Ajman (a variant of Ojma, meaning "sand") is the smallest member of the United Arab Emirates. Located directly on the Persian Gulf, it clocks in at just over 175 square miles. Its capital city shares its name with the country and is also its largest city, hosting over 90% of its 240,000 people. It has grown nearly 8 times in population since 1980 thanks to the rise of the modern oil market.
The original emirate of Ajman became a British protectorate state (one of the Trucial States) in 1820. A primarily agricultural nation, it was viewed as the least valuable of the emirates at the time.In 1971 Ajman officially joined the UAE.
Being an emirate, it is run by an emir, but it also has a constitution and a democracy. It also is unique in being the only member of the UAE offering legitimate foreign ownership of real estate, which has led to a major influx of development and commerce to the state. It also features a prominent shipyard where craftsmen have worked for over 400 years. However its primary function is being an expatriate outlet of development and industry for the major member of the UAE, Dubai.
The country is somewhat notorious in philately circles for its copious stamp printings (prior to its joining the UAE), many of which proved to be considered invalid by the international postal community and therefore not stamps.