Inhabited by more than half a million people with around 54,000 registered businesses that collectively generate around Dh22 billion (US$5.45 billion) Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Ajman attracts an estimated more than a million tourists of which more than 600,000 stay in 45 hotels and serviced apartment complexes scattered across 259 square kilometres of land.
Ajman announced its UAE Tourism Strategy 2032 earlier this year. It aims to raise the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP to Dh450 billion, with an annual increase of Dh27 billion; strengthen the position of the UAE as one of the best destinations in the world for tourism; boost competitiveness by attracting Dh100 billion as additional tourism investments and welcome 40 million hotel guests annually by 2031.
The emirate, which has been benefiting from the economic spillover effects from the neighbouring Dubai and Sharjah emirates, has gradually started to pick up the pieces from its larger neighbours. With a strong manufacturing and industrial belt that contributes about 20 percent to the economy of Ajman, its government is currently focusing on developing tourism attractions to power economic growth.
Its hotel inventory includes 3,997 hotel rooms and 250 tourism establishments that are actively working to attract tourists. Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD), the emirate’s tourism regulatory and promotional arm, has charted a strong growth strategy that will see Ajman emerging as an alternate leisure, nature, adventure, heritage and eco-tourism destination.
The emirate is blessed with rich history, culture and heritage, that are partly showcased in Ajman Museum, Masfout Museum, Al Manama Museum, and the House of Rashed Alkhadar, as these museums are considered as some of the emirate’s most important touristic destinations; in addition to the recently opened Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort with its unique therapeutic and wellness offerings, and the launch of the new 5-star Oberoi Family Beachfront Resort in Al Zorah which is being developed by Al Zorah Development Company to add a unique experience to the luxurious offerings of the emirate.
It is currently developing a number of tourism sites in Manama and the historic Masfout regions – that is re-creating the age-old heritage of thousands of years.
“The Heritage district allows you to go back to the past and view the live as it once was. In its heart is the Ajman Museum and it is close to Souq Saleh, while the district has a selection of authentic Emirati and other themed restaurants and shops with narrow lanes alleyways. The district is also surrounded by perennial trees that preserve the area’s authenticity,” says a spokesperson.
In order to accelerate the development of tourism infrastructure and facilities, Ajman Government has recently appointed Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi to lead the tourism industry as Director-General of Ajman Tourism. He has already started to lead the negotiations with potential global partners to invest in the emirate’s tourism industry.
Within the last few years, he has signed a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding with global partners that will change the emirate’s tourism landscape in the next few years.
In March this year, he signed a memorandum of understanding with Aleph Hospitality, UAE-based leading independent hotel management company in the Middle East and Africa to develop the WeLodge Masfout as a preferred destination for mountain biking, sports, and recreation.
“Our department seeks to establish new collaborations with local and global partners which comes in line with Ajman’s strategies to boost its tourism sector by attracting new investments, and supporting the launch of new hospitality projects,” Al Hashmi said.
“Ajman managed to attract thousands of visitors from across the world due to its outstanding offerings and services, and we are committed to pursue our efforts in launching more initiatives and projects that entice more tourists from different markets to Ajman. This year, we aim to focus on highlighting the attractiveness of the destination with its remarkable features and potentials which have transformed the emirate into a preferred destination for tourists. We also look forwards to reinforce our relationships with our international partners and strengthening our ties with the other participating exhibitors through new agreements and partnerships,” he added.
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