The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a stable oasis in the Middle East, and its government often plays the role of mediator between neighboring countries and factions. Jordan came into being in the 20th century as part of the French and British division of the Arabian Peninsula; Jordan became a British Mandate under the UN’s approval until 1946, when it became independent.

Capital and Major Cities

Capital: Amman, population 2.5 million

Major cities:

Az Zarqa, 1.65 million

Irbid, 650,000

Ar Ramtha, 120,000

Al Karak, 109,000


The Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy under the rule of King Abdullah II. He serves as the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of Jordan’s armed forces. The king also appoints all 60 members of one of the two houses of Parliament, the Majlis al-Aayan or «Assembly of Notables.»

The other house of Parliament, the Majlis al-Nuwaab or «Chamber of Deputies,» has 120 members who are directly elected by the people. Jordan has a multi-party system, although the majority of politicians run as independents. By law, political parties can not be based on religion.

Jordan’s court system is independent of the king, and includes a supreme court called the «Court of Cassation,» as well as several Courts of Appeal. The lower courts are divided by the types of cases they hear into civil and sharia courts. Civil courts decide criminal matters as well as some types of civil cases, including those that involve parties from different religions. Sharia courts have jurisdiction over Muslim citizens only and hear cases involving marriage, divorce, inheritance, and charitable giving (waqf).


The population of Jordan is estimated at 6.5 million as of 2012. As a relatively stable part of a chaotic region, Jordan plays host to enormous numbers of refugees, as well. Almost 2 million Palestinian refugees live in Jordan, many since 1948, and more than 300,000 of them still live in refugee camps. They have been joined by some 15,000 Lebanese, 700,000 Iraqis, and most recently, 500,000 Syrians.

About 98% of Jordanians are Arabs, with small populations of Circassians, Armenians, and Kurds making up the remaining 2%. Approximately 83% of the population lives in urban areas. The population growth rate is a very modest 0.14% as of 2013.


Jordan’s official language is Arabic. English is the most commonly used second language and is widely spoken by middle and upper-class Jordanians.


Approximately 92% of Jordanians are Sunni Muslim, and Islam is the official religion of Jordan. This number has rapidly increased over recent decades, as Christians formed 30% of the population as recently as 1950. Today, just 6% of Jordanians are Christians — mostly Greek Orthodox, with smaller communities from other Orthodox churches. The remaining 2% of the population are mostly Baha’i or Druze.


Jordan has a total area of 89,342 square kilometers (34,495 square miles) and is not quite landlocked. Its only port city is Aqaba, situated on the narrow Gulf of Aqaba, which empties into the Red Sea. Jordan’s coastline stretches just 26 kilometers, or 16 miles.

To the south and east, Jordan borders on Saudi Arabia. To the west is Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. On the northern border sits Syria, while to the east is Iraq.

Eastern Jordan is characterized by desert terrain, dotted with oases. The western highland area is more suitable for agriculture and boasts a Mediterranean climate and evergreen forests. 

The highest point in Jordan is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1,854 meters (6,083 feet) above sea level. The lowest is the Dead Sea, at -420 meters (-1,378 feet).


The climate shades from Mediterranean to desert moving west to east across Jordan. In the northwest, an average of about 500 mm (20 inches) or rain falls per year, while in the east the average is just 120 mm (4.7 inches). Most of the precipitation falls between November and April and may include snow at higher elevations.

The highest recorded temperature in Amman, Jordan was 41.7 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit). The lowest was -5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit).


The World Bank labels Jordan an «upper middle-income country,» and its economy has grown slowly but steadily at about 2 to 4% per year over the past decade. The kingdom has a small, struggling agricultural and industrial base, due in large part to its shortages of fresh water and oil. 

Jordan’s per capita income is $6,100 US. Its official unemployment rate is 12.5%, although the youth unemployment rate is closer to 30%. Approximately 14% of Jordanians live below the poverty line.

