The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven distinct emirates, each with its own unique characteristics. The emirate of Ajman is the smallest and not very popular emirate among modern tourists. It stretches along the western coast of the country and is famous for the presence of many kilometers of sandy beaches, not spoiled by the attention of vacationers. In recent years, more and more comfortable modern hotels have appeared here, offering a comfortable stay on the shores of the Persian Gulf. What to see in Ajman, besides the beaches, can be advised at any local hotel.
Rest in Ajman is also supported by its proximity to the most interesting settlement in the UAE country - Dubai, which is located just 10 km from the capital of the emirate - the city of Ajman. Dubai is a 20-minute drive along great roads. It is easy to get to other emirates from Ajman by buses or taxis - Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain. The local sheikh in every way contributes to the development of tourism in the region. The emirate of Ajman is not as rich as its neighbors because no oil has been found on its territory. Despite this, many interesting sights can be found in the city.
TOP 10 attractions of Ajman
Ajman History Museum
Ajman History Museum
One of the most interesting educational institutions of Ajman is the historical museum, the collection of which occupies the premises of an ancient fort of the late 18th century, erected not far from the coast. It displays a stunning collection of archaeological artifacts and historical items, including ancient manuscripts, weapons and utensils.
Also in the museum you can see:
- traditional Arab wells and elements of the irrigation system, which are located in the spacious courtyard of the museum;
- wooden sailing boat dhow. From time immemorial, such ships have been made at the local shipyard;
- recreated scenes from the life of the inhabitants of the emirate. Figures of fishermen, artisans, officials are made of wax.
The museum opened in a fortress, which is a unique example of local architecture, in the late 1980s. All exhibits are explained in Arabic and English.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
While walking around Ajman, you should turn to Khalid Bin Al Walid Street on the outskirts of the city, where the snow-white Sheikh Zayed Mosque, decorated with four slender minarets, rises. The highway leading to the city passes by the mosque. The Sheikh, after whose name the mosque is named, was the man who united the disparate emirates into one state and led them. He ruled over the emirate of Abu Dhabi. In his homeland, there is also a beautiful mosque named after him.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Ajman was built by order of the current leader of the emirate of Humayd bin Rashid Al Nueimi. According to rumors, he built this mosque for his father. The mosque, created in the traditional Arabian style, occupies a huge area - 37 thousand square meters. m. At the same time, 2500 people can pray in the mosque. The sacred building is famous for its rich interior, including huge lamps.
The massive square-shaped structure is the al-Murabba watchtower. Such buildings are not uncommon for the Arabian Peninsula. They were built to protect settlements from attacks from the sea.
The Al-Murabba Tower, which is worth visiting during the city tour of Ajman, rises on the Corniche and is its main attraction. She faithfully served the residents of the city for 80 years. It was erected in the 1930s by order of Sheikh Rashid bin Humeid Al Nueimi, the then ruler of Ajman. For the construction of the tower, not a stone was used, which cannot be found in the emirate of Ajman even with a very strong desire. Compressed coral deposits were used as building materials. The tower has an ocher hue and is in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape. In 2000, the current Sheikh Humeid bin Rashid Al Nueimi ordered the renovation of Al-Murabba's building.
There are many modern supermarkets in Ajman, but tourists are more interested in traditional food markets. There are two markets in the city: a vegetable and a fish market. The latter is especially noteworthy. During a trip to the fish market located right on the pier, the traveler has the opportunity to admire the fishing boats, from where the fresh catch is unloaded, and choose for himself freshly caught fish or seafood. All the edible fauna of the Persian Gulf is represented here: from giant shrimps and crabs to small sharks.
The first vendors at Ajman Fish Market show up at 6:30 am. The sooner you arrive at the fish market, the more seafood will be available. If you want to try something traditional here, look for sagan fish, which is very popular with the local housewives. There are also places in the market where fish are cleaned and gutted.
A lot of people gather at the daily fish auctions, which start at 6 pm.
