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Ajman is one of the seven emirates constituting the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With an area of just 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi), Ajman is the smallest emirate by area. Its seat of government is Ajman, which is bordered on its north, south, and east by Sharjah.
Located along the Persian Gulf, Ajman also controls Masfut, a small, inland exclave that is primarily agricultural. Approximately 95% of the population of the emirate resides in the city of Ajman, which forms part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. The population was only 36,000 in 1980 but grew considerably in recent years, due to an influx of people from the neighbouring emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, and other countries. Ajman is ruled by Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi of the Al Nuaimi tribe. The Crown Prince of the Emirate is Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi. Ajmān has experienced massive development and a construction boom in recent years.
On 8 January 1820, Sheikh Rashid II ibn Humayd Al Nuaimi signed the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting a protectorate to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like four of Ajmān's neighbors, Sharjah, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Qaiwain, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state.
On 2 December 1971, Sheikh Rashid IV ibn Humayd Al Nuaimi joined the United Arab Emirates.
Its rulers were:
17.. – 17.. Sheikh Rashid ibn Hamid Al Nuaimi
17.. – 1816 Sheikh Humayd ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi
1816 – 1838 Sheikh Rashid II ibn Humayd Al Nuaimi (d. 1838)
1838 – 1841 Sheikh Humayd II ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi (1st time) (d. 1873)
1841 – 1848 Sheikh `Abd al–`Aziz I ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi (d. 1848)
1848 – 1873 Sheikh Humayd II ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi (2nd time)
1873 – April 1891 Sheikh Rashid III ibn Humaid Al Nuaimi (d. 1891)
April 1891 – 8 July 1900 Sheikh Humaid III ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi (d. 1900)
8 July 1900 – February 1910 Sheikh `Abd al–`Aziz II ibn Humayd Al Nuaimi (b. 18.. – d. 1910)
February 1910 – January 1928 Sheikh Humayd IV ibn `Abd al–`Aziz Al Nuaimi
January 1928 – 6 September 1981 Sheikh Rashid IV ibn Humayd Al Nuaimi (b. 1904 – d. 1981)
6 September 1981 – present Sheikh Humayd ibn Rashid Al Nuaimi (b. 1931)
Ajman development boom
After the success of freehold property in Dubai, Ajman was the second emirate to offer freehold property. Ajman is currently the only emirate in the UAE offering investors of any nationality fully transparent true 100% freehold ownership on real estate, which in turn has attracted a huge number of investors (local and international) to this emirate. This in turn has prompted the Ajman government to initiate a number of development projects.
New Ajman was the name given to the area being developed outside of the current Ajman city, located by the Emirates Road. New Ajman was supposed to consist of many new developments and projects envisioned by Chief of Municipality Sheikh Rashid Al Nuaimi. One of the first developments of New Ajman is called "The Emirates City", a brand new city located directly on the Emirates Road to be built from scratch and consisting of more than 100 mid- and high-rise buildings. A number of shopping malls, hotels and residential villas were also planned to eventually extend all the way to the 'Al Zoura' area, where beachside developments were planned. Almost none of these projects ever got started.
The construction of Ajman International Airport began in the second half of 2008 in the Al Manama area of the Ajman, but is at a standstill today. Airport operations were scheduled to begin by 2011, and the airport was expected to host about two million passengers per year. The airport is now projected to be completed by 2015. Work however has not resumed as of 2011, and it is doubtful it will be completed in the foreseeable future.
List of planned developments
Following is a list of once planned freehold developments in Ajman, although most real estate projects may be considerably delayed or cancelled, due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010. That has also caused property prices to fall considerably throughout the United Arab Emirates, including in Ajman.
Ajman Green City (never built)
Ajman One (delayed, scaled down)
Ajman Marina (never built)
Ajman Pearl (delayed for years)
Ajman Uptown (delayed for years)
Al Ameera Village (never built)
Al Humaid City (never built)
Al Ittihad Village (never built)
Al Zorah (never built)
Amber Islands (never built)
Aqua City (never built)
Awali City (never built)
Emirates City (delayed for years, no infrastructure started)
Emirates Lake Towers (never built)
Escape Equestrian Community (never built)
Eye of Ajman (Ain Ajman) (never built)
Marmooka City (never built)
Park View (never built)
Impact of visa regulation changes & the 2007–2010 financial crisis
Most if not all of these projects came to an abrupt standstill in 2008. Since then foreign investors have urged the Ajman government to return their investments. Unlike Dubai's investors, most Ajman investors come from the middle classes of India, Pakistan and Iran. The apparent promise of a residence visa with the purchase of a home induced them to spend their life's savings on one of these off-plan flats. In 2008 the central government of the UAE brought these hopes to an end by clarifying that no residence visas would be issued to property investors. With this announcement for a lot of these investors their investment dramatically lost value.
The APTA chairman said there were 1,600 taxis operated by four companies in Ajman. The basic tariff is Dh3, during the day and evening base fare is at Dh4.