The government employs up to two-thirds of the Jordanian workforce, although King Abdullah has moved to privatize industry. About 77% of Jordan’s workers are employed in the service sector, including trade and finance, transportation, public utilities, etc. Tourism at sites such as the famous city of Petra accounts for about 12% of Jordan’s gross domestic product.

Jordan hopes to improve its economic situation in coming years by bring four nuclear power plants on-line, which will reduce expensive diesel imports from Saudi Arabia, and by beginning to exploit its oil-shale reserves. In the meanwhile, it relies on foreign aid.

Jordan’s currency is the dinar, which has an exchange rate of 1 dinar = 1.41 USD.


the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan (al-Mamlakat al-Urdunniya al-Hashimiya), a state in Western Asia. Jordan is bordered on the north by Syria, on the east and northeast by Iraq, on the south and southeast by Saudi Arabia, and on the west and northwest by Israel. On the southwest it faces the Gulf of Aqaba, leading to the Red Sea. Area, 97,700 sq km. Population, 2.4 million (1971, estimate). The capital city is Amman. The country is divided administratively into eight provinces, or liwas.

Constitution and Government.Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. The constitution now in effect, adopted on Jan. 1, 1952, came into force on Jan. 8, 1952. The head of state is the king, who possesses broad powers: he appoints and removes prime ministers and ministers, he approves laws, he is commander in chief of the armed forces, he has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives, and he can declare war and conclude peace.

The highest organ of legislative power is the parliament, or National Assembly, which consists of two houses: the Senate, or House of Notables (30 members, appointed by the king for a term of four years), and the House of Representatives (60 deputies, elected for four years by secret and direct vote). The right to vote is granted only to males who have reached the age of 18.

Each province (liwa) is headed by a governor (mutesarrif) and each district (qadd), by a district leader (qaim-maqam); the smallest territorial unit, the nahiya, is headed by a local leader, or mudir. Each city has a municipal council and each village is headed by an elder, or mukhtar. The nomadic tribes are headed by sheikhs who are formally elected but in reality inherit their offices.

There are three types of courts in Jordan: civil, religious (shari’a), and special (tribal courts, military tribunals, and state security courts). Members of the civil courts (comprising magistrates’ courts and courts of the first and second instance) are appointed by the king.

Natural features.Most of Jordan’s territory consists of plateaus rising from an elevation of 500 m in the east to 1,000–1,500 m in the west. The highest point is Mount Ram (1,764 m), in the south. A deep meridional tectonic depression, consisting of al-Ghor and its continuation, Wadi al-Arabah, is found in the west. The al-Ghor depression is occupied by the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea, an inland lake without outlet (395 m below sea level). Along both sides of the depression rise the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains, composed mainly of Cretaceous and Paleogenic limestones and sandstones, in places covered with lava. There are deposits of phosphorites, potassium salts (in the Dead Sea), and copper.

The climate of Jordan is dry and subtropical. The average January temperature is from 8° to 14°C; July temperatures range from 24° to 30°C, sometimes reaching 50°C in the al-Ghor depression and in the south of the country. Precipitation varies from 500 to 700 mm a year in the mountains to the west (with the maximum in winter) to less than 100 mm a year in some parts of the east and in the al-Ghor depression.

Few rivers in Jordan flow year-round, but there are many wadis and seasonal streams. There is Mediterranean vegetation in the western highlands, and bush-and-tree formations are common. The east consists of deserts and semideserts; date palms grow in the infrequent oases.

Fauna indigenous to Jordan includes the gazelle, hyena, desert fox, and many species of birds and reptiles.

Population.More than 95 percent of the population of Jordan is Arab. In addition, there are about 20,000 Circassians and several thousand Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, and Turkomans. The nomadic Arabs retain their tribal division; the largest tribes are the Beni-Sakhr and the Huwaytat. The official language is Arabic.

The population is 93 percent Sunni Muslim, with a small number of Shiite Muslims and Druze. There are over 100,000 Christians, mostly urban. The official calendar is the lunar hegira; the Gregorian calendar is also used.

