An aerial view of the Buried Village in Al Madam.

PHOTO BY @farkhshatov

UAE’s ‘Buried Village’ to become official tourist attraction

The mysterious “Buried Village” in the town of Al Madam looks set to get more footfall after the Sharjah ruler ordered funding for it to be turned into an official tourist attraction.

Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Wednesday (July 5) directed the fund allocation to preserve the Buried Village and prepare it as an attraction for visitors and tourists.

Adventurers, including vloggers, have been exploring the tiny ghost village because of its surreal setting and off-the-beaten-track experience. Locals refer to it as the “old village”, “ghost village” or “buried village” of Al Madam. The “Buried Village” consists of two rows of colourful houses and a mosque. The long-abandoned structures have been largely taken over by dunes; gradually being reclaimed by the desert.

It is thought that the settlement was likely built in the 1970s or 1980s, inhabited by the local Al Kutbi tribe, and abandoned not long afterward.

According to records, Al Madam was part of the UAE’s public housing program. It is not clear why the village was abandoned, but researchers suggest the village may have been abandoned due to a lack of infrastructure, such as water and electricity.

The buried village is located some 37 miles from Dubai and over the border of Sharjah, and can be found from Google Maps by the name “The old area of Madame.”

Currently, tour operators have begun providing trips to the Buried Village due to its growing popularity with explorers, bloggers and photographers. ICA/Expat Media

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