 🙂 We shall keep our next challenge as star trails.. what say?!?!

      Reply
  6. shafeels

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful narration…excellent work…seems to be you are lucky to get few stars despite of other disturbing lights around us…

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Dude 🙂 We shall keep our next challenge as star trails.. what say?!?!

      Reply
  7. Julia Trevor

    Fascinating story and fantastic pictures.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Julia 🙂 I shared what I saw and heard. thanks

      Reply
  8. Julia Trevor

    Fascinating story and fantastic pictures.

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thanks Julia 🙂 I shared what I saw and heard. thanks

      Reply
  9. Dancing Leaves

    What a narration! And such wonderfully captured pics. I think this is the best link to look up in Google for info on the ghost town. Awesome job!!

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you DL 😀 You guys are keeping me on the toes and making me want more winks every time.

      Reply
  10. Dancing Leaves

    What a narration! And such wonderfully captured pics. I think this is the best link to look up in Google for info on the ghost town. Awesome job!!

    Reply
    • WildBlack

      Thank you DL 😀 You guys are keeping me on the toes and making me want more winks every time.

      Reply
    • WildBlack

      Hi Joy,
      Thanks 🙂 It is not a copy but inspired by Nadia Masood. The whole trip was inspired by her travelogue and I couldn’t find better words to put them in writing in certain areas. A big thanks to her 🙂

      Hope you would read my other travelogues, inspired by my own experiences and find it enjoyable 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
    • WildBlack

      Hi Joy,
      Thanks 🙂 It is not a copy but inspired by Nadia Masood. The whole trip was inspired by her travelogue and I couldn’t find better words to put them in writing in certain areas. A big thanks to her 🙂

      Hope you would read my other travelogues, inspired by my own experiences and find it enjoyable 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

      Reply
  11. Daniel Ray

    I really enjoyed the way it has been put up! Excellent photographs and very inspiring travelogue.
    Thanks for Sharing 🙂

    Reply
  12. Daniel Ray

    I really enjoyed the way it has been put up! Excellent photographs and very inspiring travelogue.
    Thanks for Sharing 🙂

    Reply
  13. Jenny Valder

    Great work once again. Thoroughly enjoyed just like your other travelogues.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thanks Jenny 🙂 I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  14. Jenny Valder

    Great work once again. Thoroughly enjoyed just like your other travelogues.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Thanks Jenny 🙂 I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  15. Dan

    November 26, 2013. I went to this place, I am feel so excited when I reach this place after long journey, but unlucky me there is any restriction for photography in this area. You just can take a picture with a mobile camera and not allowed for DSLR camera or any professional camera.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Ohh really!! It seems to be a recent development.

      Reply
  16. Dan

    November 26, 2013. I went to this place, I am feel so excited when I reach this place after long journey, but unlucky me there is any restriction for photography in this area. You just can take a picture with a mobile camera and not allowed for DSLR camera or any professional camera.

    Reply
    • Nivin Kadar

      Ohh really!! It seems to be a recent development.

      Reply

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