Camel Race Track
The stadium in Ajman, where the camel races are held, gathering hundreds of spectators, is called All Tallah. It is located on the outskirts of the city next to the E311 highway. Camel racing, a traditional Bedouin sport, is popular in all the countries of the Persian Gulf. Desert ship races are held on a special schedule, which is known in all local hotels. The race schedule is also published in the local press. Races are usually held during the cold winter months, usually a few days a week in the early morning. Admission to such events is free.
Summer races never happen because of the stifling heat that hampers both people and animals. Raising camels that can take part in the race is a great business, generating a lot of income. One animal can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The rulers of the emirate with their entire family and servants moved into a two-story building, erected in the traditional Arabian style, not so long ago - in the last century. Prior to this, the sheikh's family lived in an old, strong and well-fortified fort, which is now open to visitors, as it has been turned into a historical museum. The new residence of the ruler of the emirate of Ajman opens with a main facade decorated with an arched gallery, onto a vast square, where various state ceremonies are often held.
Although access to the territory of the palace is closed, its territory is clearly visible from the windows and from the roofs of neighboring multi-storey buildings. A fashionable hotel was built next to the palace, where guests can drink coffee, sitting on the balcony and watching the life of the inhabitants of the palace. Video cameras are installed on the fence that surrounds the Sheikh's residence. In the evenings, the building is effectively illuminated.
Red Fort in Manama
Red Fort in Manama
Manama is one of three settlements in the emirate of Ajman, which can be reached from the capital in about an hour by taxi.
The red fort was built during the reign of Sheikh Humaid bin Abdul Aziz Al Nueimi and renovated in 1986 on behalf of the father of the current ruler of the emirate. The fort, which consists of four interior rooms and originally two towers, got its name because of the color of the walls: they are covered with red plaster. The third tower was added to the old fort during the last reconstruction. Sandalwood was used to make the beams to support the roof.
The red fort is surrounded on all sides by shady groves. There is a well near the fortress, which provided the residents of the fort with water.
Smooth white sand and the clear waters of the Persian Gulf are the hallmarks of Ajman's beaches, stretching 16 km to the Sharjah border. It is an ideal holiday destination for the residents of the main city of the emirate and its guests. Luxurious hotels rise along the coastline. Each of them has a private beach. Even if you are not a guest of these hotels, you can buy a one-day pass that gives you the right to relax on any beach in the city. And spending a few hours on the seashore is worth: near Ajman, a flock of dolphins is often seen, which is not at all afraid of people and comes close to the beach.
The local city beach is still an island of peace and quiet. There are no noisy cafes, obsessive merchants. Moreover, this beach is even devoid of basic infrastructure. The absence of umbrellas, changing rooms, drinking fountains is not at all annoying, but sets you in a philosophical mood. Private beaches are more advanced in terms of service. There are sun loungers, gazebos, water slides installed here.
The delightful Corniche is the center of Ajman's social life. Here they make appointments, walk with family or friends, dine in luxurious restaurants and simpler cafes (especially delicious food at Attibrah and Themar Al Bahar), fry meat on the beaches, buy souvenirs. It is especially crowded in the evenings and weekends.
The Corniche is a four-kilometer esplanade overlooking the Persian Gulf. It starts from the five-star Kempinski Hotel Ajman and runs to the Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, near which there is a roundabout. One of the attractions of the waterfront is the monumental Al-Murabba watchtower.
Ajman, like other cities in the UAE, is expanding and modernizing, changing its appearance every year. Numerous skyscrapers are being built here, where the headquarters of world-famous companies are opening. A new symbol of Ajman is the tall Etisalat tower, which partially resembles the minaret of a mosque in its shape. It is painted in delicate shades of pink and is topped with a huge golf ball-like sphere. This is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world. There is a similar one, for example, in Abu Dhabi. The tower of Etisalat, a renowned telecommunications provider currently operating in the Asian and African regions, is an indicator of the progress and construction boom that has swept the United Arab Emirates in recent years.
Ajman's fifteen-story Etisalat tower was erected in 1999. Her project was developed by the Arthur Erickson Architectural Corporation. The tower houses the offices of various firms.