Guide to Ajman Museum: A gateway to the emirate’s history
Ajman may be the smallest among the seven emirates, but it is full of cultural highlights and attractions that showcase its rich history in the region. One of the best cultural and historical destinations in the charming emirate is the Ajman Museum (or the Ajman Fort Museum). The fortress was built from coral stone and gypsum and was preserved by H.H. Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid (d.1838).
The museum is home to ancient manuscripts, old ingenious irrigation systems and wooden dhows. Here is an overview of everything you can find at the Ajman Museum.
AJMAN MUSEUM HISTORY
It was in 1816 that Sheikh Al Nuaimi and his small band of followers defeated the Al Bu Shamis tribe in conflict to capture the coastal settlement of Ajman. They also captured the Ajman Fort soon after and established the Nuaimi rule, who continue to be the ruling UAE family in the Emirate.
The 18th-century fort was once a mainstay for the Ajman ruling family. It also acted as the first line of defence against any potential invaders and attackers. The structure of the building consists of a palace, two wind towers (barjeels) and two watchtowers. These have been maintained, even though the structure itself has undergone renovation over the years. You can also see the mighty gate and two cannons at the entrance to the museum.
From 1970 to 1978, the fort was also used as a police station. The museum still contains relics of this period as well.
It was in 1981 that Ajman Fort finally became a museum. So as you can see, Ajman Museum history is as fascinating as the artefacts it holds.
WHAT TO SEE AT AJMAN MUSEUM
The museum is home to all sorts of relics ancient articles that provide a glimpse into how life was in the emirate earlier. These include clay jars and jewellery as well as pearling and fishing tools. Life-like dioramas, one after the other, take you back in time as you witness traditional Bedouin marketplaces, weddings, fishing and agriculture. Displays in the museum are annotated in both Arabic and English and are arranged chronologically.
As you enter the museum, one of the most impressive displays is that of an excavated cemetery that features pottery and funeral jewellery from as old as 3000 BC. The cemetery was discovered in the Al Mowaihat area. This site is the emirate’s earliest human settlement. The area is still an active residential community, and you can now find spacious villas for rent in the Al Mowaihat area.
Not unlike many archaeological finds, this site was also ‘discovered’ accidentally back in 1986. Construction workers were excavating the ground for their project and they stumbled upon pieces of copper, beads, pottery and other artefacts that were later dated to around 2500 BC, Ajman’s Bronze age, so to speak.
Moreover, since fishing was also a staple of the old Ajman, one can find an entire section dedicated to exhibits of pearl fishing in the museum.
Fishing is still one of the best things to do in Ajman for both locals and tourists. The vast coastline of the emirate means that you have several spots to cast your lines while experiencing the cool sea breeze. Do remember though that you need a special fishing license as UAE authorities are very strict when it comes to preservation of marine life. Tourists, on the other hand, can opt for deep-sea fishing trips offered by licensed vendors in Ajman.
There are several other replicas of traditional life located around the museum. You will be fascinated by the attention to detail, which makes the figurines so realistic that you can easily forget you’re standing in a well-constructed mock-up. There’s also display where can you see a mannequin of a barber with bloodstains from his customers’ head!
Moving on, there are rooms in the museums that display different archaeological discoveries in Ajman. You can also find rooms that have remnants of the Ajman police force and also the emirate’s first radio station.
Along with these displays, visitors can also check out black-and-white Ajman Museum pictures from the early 20th century.
According to the Ajman Museum Wikipedia page, the Trucial Sheikhs signed a treat with the British in 1843. This was followed by the ‘Perpetual Treaty of Peace’ with the coastal Sheikhs in 1853. You can find a copy of this treaty inside the Ajman Museum in the ‘Documents & Manuscripts’ section.
AJMAN MUSEUM LOCATION AND GETTING THERE
The museum is located in the city centre towards the east of the central square in the Al Bustan area. You can also find the Gold and Traditional Souqs nearby. The Ajman Museum location is also close to the Corniche, making it a great place to spend a weekend in the emirate.
Those travelling from Dubai can reach within an hour if they are driving via Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Not to mention, you can easily reach the Ajman Museum by bus.
AJMAN MUSEUM TIMINGS
Ajman Museum opening hours are as follows:
- Saturday to Thursday: 08:00 am to 08:00 pm
- Friday: 02:30 pm to 08:00 pm
You just need two to three hours to cover the entire museum, which also means that a stop at Ajman Museum can be factored in a larger trip to the emirate.
AJMAN MUSEUM CONTACT DETAILS
You can contact this number for further Ajman Museum information: +971-6-711-6666.
AJMAN MUSEUM TICKET PRICES
Ajman museum entrance fee is:
- Adults: AED 5
- Families (irrespective of the total number): AED 15
- School students: AED 1
If you want to experience how life was before the discovery of oil in the region and before the unification of the emirates, Ajman museum is the place to be. To sum up, one of the best things to do in Ajman is to revisit history.
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