Ajman Fort and Museum

Page update - Sep 14, 2022

The Emirate of Ajman is not rich in attractions and entertainment for tourists. This is not surprising since the emirate is the smallest in the UAE. The local museum in the fort is the emirate's main cultural attraction. There you can look at the life of the Emirati people before the oil era and see the most valuable historical artifacts. We'll tell you more about the museum on this page.

As of September 2022, the Ajman Museum and Fort is open to the public. The renovation has already been completed. Touch screens and new lighting have been installed in the museum, and the exposition has been updated a bit. It became clearly more interesting.

Where is it and how to get there

The fort is located in Al Bustan, the central area of Ajman city. It is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) from the seafront and beach hotels. Most tourists prefer not to walk, but take a cab for 10 dirhams. For the exchange rates of the dirham, see our review "UAE Currency", for the cab fares, see our review "Taxis in the UAE".

Next to the fort, there is Al Musalla bus station with buses to Dubai, which we told you about in our review "How to get from Ajman to Dubai".

Theoretically, you can take a bus, if any of them stops near your hotel. All buses in Ajman go to (from) Al Musalla Bus Station. The fare is AED 5 if paid by cash and AED 3 if you buy a local Masaar transport card. It's best to ask at your hotel reception if the bus stops nearby, they usually know.

Ticket price

5 dirhams for adults.

1 dirham for children (under 12 years).

Opening hours

Saturday to Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm (8-00 to 20-00).

Friday from 2-30 pm to 8 pm (14-30 to 20-00).

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A bit of history

The fort was built in the 18th century. Unfortunately, the exact date is unknown. Until 1970 the fort served as the residence of the emirs of Ajman.

In 1970, Emir Rashid moved to a new residence. The fort was used as a police station. In 1981, a museum was organized in the fort.

It is an all-in-one museum concept. The fort itself shows the traditional architecture in the UAE. The courtyard is the site of an exhibition of the Emiratis life before the oil era. The main historical values and archaeological finds are exhibited inside.

That is, it is a historical, archaeological, ethnographic museum at the same time. It is very convenient for tourists - everything is in one place.

What to see

In front of the gate, there are two cannons from the British Protectorate era. The fort once protected the city from Bedouin raids.

The fort building is made of coral stone, the only strong building material available to the ancient inhabitants of the UAE. Not every resident could afford a house made of coral stone, and such a large structure of it was available only to the Emir.

Just outside the gate, there is the courtyard where the Arab traditional boat called "dhow" and the materials used to build them are on display. Ajman was once the foremost builder of dhows of all the Emirates.

In the courtyard, you can see the traditional dwelling of the inhabitants of the UAE made from palm leaves. These dwellings are surprisingly sturdy and can consist of several rooms. Inside, there are sleeping places with mattresses.

In the buildings of the fort, you can see a collection of artifacts from the archaeological excavations at Al Mowaihat, where there was a settlement of people of the Umm An Nar culture. We have told in detail about the ancient cultures on the territory of the modern UAE on the page "History of the UAE". Ceramics and funerary ornaments are on display.

The exposition of Al Muwaihat artifacts is very interesting for historians and very valuable for Emirati people because it is a proof of the ancient history of their country. But tourists are not impressed. Tourists are more interested in the collection of khajars and other ancient weapons, rifles and ammunition.

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The collection of documents is very curious and there are two items that must be seen. The first is the Koran, the oldest book in Ajman. The second item is a "Maritime Treaty" between the Emir of Ajman and a British representative.

Such treaties were made between the emirs and the British in the mid-19th century. The Emirates had fallen under the British Protectorate. In fact, the emirates became totally dependent on England, but were protected from the threats of the Ottoman Empire and Persia. Who knows, had it not been for this treaty, the UAE might now be Turkish or Iranian territory.

Most of the rooms show life scenes of the UAE inhabitants in ancient times. This is the ethnographic part of the museum. Mannequins in finely recreated old-time costumes show scenes of fishing net making, curing the sick, resting, barber's work, and various crafts.

One hour will be enough to see the entire museum. On weekdays there are almost no people there.

Tips for tourists

- The signs with explanations to the exhibits are in English and Arabic;

- You can only pay in dirhams at the ticket office. Change money in advance, read our review "How to change currency in the UAE";

- The museum rooms are air conditioned. It is convenient to spend the hottest part of the day there;

- If you get hungry or thirsty go to the nearest skyscraper, there is a cafe and a store;

- If you turn right after leaving the museum you will reach the Gold Market.

Have a good sightseeings in Ajman, and read our interesting pages about the UAE (see the list of the pages below).


Tips for Tourists in the UAE


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To the UAE with Kids

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