The paper "Ghost Town of the Northern EmiratesJazirat Al Hamra, infamously known as the Red Island, is a coastal town about eighteen kilometers southwest of Ras Al Khaimah, a vintage trading Centre. The town is presently divided into new and old areas. It is a historical site among the Emirate nations. It is Called the ghost town because of its rich culture and abandoned old buildings and deserted streets. The inhabitants of the town trace their origin from the fourteenth century and are of the Za’ ab tribe. The villagers were mostly coastal fishers and divers dubbed the Hadhr. The town was once home to storekeepers, pearl fishermen, and their families.
With the pearling crisis between the 1920s and 1930s, Al Jazirat residents upped and left lured in by better government housing in the nearby village next door. Recently, parts of the Al Hamra are being partially restored, for example, the Village’ s fort. I climb its stairs cases up the roof with trepidation. “ The steps feel firm but there is a large gap between the wall and where they once had been attached” .
The two stories structure rests on wooden beams. Amid the moody decay, it would have been wonderful to have a traditional band to photograph. Sadly none were on site. However, the village is rich and full of culture alongside great historical tales. The bride’ s mosque This magnificent and beautifully built mosque solely owes its existence to the young bride of Jazirat Al Hamra. She had been married to a Saudi Arabian Prince at the time. During this pre-oil era, it was common for women to be married abroad, across the Gulf, where they later began a new life far away from their families.
The women at the time moved into more wealthier and comfortable lives but never forgot their families back home. The young bride of Jazirat Al Hamra appointed her uncle, a carpenter known by the name Yousef Al Aary, to oversee the construction of this mosque. Ali bin Ahmed Jaafar a builder from the late 1960s was also appointed to this construction job. Ali bin Ahmed Jaafar, said, “ the bride’ s mosque stood on the old shore line, where it displayed various traditional features such as a verandah, tall and thin windows overlooking the sea whilst catching the sea breeze” .
It had been constructed out of coral stones and breeze blocks. The small fishing villages like Al Hamra used these humble minarets such as the mosque as elevated platforms where they recited the call to prayer. In more recent times with the arrival of oil revenue, the taller one story skyline concrete minarets become common additions. This was necessary for the old dense Middle Eastern cities of Cairo and Damascus as it signified change to the vast crowds leaving in these urban centers.
Sadly the bride's name was lost to time but this magnificent landmark of the mosque that she funded still stands to date. It is one of the most recognizable land marks among the Emirate Nations.
Allison, A. (2011). Ghost town of the northern Emirates. Retrieved from