A few kilometers southwest of the small town of Al Madam, along the old road from Dubai to Hattu, is an abandoned settlement. This place was once home to the people of the Al Kutbi tribe, one of the indigenous peoples in the vicinity of Al Madam. For an unspecified reason, the residents left their homes about ten years ago. According to the legends, the evil spirits of the genies forced the people to leave.
In Arabic and Muslim culture, the Jinn is a supernatural creature from the underworld. However, genies are not always evil. Everyone knows that it was the genie who helped the poor tailor’s son Aladdin defeat the evil sorcerer, gain wealth and become a prince in one of the most popular Arabic fairy tales about the Magic Lamp. Many people continue to believe that something otherworldly happened in Al Madam. But in fact, the reason for everything is the lifeless sands of the desert, life on which is extremely difficult.
The village consisted of two nearby houses of the same type and a mosque on the outskirts. According to historians, the dwellings were built in the late 1970s and 1980s as part of a project to provide housing for the indigenous population. The quality of construction was extremely high, because the houses have been preserved in excellent condition to this day. But they failed to cope with the onslaught of the desert sands. Room by room, house by house, the sands filled the houses from floor to ceiling. It was the sand, not the evil spirits, that forced the residents to leave, turning Al Madam into a ghost town.
The sand in these places is extremely inhospitable. It easily invades houses through the smallest cracks and fills everything around. The ghost town of Al Madam is located about 60 km from the city of Dubai and 50 km from Sharjah. This abandoned village is known as the “old city” of Al Madam. Today it is a popular attraction in Dubai for tourists and Instagrammers.