The United Arab Emirates came into being in 1971. They are made up of seven Emirates, each ruled by their own Emir. The capital is Abu Dhabi, the centre of the Emirates cultural, economic and political district.
Ajman is the smallest of these seven Emirates, and is to be found nestled on the coast and surrounded to the north, east and south by the Emirate of Sharjah (Ash Shariqah). Dubai is a few miles away to its south west.
The City of Ajman is small too, and feels perhaps more intimate than some of the very large cities you may have found yourself in. But that is its charm. Life is not conducted at such a frenetic pace, and you will have time to wander and savour that charm. A visit to the Ajman Museum (late 18th century), which is housed in the fort, and which was the police station will take you on an historical journey from when it was used as the ruler’s palace to the present day.
Another place worth a visit is the largest ship yard building the traditional dhows that glide gently up and down the Gulf. This is a traditional ship yard, where the men are not just boat-builders, but craftsmen in their own right, as they build the dhows the same way their ancestors did.
For the sun, sea and sand lovers, there is a long stretch of glistening white sands and an impressive hotel and resort with its own private beach area. And not to leave out the shopaholics – spacious malls, covered souks and open markets will cater for all tastes and budgets.
More unusually, for Western visitors, you will see various sheesha cafés along the waterfront. These cafés are where you can smoke the traditional hookah with blends of fragrant/fruit tobacco mixed with water. An experience!