Fairmont Ajman: Golf and Grills
Virginia Wolfe famously said that one cannot eat, sleep, or love well if one hasn't dined well. A visit to Fairmont Ajman will ensure this is not a problem!
Elegant and luxurious, this 252-room hotel has a contemporary feel. It is located on a 200-metre stretch of sand along the Corniche in Ajman, the smallest Emirate of the UAE, just 25 kms off Dubai's International Airport. Perhaps its excellent connectivity to Dubai, extensive and much awarded banquet facilities and the gentler pace of destination, make it a popular choice for destination weddings.
I visited this amazing property after a round of golf at the 18-hole Championship course of the Al Zorah Golf Club, and in a happy mood after shooting my best score at a UAE Course. The lavish circular lobby of the hotel is impressive. In shades of gold, ivory, teal and turquoise, the design direction pays tribute to the seafaring emerati heritage, with a colossal Lasvit chandelier inspired by fishing nets as a focal point.
Fairmont Ajman also presents some of the best dining options in the region through its eight restaurants and lounges, many with outdoor al fresco seating overlooking the Arabian Gulf. And it is one of these - the hotel's signature Turkish restaurant, Kiyi that draws us here tonight.
As we enter Kiyi, the traditional leitmotif, with jewel-coloured fabrics, handmade tiles and lanterns, strikes us as the perfect backdrop to bring the country's rich culinary heritage to life. Live entertainment at dinner, from Monday - Saturday, adds to the ambiance with a band performing traditional Turkish numbers accompanied in parts by a belly dancer. The staff is attentive and the service is quick and knowledgeable. Guests can also enjoy a shisha experience and learn the subtleties of shisha preparation from the restaurant's shisha sommelier.
Set menus start from AED 120 per person. Chef Mustafa put together the most delicious meal with so much variety and even more flavor. I tried and would highly recommend the Kiyi Mixed Meat Platter with its char-grilled lamb chop, adana kebab, shish tavuk, chunk of beef and a tender and perfectly cooked Turkish sucuk. The grilled vegetables and bulgur pilaf made perfect sides to this course. They say the Turks can't imagine a meal without bread, and we're delighted with this fact when we are served the Turkish Pide and Lahmacun, a traditional flat-bread with fresh toppings, baked in stone made oven served with mixed salad. The Kiyi Hummus topped with pastrami, green pepper & tomato and garnished with fresh herbs and a Kalamar Tava, deep-fried baby calamari served with 'Tartor' dipping were mouthfuls of delight. I had the Kunefe for dessert, and it was better than the one I’ve tasted in Europe, with crispy kadaif dough with cheese filling and Maras style ice cream. On the chef's recommendation we also tried the delectable Rumeli Tatlisi - a creamy yoghurt custard, flavored with gum mastic, mixed wild berries, and pistachio. The perfect meal for a perfect evening.
Ajman offers a wonderful addition to the traditional Dubai break, with an 18-hole Championship course at the nearby Al Zorah Golf Club, excellent food, golden beaches that fringe an expansive opal sea, and a chance to soak in genuine Arabian traditions and hospitality. Add it on your travel itinerary, and you won’t regret it!