Ajman, Museum and Hotels Ajman

Ajman, UAE

Ajman tends to be the least wealthy (as well as the smallest) of all seven United Arab Emirates, probably because it is lacking in that all important resource oil. This means that seeing Ajman gives you a very good idea of what Dubai would be like today if oil had never been found there, and the contrast is quite startling.

The emirate's economy relies on traditional industries like fishing and boat building, supplemented with some income from tourism. When seen against the comparative wealth and bustle of Dubai, a visit to this peaceful and interesting place makes it clear that being oil rich can be both a blessing and a curse for a country. However, bear in mind that this little emirate is not self supporting, and relies on subsidies from the other emirates to keep afloat. Still, the change of pace can be a welcome break after Dubai's busy streets.

The town is the capital of the emirate, and contains the main tourist attraction, the museum. As museums are designed to protect the artefacts of the past from the inrush of change and development, it is quite fitting that Ajman Museum is situated in a former fort. The museum includes a fully functioning wind tower, which creates a cooling breeze for visitors who sit under it, as well as providing an interesting insight into traditional Bedouin life. It costs less than a pound (less than US $2) to get in, and it is well worth the money.

There are many ways to get there. If you're on a budget, the bus is probably best. Dubai Transport buses will take you there for less than £2 (less than US $3). Buses usually leave from the Deira taxi stand near Al Nasr Square.

However, if money is no object and you want to savour the trip, there are cruises which leave from the Creek part of Bur Dubai.

As a mid priced option, it is possible to get taxis too.

If you're planning to stay overnight, there is a choice of hotels, including five star and four star places. The Safir Dana Resort is a four star hotel where you may be able to negotiate very good rates at off peak times.

As for restaurants, choose from Chinese, Italian, Indian and other cuisines.