By: Hamza Shafique
Every emirate in UAE has a Museum which is basically the conversion of old traditional residences of the rulers into Museums. Before I visited Ajman Museum I had already visited Dubai Museum (which I absolutely love), Heritage villages in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah/Al Ain Museums, So, when I moved to Ajman there was no motivation to check Ajman Museum at all, as all these museums except Dubai one offer the same setup. One afternoon in April we had some 30 minutes to kill and Ajman Museum was near so I thought why not let’s check it out. And I must say I was surprised by the exhibits this museum offered. Ajman Museum is definitely now on the top of the list of recommended Museums in UAE. You can imagine how much fun I had by the fact that I had only 30 minutes to spare and I ended up spending more than 1 hour.
Ajman Museum is a renovated 18th century fort, which was the ruler’s palace and then the Ajman police station. Ticket is very reasonable and if you go as a group then it’s even cheaper, I don’t remember the cost exactly but for group of three I paid only 15 AED. Getting to the place is also easy and the pin is available on google maps. Parking is also not an issue.
Ajman Museum is a museum in its true sense as it houses centuries-old manuscripts/documents, weaponry, models of wooden dhows, displays of ingenious irrigation systems, hauntingly realistic exhibits of early Emirati lifestyle covering from usual households to market places, display of gifts from other rulers to Ajman ruler. There is even a display of an excavated cemetery discovered in the Al Muwaihat area, which features pottery and funeral jewelry dating back as far as 3000 BC. All housed in a 18th century building which is also an authentic example of early Emirati architecture.
Unique and interesting things that caught my attention are below:
- Cemetery dating back to 3000BC
- A giant metallic Anchor displayed among the model wooden dhow.
- Old documents like the copy of treaty between British government and Emirates signed in 1906
- Unique Old weaponry, there was a gun with multiple barrels
- A very realistic market place display, which was basically a large hall with shops in row on both sides. The attention to details was amazing like in a barber shop display, the mannequin displayed as customer had blood coming out from a newly shaved head. Superb detailing, craftsmanship and lighting made them look alive.
- On similar tones the ancient hospital display, children activities exhibit and routine house life exhibits were also interesting and superb. Everything looked alive and at times it seemed as if the mannequins will start moving and start the activity they are displaying.
- Artifacts used by early police, their systems and documents like an early driving license which looked like a book.
- Early broadcasting technology, devices used by Ajman’s First Radio Station.
- A complete exhibit on pearl trade.
- An old prisoner holding wooden log where criminals would be tied by their feet.
Above mentioned are few things that caught my interest but there is a lot more that this facility offers in the name of experience. This museum is huge, with inconsistent flow, which means you will end up going up and down the stairs, in and out in open/airconditioned area frequently. So, I will suggest you wear comfortable shoes and if you are visiting in day time then be prepared to walk in warm environment as this museum for most part is not air conditioned or even if it is still air-conditioning might not be enough especially in market area.
In the end, I would conclude my visit by saying that Ajman Museum is a museum in its true sense. It will make you experience early 1900 s culture and life of UAE in the most authentic and impactful manner. Every little detail, to create an earlier Emirati world is well thought through and the presence of actual artifacts makes it a very informative and interesting experience. Its also easily accessible and not heavy on pocket, which leaves no reason for not to visit.
I found a cool video of Ajman Museum on You Tube check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lYyHeOYX1g
Photography by me also 🙂 enjoy more pictures below: