Timeframe: Lure of the sea

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The recent opening of a Dh100- million waterfront in Ajman adds restaurants, a children’s play area and running and walking tracks to the attraction of a day by the sea.

Like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah, Ajman’s beach is a place of recreation and an escape from the pressures of urban life.

As this photograph from 1969 shows, the sands of Ajman were part of working life and a vital part of the emirate’s economy.

Taken by Alain St Hilaire, this image shows a fishing boat and its crew waiting to head out to sea.

Elsewhere on the beach, other fishermen repaired nets or unloaded their catch, which included turtles as well as fish. The Ajman waterfront was also home to a thriving community of boat-builders. But if the view has changed, the sea and sand remain as important to the people of Ajman as they did over 40 years ago.

* James Langton