Ajman is the smallest of the seven emirates. Located very close to Sharjah (approximately 10km) along the Persian Gulf, Ajman has a 16-kilometer stretch of white sandy beach which is considered to be one of the most picturesque beaches in the UAE. This palm-lined stretch is a favorite among locals for barbecues and picnics during the cooler weather. Dolphins are common off the coast of Ajman, and dolphin spotting is a popular recreation with tourists and locals alike.
The town of Ajman is the capital of the Ajman Emirate. The town features the Ruler’s Palace, the Ajman Culture Center, the Ajman Museum, a beautiful old fort and several mosques. The emirate is formed of two major regions: Masfout, the agricultural area located southeast of the city and Manama located towards the North. Ajman is also blessed with a natural harbor in which the port of Ajman is situated.
Historical records illustrate that Ajman’s history goes back in time to 1800. The emirate was established by Al Naim tribe who took the land as a permanent residence and began to look for natural resources to help them settle in conveniently. Although not nearly as old as its neighbouring emirates, Ajman pays a lot of attention to preserve their past for future generations. This is evident through places such as the Ajman Museum and the old Fort.
Although small and not nearly as abundant in activity as the neighboring emirates of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Ajman holds a lot of promise for tourists and tourism.
The Ajman National Museum represents one of the main tourist attractions in the City. It is also one of the most important historical forts which were used as a stronghold for the emirate’s leadership. History states that it was also relied upon as the first line of defense against attacks and was later used as a palace until 1970. The museum showcases traditional professions and customs of the old days of the emirate, various collections of archeological artifacts, manuscripts, ancient weapons, besides the traditional medicine and religious practices of the bygone times.
The Ajman Fort is believed to be built in the late 18th century, It was built with local materials such as coral stones of the sea and gypsum, while special tree trunks brought from East Africa has been used for the ceiling. There is a huge arch built on two stands on top of its large gates, made of honey-colored sandstones. It has been described as one of the most beautiful citadels in Ajman.
There are several religious sites in Ajman, the most prominent of them being the Sheikh Zayed Ajman Mosque. The rich architecture of the Mosque is impressive. The Mosque is said to have been built for Late Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, by his son and current Ruler of Ajman, Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi. The Mosque is a major landmark in Ajman City.
Yet another popular attraction in Ajman is the Dhow Yard. Here, visitors can bear witness to dhows being built in a traditional manner. The work here is not limited to just dhows, as modern speed boats are also built, mainly to compete in the Dubai Speed Boat Races. The Ajman Dhow Yard us the world’s largest boat building yard, and biggest dhow building center.
Shopping is a popular activity in Ajman, as there are both, the modern malls with designer and luxury items, offering all commodities, otherwise available in the shopping malls elsewhere in the UAE, and there are the traditional shops selling local products too.
Ajman has no public transportation system – so getting around should mostly be done in local taxis or by renting a car. Taxis are the main form of transport, available any time of day or night. Taxis in Ajman don’t use meters, so the fare needs to be negotiated before setting off on your journey.
Ajman has various eateries ranging from western fast food outlets, to high-class restaurants and traditional cafe and street vendors. Although Ajman is a Muslim state, alcohol can be purchased in hotels and restaurants too. This is the norm in the UAE.