Al Madam Sharjah
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramazan/Gulf News

Located east of the town of Al Madam, the ‘Buried Village’ as it is locally known, is just a 10-minute drive from the central square of Al Madam, in the direction of Al Ain.

Don’t worry though, Google Maps will lead you straight to it when you type in ‘Buried Village’. However, your car would need to be a sturdy four-wheel-drive to tackle the last bit heading in to the village.

Lost in the sand

Sonia Shah, Video Editor

The village consists of two rows of bleached white houses and a mosque among the surrounding sand dunes. As you enter the village, you can immediately see that the desert has claimed the village. Most of the buildings have sand over and in them.

The quiet desert, the abandoned buildings and half-covered village is spooky enough to give you goosebumps while there. People who visit report feeling instantly disoriented by the silence in the area. After the hustle and bustle of the city, the silence is almost eerie, visitors report. But how did the town end up this way?

The abandoned village outside the town of Al Madam. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Local myths claim either jinn (supernatural creatures that Muslims believe exist in this world but not visible to human eyes; the creatures are also mentioned in the Quran) or the inhospitable desert, or a combination of both. 

An abandoned house half covered by sand in the village outside the town of Al Madam. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News


The village, according to locals, was once inhabited by Al Kutbi tribe, one of the three prominent tribes residing in and around Al Madam, a small town governed by Sharjah emirate.

The village was reportedly built in the 70s as part of a housing project. However, it is assumed based on some residents’ accounts reported later that the town was abandoned as

The first time Gulf News visited the now popular village, youngsters from Al Shuwaib, a neighbouring town were also not sure about the reasons for the abandonment.

The small village outside the town of Al Madam in Sharjah is home to jinns as the local legend goes. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

“The sand here is really inhospitable. What we know from our elders is that this place was built for Al Kutbi tribe, but they abandoned it after living here for some time. People say there is something in the sand here, it invades the houses. Whether it is the nature of the sand or there is something more to it, we don’t know,” Ayub Al Kaabi, a resident of Al Shuwaib, said to Gulf News at that time.

Despite all this, the village remains a great attraction to visit if you’re in the UAE.

How to get there

If you don’t already have a 4-wheel drive, we suggest you rent one for your party when heading to the village as the last bit of the trip is through the desert. From the Dubai International Airport (DXB), it will take around one hour by road to the village on the E44 (Dubai-Hatta road). And you don’t have to pay anything to visit, just the cost of transport to get there.