The rate of population increase between 1963 and 1970 averaged 3.7 percent a year, most of it attributable to natural increase. However, in certain years migration was a significant factor. An influx of Palestinian refugees from Israeli-occupied sections of Jordan caused a considerable increase in the population on the east bank of the Jordan River. The tightness of the labor market is causing unemployment and an exodus of the labor force (primarily to Kuwait and other Arab countries). In 1967,23 percent of the population was economically active, of which one-third was employed in agriculture. The country has a severe shortage of skilled workers, and the industrial labor force is small.

The population of Jordan is divided into settled, seminomadic, and nomadic groups, according to way of life, and a process of settlement of the nomads is going on. The majority of the population is concentrated in the Jordan valley; the southern and eastern parts of the country are occupied by a small number of nomadic and seminomadic tribes (less than one inhabitant per sq km). The largest cities (1970, estimate) are Amman (500,000), Al-Zarqa (136,000), Jerusalem (eastern), Irbid, Nabulus, and Al-Khalil (Hebron).

Historical survey .In antiquity, the territory of modern Jordan was inhabited by Semitic tribes of the Canaanite group and often invaded by Phoenicians and Hittites. Part of the territory belonged to the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the third and second millennia B.C. The center of the ancient Arabian early-class-structured Nabatean state arose by the end of the first millennium B.C. The Nabatean kingdom was conquered by the Romans at the beginning of the second century A.D., and by the fourth decade of the second century the entire territory of modern Jordan was subjected to Roman rule.

the fourth century the territory became part of the Byzantine Empire. In the seventh century it was conquered by the Arabs and became part of the Arab Caliphate. The Arabic language and Islam gradually spread.

Between the 11th and the 15th centuries, Jordanian territory was subjected to invasions by the Crusaders, the Seljuks, and the Egyptian Mamelukes. The territory was part of the Ottoman Empire from the early 16th century until 1918.

Most of the territory of modern Jordan was freed from Turkish troops during World War I by Arab guerrilla detachments, and in 1918, together with the territory of modern Syria, the area came under the control of Emir Faisal. After the end of the war the territory was included in the British Mandate for Palestine. At the Cairo Conference of British colonial leaders in March 1921, the decision was made to isolate part of the territory east of the Jordan River from the jurisdiction of the mandate as the emirate (principality) of Transjordan, under the rule of Emir Abdullah (Hashimite dynasty).

Transjordan, with a population of about 300,000, was a backward agricultural country dominated by feudal lords and tribal sheikhs and actually ruled by British mandate authorities. The boundaries of the emirate were defined between 1921 and 1925. Transjordan included the districts of Ma’an and Aqaba, which until then had been part of the Hejaz in Saudi Arabia. The Transjordanian army, known as the Arab Legion, was organized under the command of British officers.

In 1928, Great Britain saddled Transjordan with an unequal treaty that guaranteed Britain’s control of the foreign policy, finances, and armed forces of the emirate. The authority of the Hashimites was strengthened by the constitution of 1928, under which the emir kept full control over the Legislative Council and under which the organs of executive authority were responsible only to him. The exploitative 1928 treaty and the constitution caused dissatisfaction in the country. A popular movement in 1928–29 was headed by the People’s Party (al-Shaab), founded in 1927, and led by a group of influential sheikhs and representatives of the national intelligentsia. The National Congress summoned by the Shaab in June 1928 demanded genuine independence for Transjordan. The country was beset by mass demonstrations and strikes by students, artisans, merchants, the intelligentsia, and the peasantry. However, the parliament (elected in January 1929), obedient to the emir, ratified the treaty of 1928. The anti-imperialist movement experienced a certain falling-off after 1929. The Shaab lost its influence. However, mass disturbances flared up at certain periods, especially during the insurrections of Palestinian Arabs against British imperialism and Zionism in 1929, 1933, and 1936–39. A guerrilla struggle developed in the western districts of the country between 1936 and 1939.

By the beginning of World War II (1939-45) the territory of the emirate had been turned into one of Great Britain’s Middle Eastern military bases, and Britain’s puppet, Emir Abdullah, was given a prominent role in expanding British influence in the Arab East.

