The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

We’re back with the fourth edition of The Huntr Road Trip Series and this time, we’re taking you house-hunting in Sharjah’s Al Madam desert at the ‘Buried Village’…

Just an hour away from Downtown Dubai, through the E66 Dubai-Al Ain Road, followed by E77 Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road and past the E44 Dubai-Hatta exit to Sharjah, lies the ‘The Buried Village‘ or ‘The Ghost Town of Madam‘. This cluster of houses accompanied by a mosque is part of a decades-old development project, which was built by and for a local tribe and has been long abandoned for unknown reasons.

The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

Some blame this on poor architectural planning and the harsh desert climate and some factor in other mysterious reasons, which we will leave to your imagination. The latter certainly adds to the charm…

The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

Either way, a completely and utterly unique experience is guaranteed. The muted colour palette of the buildings perfectly complements the stunning desert landscape and the sweeping dunes of the Madam desert. It’s one of the most interesting places to take pictures in the UAE.

The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

Plus, whilst Al Madam is certainly packed with photo ops, it is also so much more. The electric boxes, scriptures on the walls and decorative tiling details are remnants of what was once someone’s home and also perfect fodder for the imagination.

The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

This once abandoned village engulfed by dunes and the peaceful silence that is unique to the desert, makes for an immersive yet surreal experience of local history. The Huntr wholeheartedly recommends adding this to your hitlist next time you fancy stepping out on an adventure and the bonus is – it’s completely free…

The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
Google Maps location of the abandoned village

THE HUNTR’S QUICK TIPS

  1. Before any drive, remember to fuel up. You won’t be spotting too many gas stations on the outskirts as frequently as you do within the main city.
  2. Watch out for speed limits.
  3. There is nothing at the site apart from the abandoned houses, so you should pack your own refreshments and prepare yourself for a washroom-free exploration.
  4. Wear suitable clothing and footwear for desert walking.
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam
The Huntr Road Trip Series: Take a tour of the mysterious Ghost Town of Al Madam

THE GHOST VILLAGE, MADAM OVERVIEW

Distance | Approx 72.8 km from Dubai
Time Duration |1 hour drive
Best time to get there | Sunset or sunrise for the best lighting for photography (also for the cooler climate)


Photography and words by Shama Nair exclusively for The Huntr