Ajman is the smallest of the 7 emirates that make up the UAE and today it has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers looking for excellent resorts far from the crowd of Dubai.
The emirate of Ajman has always been mainly dedicated to agriculture, particularly dates, but in recent years several hotels and residential neighborhoods have sprung up here, enhancing some of the most beautiful beaches on the Emirate coast.
The best things to do and see in Ajman
Along the coast, Ajman City is practically merged with Sharjah City: today the coast of the two emirates is a continuum of the city of Dubai, for this reason many people who work in Dubai prefer to live in the more peaceful Ajman.
Those staying in Ajman often choose to visit the Musandam area (which is an Oman exclave) or to make day trips to Dubai, but also in Ajman, however, there are some interesting places to see.
1. Ajman’s Corniche
Ajman’s Corniche is the promenade where locals and visitors love to stroll, admiring the sunsets, having a drink or having dinner by the sea.
Ajman’s Corniche is also one of the main shopping avenues in the city (another famous shopping address is the City Center Ajman, a large shopping center). Here you can find a good choice of restaurants and shops and in the evening it becomes one of the favorite spots to dine with families or groups of friends.
Along the Corniche you will encounter an ancient tower (now suffocated by the skyscrapers that have sprung up around it), the Al-Murabaa Watchtower is one of the oldest defense towers in Ajman.
2. Ajman’s Beaches
Ajman’s beaches are a good place to spend some time sunbathing and swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Persian Gulf.
Ajman’s white sandy beaches are much less crowded and noisy than those in Dubai, so they are a good choice for families or for those who prefer a less trendy atmosphere without sacrificing quality.
In fact, in Ajman there are some of the best resorts in the UAE, and many high-end hotels have sprung up in recent years. For those traveling with the family, choosing the hotel in Ajman could be a smart choice, as they offer rather better prices than in Dubai.
The best resorts in Ajman are the Fairmont Ajman, the wonderful The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah, the elegant Ajman Saray and the more affordable Radisson Blu Hotel Ajman.
3. Ajman Museum
Go have a look at Ajman Fort, which is located in the heart of the city. This 18th-century fortress once served to defend the city and then became the ruler’s palace, until the late 1970s.
Today, Ajman Fort houses the Ajman Museum, the national museum of the Emirate of Ajman, which tells the story and culture of its people. In the museum you can see an exhibition of weapons, manuscripts, archaeological finds and everyday objects that tell the story of the emirate.
It is also worth seeing for its beautiful towers and ancient Arab architecture.
The Ajman Museum is open from Saturday to Thursday, from 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM and on Friday from 02:30 PM to 08:00 PM. Admission fee: 5 AED.
4. Ajman Dhow Building Yard
One of the most authentic places in Ajman is the Dhow Building Yard, where traditional Emirati wooden ships have been built since ancient times.
The Dhows have been (and still are) of great importance for the life of the local population, for trade and for fishing, and here still today expert craftsmen repair old boats and build new and modern ones.
To take a look at how the craftsmen build the Dhows take a trip to the north bank of Ajman Creek, the Dhows factories are easily recognizable. Here you can also buy a miniature dhow to take home as a souvenir.
PRO TIP: From Ajman you can take part in a cruise aboard an authentic traditional Dhow, along one of the most beautiful fjords in the Persian Gulf, in the Musandam Peninsula, Oman.
5. Al Zorah Nature Reserve
The Al Zorah Nature Reserve is a natural oasis that is located between the desert and the sea and is populated by mangroves and pink flamingos.
The Al Zorah Nature Reserve is one of the most famous spots in the UAE for bird watchers: here you can see over 60 species of birds, while the calm waters can be traveled by kayak.
One of the best ways to visit the reserve is by taking a peaceful horseback ride that allows you to get in touch with nature and wildlife.
6. Dhow day trip to see dolphins and snorkeling in the wonderful Khor Ash Sham fjord
This is a day trip that you cannot miss if you are in Ajman: the tour leaves in the morning (pick up included) to go to Khasab, a port on the Musandam peninsula, an Oman enclave.