The dependent position of Transjordan did not change even after a new Anglo-Jordanian treaty was concluded on Mar. 22, 1946, under which Britain relinquished its mandate over Transjordan and recognized it as an independent state. On May 25, 1946, the country became known as Jordan, with Abdullah as king. Jordan was admitted to the United Nations in 1955. The treaty of 1946 was replaced by a newly unequal treaty in 1948.

As a result of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948–49, the central districts of Palestine—the west bank of the Jordan River, including Nabulus, Bayt-Lahm (Bethlehem), and East Jerusalem—were incorporated into Jordan; this accession became official in 1950.

The incorporation of economically and politically developed regions of Palestine helped to activate the movement against the reactionary regime and domination of the British colonialists. At the same time, the presence in Jordan of over 500,000 Arab refugees from Israel and the Israeli-occupied Arab areas of Palestine, in addition to Jordan’s dependence upon the Western powers, complicated the country’s economic and political situation. The penetration of American imperialism into Jordan intensified. In February 1951 an agreement providing for American aid to Jordan was signed; in 1957 it was replaced by an agreement providing for economic and technical aid to Jordan from the USA.

On July 20, 1951, a member of a terrorist organization killed King Abdullah. His son Talal ascended the throne; TalaPs son Hussein succeeded him in August 1952, but a council of regents ruled until Hussein reached 18 in May 1953.

Jordan’s political life has become more active since the early 1950’s. In January 1952 a new constitution was adopted, which established the principle of the government’s responsibility to the National Assembly. On the initiative of the Jordan Communist Party (founded in 1943 and known until 1951 as the National Liberation League) the patriotic National Front was created in 1952. In addition to the Communist Party, the National Front included the National Socialist Party (founded in 1954), the Baath (founded in 1952), and several other organizations. Although the persecution of progressive forces continued, the government was forced, under a 1954 law, to recognize the right of political parties and trade unions to organize. It was also forced to release many patriots, including Communists, from the jails.

The growth of political activism, which was evident in massive popular demonstrations in 1953 and 1954, undermined the efforts of imperialist and internal reactionary forces to draw Jordan into the aggressive military-political Baghdad Pact. As a result of demonstrations against British imperialists in December 1955 and January 1956 the British general J.B. Glubb, who had commanded the Arab Legion for 17 years and exerted great influence on the country’s political life, was removed and driven out of Jordan. Command of the Legion was transferred to Jordanian officers, and in July 1956 the Legion was renamed the Jordan Arab Army. In the parliamentary elections of Oct. 21, 1956, the bloc of patriotic forces won for the first time; the Communist Party obtained two seats in the National Assembly. A government headed by S. al-Nabulsi, leader of the National Socialist Party, came to power.

In January 1957, Jordan signed an agreement on Arab solidarity with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. In February 1957, Great Britain was forced to agree to the annulment of the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948 and to withdraw British troops from Jordan. Nabulsi’s government announced its intention to establish diplomatic relations with the USSR and began to implement a number of democratic measures. However, in April 1957 reactionary forces brought about the resignation of Nabulsi’s government. Martial law was established, many ministers and representatives were arrested, and the activity of political parties, including the Communist Party, was prohibited. (Since 1967 the JCP has operated on a semilegal basis.) For the purpose of consolidating reactionary Arab forces, Jordan and royalist Iraq signed an agreement creating the Arab Federation, which was dissolved after the Iraqi Revolution of July 14, 1958.

Several shifts have occurred in Jordan’s foreign and domestic policy since the early 1960’s. Diplomatic relations with the USSR were established on Aug. 21, 1963, followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations with most of the other socialist countries. In 1965, Jordan and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement adjusting their borders in the region of the port of Aqaba. In 1967, Jordan and Egypt signed a military agreement, joined by Iraq soon afterward.

A seven-year plan (later replaced by a five-year plan) for economic development was worked out. In 1965 a labor law somewhat expanded the rights of workers. In April 1965 a law was passed granting amnesty to political prisoners and political emigrants.

