UAE Pro League Wrap: Al Ahli win controversially
Ajman took the lead after 14 minutes through Ivorian attacker Boris Kabi, only for Luis Jimenez to equalise for the visitors.
The league leaders struggled to break down the home defence and looked to be on their way to a third consecutive away game without a win until they were handed a spot kick deep into stoppage time.
Brazilian striker Ciel duly converted but that was not the end of the drama, with two home officials needing to be restrained by security to prevent them from attacking referee Hamad Al Shaikh Hashmi.
Ajman have now dropped into relegation zone by virtue of Dubai's 1-1 draw with Al Wahda in a game that saw both teams reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Al Shabab are four points behind Al Ahli in second following their 3-1 win over Emirates, Mohammed Marzooq, Nasser Masood and Adeilson securing the triumph for the hosts after Abdulla Nini had put Emirates in front.
Former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan was on target for defending champions Al Ain at Al Jazira, but the Ghana international could not prevent them from falling to a 2-1 loss as the hosts took all three points thanks to goals from Juma Abdulla and Abdulla Qasem.
Al Shaab remain bottom following a 1-0 loss at Al Sharjah, midfielder Kim Jung-Woo's second-half striker condemning the strugglers to their ninth defeat of the campaign shortly after Essa Ali had been sent off for the visitors.
Mohamed Naser's 92nd-minute equaliser earned Al Wasl a 1-1 draw against Bani Yas, who have now gone four league games without a win, despite Haboush Saleh Habou's opener in first-half injury time.
Elsewhere, Al Dhafra drew 1-1 with Al Nasr.