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Beware the djinn

Jazirat Al Hamra, a haunted village – an undisturbed picture of life before oil.

It appears that few people these days know about Jazirat Al Hamra, the little deserted village south of Ras Al Khaimah town. It’s the ancestral home of the Zaabi family (or tribe) who left Ras Al Khaimah following an ongoing dispute with the ruler and were given housing in Abu Dhabi by Sheikh Zayed. Living in Abu Dhabi, the family still retained title to their houses, which stand today in the middle of the huge Al Hamra tourism and leisure development, surrounded by big hotels, golf courses and man-made lagoons. It’s a sort of Freej moment, the little single-story houses surrounded by towering development. It’s rumoured that everyone stays away from Jazirat Al Hamra because of the djinn.

The coastal village is a delight to wander around, old style coral and adobe houses with their rooms all leading off a central courtyard, often with a henna tree at its centre. There’s an old mosque there, its minaret a dumpy little thing in which the muezzin would stand and sing out above the rooftops.

We left before sunset fearing the djinn. :-)

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