UAE Area Guide, Part 3 of 8 – Ajman

Ajman is the smallest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (or UAE). Ajman is undergoing dramatic growth and development like the rest of the United Arab Emirates so tourist attractions and activities as well as shopping, cultural and sporting opportunities are going to dramatically increase in the very near future. Currently there are three main tourist attractions in Ajman and this article will explore these further.

Shopping in Ajman is available in both modern malls, which offer many of the designer and luxury items you would expect from a modern shopping mall in the UAE, and the traditional shops where local products such as traditional pottery can be purchased.

Tourists to Ajman have always enjoyed a visit to the Dhow Yard which is the biggest and one of the busiest Dhow building yards in the United Arab Emirates. Here visitors can see Dhows being built in the traditional manner, exactly the same as they have been built for centuries. The Dhow Yard also builds modern speed boats that compete in the Dubai Speed Boat races.

The Ajman Museum is also well worth a visit. This museum was opened in 1981and is housed in a fort that dates from the 16th Century. The museum has a strong emphasis on the traditional culture of the region and visitors cannot only see ancient artefacts but also modern reconstructions of traditional Bedouin ways of life including both social and trade reconstructions. The Ajman museum also houses a large collection of artifacts from the Mowaihat archaeological site.

The Mowaihat Archaeological site was discovered by workers laying a sewerage pipe in 1986. The site was then excavated as an archaeological site at which several copper implements numerous beads, a number of ceramic vessels and human remains among other artifacts have been unearthed. This site was the first site to be discovered that showed that the area was occupied in the Um al-Nar period.

Ajman’s beaches have also long been a traditional tourist attraction, the climate of Ajman being superbly suited to beach life. Dolphins are common off the coast of Ajman and dolphin spotting is a popular recreational activity with both tourists and locals alike.

Ajman has a variety of food and places to eat out, you will find everything from western fast food outlets to high class restaurants and traditional café and street vendors. Even though Ajman is a Muslim state, alcohol can be purchased in restaurants and hotels. This is the norm through most of the UAE; alcohol can be purchased by non Muslims in hotels and restaurants although it is generally not possible to purchase alcohol outside of these places.

Ajman is currently experiencing a huge growth in development so over the next few years tourism and tourist attractions will grow in number and variety. There are several theme parks and other tourist related developments currently under construction or well into the planning stages. Sports facilities, clubs and venues are also currently under development as are cultural attractions such as theatres, museums and galleries.

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