As a result of Israel’s agression against the Arab countries in June 1967, Israeli troops occupied 5,900 sq km of Jordanian territory (west of the Jordan River), the area comprising the most economically developed part of the country. About 300,000 new refugees fled to the east bank of the Jordan. Thus, the number of Palestinian refugees in Jordan exceeded 800,000. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s military detachments of several organizations in the Palestinian resistance movement were active on Jordanian territory. Jordan’s situation was complicated by subsequent aggressive attacks on the part of Israel.

In accordance with the Arab countries’ Khartoum Agreement (end of 1967), Libya, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia were obliged to give financial aid to Jordan. (When relations between the Palestinian resistance movement and the Jordanian government worsened critically in September 1970, Libya broke off relations with Jordan and announced that it would aid the Palestinian partisans directly.)

The internal situation in Jordan has repeatedly become critically aggravated since late 1970, arising from provocations by imperialist and Israeli agents and resulting in armed clashes between the Jordanian army and detachments of the Palestinian resistance movement. After Jordanian troops destroyed the Palestinians’ military bases in July 1971, the Palestinian resistance forces left Jordan and moved to the territory of a number of other Arab states.

In March 1972, King Hussein put forward a plan to create a “United Arab Kingdom,” comprising both a Jordanian sector (the east bank of the Jordan River) and a Palestinian sector (the west bank of the Jordan and East Jerusalem). Many Arab states rejected this plan, regarding it as an attempt to split their solidarity in seeking a solution to the Mideast conflict.

The Rabat summit meeting of the Arab states in October 1974, attended by Jordan, unanimously affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to establish national rule, under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Al Fatah) as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arabs, in any part of Palestinian territory liberated from Israeli occupation.

A Soviet-Jordanian agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation was signed in October 1967. In 1969, Jordan and the USSR signed a trade agreement and an agreement on economic and technical cooperation.

Political parties, trade unions, and other social organizations.The Jordan Communist Party (al-Hizb al-Shuyu’i al-Urdunni) was created in 1943 and was known as the National Liberation League until 1951. It operates on a semilegal basis.

The Arab Socialist Renaissance Party (al-Hizb al-Ba’ath al-Arabi al-Ishtiraki, otherwise known as Baath) was founded in 1952. The Islamic Liberation Movement (al-Tahrir) was also founded in 1952. Both are outlawed.

The Jordan Federation of Trade Unions has been in existence since 1967 and is affiliated with the World Federation of Trade Unions.

The Jordanian-Soviet Friendship Society was founded in 1969.

Economic geography.Jordan is an underdeveloped agricultural-pastoral country. Industry began to develop only after World War II. Some enterprises are controlled by foreign capital. The economy suffered severely from Israeli aggression in 1967; the occupied west-bank territory had accounted for about 38 percent of the gross national product, including 65 percent of the vegetables, over 60 percent of the fruits, 80 percent of the oil-producing crops, and about 30 percent of the cereals. The extraction of potassium salts is also concentrated in the western regions (near the Dead Sea). The state revenue has dropped significantly. The government plans to expand the phosphate-rock mining and agricultural production in the country’s arid southern regions. In 1970 foreign subsidies and loans amounted to 42 million Jordanian dinars (JD), or 54 percent of the state budgetary revenue, including JD17 million from the USA and JD17.9 million from Saudi Arabia.

Agriculture is the main sector of the economy, accounting for 19.5 percent of the gross national product in 1970. Relatively large landowner estates and small peasant tenant-holdings are characteristic. Of all farms, 86.4 percent are less than 10 hectares and are of the small-scale commodity and subsistence type. The landowners and sheikhs keep the best of the cultivated lands, pastures, and water sources. Large- and medium-scale landowner farms account for about 3 percent of the total number of farms but for about half of the cultivated land. In the 1960’s producers’ and trade cooperatives appeared in the villages; the number of these cooperatives had grown to 340 (with about 17,000 members) by 1966, all united in a Central Cooperative Union. The cooperatives extend financial, technical, and agronomic aid to their members.

