"Have you heard of the city of Ubar?"


Ubar is also known as Iram of the Pillars, Aram, Irum, Erum, Wabar and the City of a Thousand Pillars. It is a legendary lost city.


Ubar appears in ancient records as the name of a region or people, and is mentioned in folk tales as a trading centre which became incredibly wealthy.  Lost to modern history, it was long believed to be a myth. 

In historical Arabic sources and in classical texts, the name refers to a region, but in One Thousand and One Nights the name is associated with a people.

The Qur'an tells of a city called Iram, which is not mentioned elsewhere in ancient sources and which historians considered to be fictional until Syrian records were discovered that mention trade with Iram.

Islamic beliefs say that king Shaddad angered God, and the city of Iram was destroyed and buried by the sands.  A version of the story can be found in One Thousand and One Nights.

In the 1980s a group of researchers discovered an older settlement by the 16th century Shis'r fort.  Artifacts from all around the ancient world were found in the older fort, which had been built on a limestone cavern that would have provided the former residents with much needed water.  It is thought that this could be the legendary Iram/Ubar.