From here you embark on an authentic traditional Dhow, to explore the Khor Ash Sham fjord, famous for its crystal clear waters and its lively coral reef. The tour includes a typical lunch on board, in addition to visiting some islets and excellent opportunities to snorkel or swim in the turquoise waters of the most beautiful corner of the Persian Gulf.
While sailing it is easy to spot groups of dolphins swimming in the calm waters. The tour ends in the evening with the return to the hotel in Ajman.
7. Visit the neighboring emirates of Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain
If you are staying in Ajman, the neighboring emirates of Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain are also worth a visit, the first practically attached to Ajman City going towards Dubai, the other located along the road to the Musandam Peninsula.
Sharjah has become a satellite city of Dubai and is chosen by more and more locals to live thanks to its liveliness and tranquility. The Al Noor Mosque in Sharjah is very beautiful, if you have the chance go see it at night.
Umm Al Quwain is definitely one of the places to visit from Ajman, because it is in Umm Al Quwain that things start to get wild. The city, in contrast to the glitz of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, appears rather desolate and its development is proceeding slowly.
The abandoned aspect of Umm Al Quwain is due to the fact that the emirate does not have oil fields: so here you can see what the UAE looked like before the oil boom!
In Umm Al Quwain there is an ancient restored fort that now houses an interesting museum on local history and culture and preserves the finds of the important archaeological sites in the area. Opposite the city is the uninhabited Seneyah Island, an oasis where cormorants, flamingos and dozens of migratory bird species live.
You can go to Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain from Ajman by taxi or bus. Buses leave from Ajman Bus Station for Sharjah (every 10 minutes, it takes 30 minutes and the fare is 5 AED) and for Umm Al Quwain (every 90 minutes, it takes 30 minutes and the fare is 10 AED).
8. Day Trip to the Desert from Ajman
Some visitors stop in Ajman before leaving to visit the wild landscapes of the desert and the mountains towards the border with Oman, passing through the exclaves of Manama and Masfout, two small agricultural villages that are part of Ajman while being in the territory of other emirates.
But many prefer to enjoy an exciting day trip to the desert starting in the morning and returning to their hotel in Ajman in the evening after a typical BBQ dinner in the desert.
The desert experience is one of the must-do of a trip to the Emirates, here you can experience the thrill of the dune bashing, you can take a camel ride and enjoy the breathtaking sunset over the desert from a Bedouin camp.
9. Dubai Day Trip from Ajman: visit the main attractions, the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Aquarium
If you stay in Ajman you will definitely want to go to Dubai. The city can be easily reached by bus or taxi, but for those staying outside Dubai it is difficult to fully enjoy the city, its nightlife and its attractions.
So you have two options: leave early every morning to return to Ajman in the evening (Bus Route E400, buses leave near Union Metro Station, last bus at 11.30 PM, the fare is AED 12) or you can choose to see all the main attractions with a day trip from Ajman.
The tour starts in the morning from Ajman and allows you to visit the Dubai Old Town, with the souqs, the Dubai Museum and then visit the modern part: Downtown Dubai, with the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall where you will visit the famous Dubai Aquarium.
The visit continues to the other iconic places in Dubai, such as Palm Jumeirah. The tour includes attractions entrance tickets, transportation and professional guide and is the most practical way to visit Dubai in one day from Ajman.
10. Other places to see in Ajman
Ajman is a relatively young city, its development has taken place over the past 10 years so new attractions, new shopping centers and new skyscrapers are continually springing up.
Some places to see, however, are more famous than others, so look for them while wandering around the city: the Sheikh Zayed Mosque Ajman deserves to be seen, especially after sunset, when it is illuminated by colored lights.
For a long time, one of Ajman’s symbols was the Etisalat Tower 1, a building dating back to the early 90s: in those years it was one of the tallest in the UAE… with just 17 floors!