Jazirat al-Hamra

Published 18 Jan 2017


This is a description of the traditional setting of Jazirat Al-Hamra and its structural buildings. Its people and the abundant natural resources present in the community.

Jazirat al-Hamra: Placement and location

It is very common. Where on earth can a place be so accomplished for sustaining life and people who settled on a beautiful landscape with natural content, where nature had provided a possible constant supply of water soils for growing crops and materials for building had to be present Jazirat al-Hamra in Ras al-Kaimha, which is one of the United Arab Emirates.

The Julfah makes up the dynamic part of the coastline complex on the 3rd century. It shows all the elements of a traditional town, a fortress, several mosques and different types of houses. “Jazirat al-Hamra town is an ancient settlement with a large occupation deposit overlying sabkha and oyster reef sediments” (The geographical journal, 2000). This indicates a certain degree of long-term coastal stability.

The village was formerly on an island site, but is now linked to the mainland by a reclaimed land. Large numbers of shell middens, some of them as old as 6000 years occur in a line inland from the Jazirat al-Hamra sabkha, and include species from mangrove environments, suggesting that there was an enclosed sabkha in the vicinity by the Mid-Holocene(The geographical journal, 2000).

The buildings made by reef sediments and mud bricks can be seen by checking the edges of broken walls in the old houses. The town planning shows each complex of houses surrounding a mosque which indicates freej, so there are many freejs in the town by sorting each form of houses with mosque as central point. What is so clear about this village is the variety of houses in styles and sizes in various locations. Obviously the big decorated houses are for the rich families and the simple once were for ordinary people.


Zaab Qabila lives in this town ruled by wali. They have trade relationship with Dubai traders, in which they work in agricultural especially in their date palms farms in Dibba in which there were an access of water. As my grand father said, he was one of the ship-owner at that time and he used to transfer their date crops from Dibba to Jzira al hamra, he added, those people were pearl pers and they were organized and directed by the sirdal which means the sea leader he called Jumah Bin Abdullah Bin Saeed al-Amleh from Al-Flasi Qabila in Dubai. The architecture of these buildings were made by hand using natural materials and what survive the restarted by new materials.


Bath ways

The narrow bath ways between the houses emphasize a corporate society and strong social and family relationships between the people .It is more than just a means of getting elsewhere, it is as destination in itself. We could imagine this place how it looks like a long time ago, it was where lively people can be found, walking ,conversing even resting with children playing safely exploring the world street surface well worn earth shaded by houses walls.


The doors of the houses were located inside for more privacy especially for the women. It’s where the person entering thought it is required to kneel down a small opening.

However, the houses have many doors that show the open doors welcoming mind for nightphere.


The liwan was the main eye catching feature providing additional outdoor living space and protecting the building from weather


The open area in the middle covered with sand and some of the houses had well to obtain water for their daily supplement. The house is pided in two or three separate buildings that show the gender separation or guest reception part.

There are no two-floor plan houses, no wind towers and the walls are not very high. This indicates that weather in this place is much cooler than in other emirate.


Some rooms are pided by wall separation in small narrow room used for washing.

The windows are very small mostly directed towards the courtyard and covered with wood panel that is decorated.

The roof is covered with jandel beams supported with the kous roof, which are made by palms leaves.

Weather and climate concern in building

The houses are built to create comfort concerns throughout the year. Where heat and humidity are problems, traditional cultures encourage ventilation. Making the houses as open as possible while the winter sun is allowed to enter the interior of the building on winter days, to stay much warmer. Hanging the building roof under south facing cliff is very effective when ventilation is encouraged, especially, at night in the summer houses stay cooler and maintain a supply of fresh air.


Goudie, A S, Parker A G & Al-Farraj A. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 166, No. 1 (Mar., 2000), pp. 14-25. Publisher: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)

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