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Tourism in Jordan
Jordan is a sovereign Arab state in the Middle East. The capital, Amman, is Jordan's most populous city as well as the country's economic, political and cultural centre.
Tourists photograph Al Khazneh (not visible) upon arriving in Petra. The Siq can be seen on the right.
Its major tourist attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, and one of New Seven Wonders of the World), the Jordan River, Mount Nebo, Madaba, numerous medieval mosques and churches, and unspoiled natural locations (as Wadi Rum and Jordan's northern mountainous region in general), as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions.
Jordan also offers health tourism, which is focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving in Aqaba's coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan's cities. More than half of the approximate 4.8 million Arab tourists in 2009, mainly from the GCC, said they plan to spend their holidays in Jordan.[1]
Main tourist destinations
Al-Khazneh in Petra
Dead Sea
Wadi Rum
Ancient sites
The south gate in the ancient city of Jerash
Qasr Amra a desert castle from the era of the Islamic Empire
Al-Karak castle
Religious tourist sites
Jerusalem on the Madaba Map
Seaside sites
Sightseeing
Ajloun Castle
Museums
Jordan has a diverse and growing number of museums which serve Jordanian and international visitors alike. Several museums in the capital, Amman, are listed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.[5] They include The Jordan Museum, which is a national museum focused on Jordan's archaeological and cultural heritage, the Royal Tank Museum housing over 120 tanks with a focus on Jordan's military history, and The Royal Automobile Museum and the Children's Museum Jordan which are both located in King Hussein Park in Amman. There are several art museums and institutions including Darat al Funun, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts and the MMAG Foundation. Other smaller museums in Amman include the Jordan Archaeological Museum on the Amman Citadel, which houses many important archaeological artifacts. The Jordan Folklore Museum also known as the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions, is located at the Roman Theater in Amman. The Tiraz Center in Amman focuses on private collections of Palestinian, Jordanian and Arab costumes and textiles. The Museums of Archaeology and Heritage can be found at the campus of the University of Jordan, and require a prior appointment to visit. The Museum of Parliamentary Life and the Ahli Bank Numismatic Museum can also be found in Amman.
Outside of Amman, there are a number of museums focusing on art, archaeology, ethnography and natural history. Overlooking the Baqa'a Valley just north of Amman is the Sami Hindiyeh Art Gallery (opened 2017) with its extensive modern art collection from across the Arab world. In the historic city of as-Salt, there is the Abu Jaber Museum, which focuses on late Ottoman and early 20th century history and traditions, as well as an historic house containing the as-Salt Archaeological Museum. There are numerous agritourism developments in the verdant north of Jordan near Salt, such as the ones in and around the archaeologically rich village of Gilead, namely the Mountain Breeze Resort and those affiliated with BookAgri, which aims to encourage the local farmers to showcase their traditional way of life to visitors. In Madaba, south of Amman, there is the Madaba Archaeological Museum, an Interpretive Center at St. George's Church, home of the Madaba Map, as well as a small museum at nearby Mount Nebo. The Dead Sea Panorama Complex contains an informative museum focusing on the natural history and geology of the Dead Sea. Nearby in Ghor es-Safi is the Lowest Point on Earth Museum, which displays important archaeological discoveries from this region of the South Jordan Valley. The Petra Museum (opened 2019), is located at the entrance of the World Heritage Site of Petra and presents around 300 objects from the Petra region, ranging from prehistory to the present day.[6]
There are several smaller regional or site museums focused on archaeology found across Jordan including the Dar as-Saraya Museum, Irbid, the Museum of Jordanian Heritage at Yarmouk University, also in Irbid, the Karak Archaeological Museum, Karak, the Jerash Archaeological Museum and Jerash Visitor Center, as well as museums at Umm Qais, Aqaba, and Qasr al-Hallabat.
Nightlife
Jordan, most specifically Amman and to a lesser extent Aqaba, has emerged as one of the region's hotspots for nightlife. Alongside Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh, and Manama, Amman is a premier clubbing destination in the Arab World and the Middle East.[7] The country has seen an explosion in nightlife options ranging from high end nightclubs and bars in the capital city to world-class raves at the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. Aqaba too has seen a proliferation in nightclubs and beach clubs as a result of the massive of foreign investment and influx of foreign labor and tourists due to the establishment of the special economic zone, ASEZA. Distant Heat held annually in Wadi Rum is considered one of the world's top raves.
Natural reserves
Jordan has a number of natural reserves.
Dana Biosphere Reserve in south-central Jordan
Visitor statistics
Most visitors arriving to Jordan were from the following countries of nationality:[8][9]
Country201620152014
 Saudi Arabia
756,989883,8841,057,604
 Palestine693,454611,601542,059
 Egypt
244,418258,366249,561
 United States166,441161,013160,766
 Iraq
142,044158,364224,596
 Israel
141,881154,316176,032
 Syria
136,973193,966421,166
 Kuwait89,99492,34391,069
 United Kingdom64,76660,82073,702
 India
57,72049,75554,129
 Germany57,49747,95156,323
 Yemen
57,33371,89567,071
Total4,778,5294,809,2745,326,501
Investment
King Hussein Mosque in Amman
Tourist police kiosk at Petra
Jordan is investing heavily in its tourist infrastructure in the form of luxury hotels, spas, resorts, and massive real estate projects, as The "Abdali Urban Regeneration" Project and the "Marsa Zayed" in Aqaba. Luxury residential housing like Sanaya Amman and the Living Wall are attracting affluent Persian Gulf vacationers to buy property in Jordan.
Queen Alia International Airport is being expanded to handle 9 million passengers annually in the first phase; 12 million in the second phase.
Tourism Development Currently USAID is an active partner in the development of the tourism industry in Jordan with the continued support of the Jordan Tourism Development Project (Siyaha), currently in its second project lifecycle.
Jordan Tourism Project (SIYAHA)
Duration: 2005–2008
Funding: $17,424,283 (estimated)[10]
Implementing Partner: Chemonics International
Jordan Tourism Project II (SIYAHA)
Duration: 2008–2013
Funding: $28 million[11]
Implementing Partner: Chemonics International
With the establishment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, nearly twenty billion dollars have been invested in Jordan's sole coastal city. Luxurious resorts such as Saraya Aqaba and Tala Bay are being constructed with more in the pipeline like the $1 billion Ayla Oasis.[12] With Jordan becoming increasing popular as a cruising destination, a new and modern cruise ship terminal is being constructed in the Marsa Zayed project.
See also
References
  1. ^ "Tourism within Arab states to grow in 2009: report". Reuters. 2009-07-21.
  2. ^ Kaufman, David (2006-12-03). "In Aqaba, Jordan, Sun and Sand in the Red Sea". The New York Times.
  3. ^ The Dead Sea, NPR
  4. ^ "Jerish and the North: Irbid", Rough guide to Jordan, Matthew Teller, Rough Guides Ltd., Penguin Putnam, London, 2002, p.176-180, ISBN 1-85828-740-5
  5. ^ "Welcome to Jordan Tourism Board > Where to go > Amman > Museums". in.visitjordan.com. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  6. ^ "The Petra Museum: A New Approach to Archaeological Heritage in Jordan". American Journal of Archaeology. 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  7. ^ Clubbing In The Middle East | djmag.comArchived 2012-04-05 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Jordan | U.S. Agency for International Development Archived 2011-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  12. ^ "ayla". Archived from the original on 2011-02-26. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
External links
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Jordan.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tourism in Jordan.
Last edited on 31 January 2021, at 18:16
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