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Ajman is the capital of the emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. It is the fifth-largest city in UAE after Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Al Ain. Located along the Persian Gulf, it is engulfed by the larger emirate of Sharjah in territory.

History of Ajman

In 1816, the Al Bu Kharaiban Nuaimi rule was established in Ajman when Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, along with fifty followers, seized the coastal settlement from members of the Al Bu Shamis Nuaimi tribe in a brief conflict. Though it took until 1816 or 1817 for Rashid’s followers to fully secure the Ajman fort, his rule was solidified with the endorsement of the influential Sheikh of neighboring Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

Following the British-led sack of Ras Al Khaimah on January 8, 1820, by Sir W.G. Keir, Sultan bin Saqr signed the General Maritime Treaty with the United Kingdom on February 4, 1820, and Rashid bin Humaid followed suit on March 15 at Falaya Fort.

An 1822 British maritime survey described Ajman as having one of the finest backwaters along the coast, with a small town centered around a single fortified building—the ruler’s house. Like many other coastal towns in the Trucial Coast, Ajman’s population was transient, with as many as 1,400 to 1,700 men from the ‘Mahamee’ tribe residing there during the pearl hunting season (April–September), many of whom would migrate to Al Buraimi during the date season. Despite Ajman’s ruler, Rashid bin Ahmed, considering his dominion independent of Sharjah, the survey noted that Sharjah did not share this view, even though it lacked power over Ajman. Additionally, the survey documented that the inhabitants of Ajman were largely adherents of strict Wahhabi beliefs. It also mentioned the presence of the ruined village of Fasht along the shore, which is now the Fisht suburb of Sharjah city.

Today, the city of Ajman comprises over 90% of the population of the emirate. Geographically, it seamlessly merges with the city of Sharjah along the coast to the southwest, forming a continuous urban area that extends into Dubai.

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