Past Cities

Ajman, United Arab Emirates

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Ajman is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, east of Dubai and north of Sharjah. Ajman is the smallest emirate in the UAE, with a land area of just 460 square kilometers. It is also one of the oldest settlements in the UAE, with a history that dates back over 7,000 years.

The population of Ajman has grown rapidly in recent years, from just over 36,000 in 1980 to over 500,000 in 2021. The majority of the population is made up of expatriates, with Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis making up the largest groups. However, there is also a significant Arab population, with Emiratis making up around 30% of the total population.

Ajman's history can be traced back to the Bronze Age, with evidence of human settlement dating back to around 5000 BC. The city was an important trading hub, with ships from all over the region stopping at its port to exchange goods. Ajman was also known for its pearling industry, with pearl divers from all over the Gulf coming to the city to trade their valuable pearls.

Throughout its history, Ajman has been affected by its political environment and geography. The city's location on the coast made it vulnerable to attacks from seafaring raiders, and it was frequently raided by pirates and other hostile forces. In the early 19th century, Ajman was part of the pirate coast, a stretch of coastline that was notorious for its pirate activity. This led to a British-led campaign against the pirates, which resulted in the signing of the General Maritime Treaty of 1820. This treaty, which was signed by the rulers of Ajman and other coastal emirates, put an end to piracy in the region and established British protection over the emirates.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ajman was part of the Trucial States, a loose confederation of emirates that were under British protection. The Trucial States were established to protect British interests in the Gulf region, and to prevent other European powers from gaining a foothold in the area. Under British protection, Ajman and the other emirates enjoyed relative stability and prosperity.

In 1971, the UAE was formed, with Ajman joining as one of its seven emirates. The UAE's constitution established a federal system of government, with the individual emirates retaining a large degree of autonomy. The UAE's oil boom in the 1970s and 1980s transformed the country's economy, and Ajman was no exception. The city's economy shifted from agriculture and fishing to oil and gas, and it became a center for commerce and industry.

Today, Ajman is a thriving city with a diverse economy and a rich cultural heritage. It is home to a number of important cultural and historical landmarks, including the Ajman Museum, the Ajman Fort, and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The city is also known for its beautiful beaches, and is a popular tourist destination.

Ajman's history is a rich and varied one, with influences from its political environment and geography shaping its development over the centuries. From its early days as a trading hub and pearling center, to its more recent transformation into a modern city, Ajman has always been an important part of the UAE's history and culture. Its people, with their diverse backgrounds and cultures, have contributed to its unique identity and made it the vibrant city that it is today.