Land cultivation techniques in Jordan are essentially primitive. There were 2,800 tractors in 1970. Although irrigation is of great importance for Jordan, irrigated lands constitute only about 1 percent of the total area under cultivation. Irrigation construction was begun in the Yarmuk basin in northern Jordan in 1972. Cultivated lands (including gardens and orchards) accounted for 13 percent of the total territory in 1969; another 1 percent was pasture and meadowland and slightly over 1 percent was forest. The main agricultural region is the valley of the Jordan River, where fruits, grapes, olives, vegetables, wheat, barley, corn, lentils, and eggplants are the principal crops. (See Table 1 for the area and yield of the main agricultural crops.)

Table 1. Area and yield of chief agricultural crops
1Average per year. Data on area and yield of agricultural crops for 1969 and 1970 do not include that of the territory occupied by Israel in 1967.
Source: Production Yearbook 1970. FAO, United Nations. Rome, 1971.
  Area (thou ha) Yield (thou tons)
  1948–521 1960 1969 1970 1948–521 1960 1969 1970
Wheat … 182 100 164 223 128 44 159 54
Barley …. 62 34 57 41 52 13 42 5
Olives ……… 15 20 28 17 24 3
Citrus fruits …….. 17 2 3 7 24 4
Grapes ………. 11 19 4 27 43 14 6
Tomatoes ……… 7 13 21 13 17 156 150 137

Animal husbandry, providing 25 to 30 percent of the agricultural income, is practiced extensively. Primarily sheep and goats are raised; there are also certain breeds of cattle used mainly as work animals. In 1969–70 there were 900,000 sheep, 500,000 goats, 50,000 cattle, and 10,000 camels. Livestock productivity is low.

Industry is weakly developed and accounts for 15–20 percent of the gross national product. The main sectors are mining, food processing, and building-materials production. The most important single enterprise is the joint British-Jordanian Jordan Phosphate Mines Company, in which the Jordanian government owns the controlling shares. There are oil mills, wineries, and noodle factories. Building materials are produced (cement; marble is mined and processed). About 70 percent of the industrial enterprises, most of them small, are concentrated in and around Amman. About one-fifth of all industrial workers are employed at the oil refinery in al-Zarqa, at the cigarette factory in Amman, at the phosphate mines in al-Rusayfa and al-Hasa, and at the cement factory, chemical factory, and garment factory near Amman. (See Table 2 for the output of basic industrial products.)

Table 2. Output of principal industrial products
  1953 1960 1966 19717
1 Excludes the output of enterprises in the territory occupied by Israel in 1967
2 1956
3 1,087.3 thousand tons in 1969 4 1961
Electric power (millions kW-hr) ….. 16.32 156 177 133.7
Phosphates (dry) (thou tons) ….. 40 362 796.4 6403
Petroleum products (thou tons) ….. 2054 430.4 556.7
Cement (thou tons) ….. 165 375.3 418.9
Cigarettes (millions) ….. 378 946.2 1,478 2,109.3
Leather and wool (tons) ….. 545.9 397.4

From the Syrian border in the north to Naqb Ashtar in the south, Jordan’s territory is traversed by a 362-km railroad, completed in 1971. Highways total about 6,000 km. In 1969 there were 15,000 automobiles and 5,500 trucks. Aqaba, which handled 381,900 tons of cargo in 1970, is the only seaport. The principal air routes run to other Arab countries, Great Britain, and France. Two oil pipelines, the Kirkuk (Iraq)-Haifa (Israel), which has not functioned since 1948, and the Dahran (Saudi Arabia)-Sayda (Lebanon), pass through Jordanian territory.

In 1970 exports were valued at JD9.3 million; imports, at JD65.9 million. Jordan exports phosphorites and agricultural produce, while importing almost all industrial and many food products. Jordan’s chief trading partners in imports were (in 1970) Great Britain (13.9 percent of Jordan’s imports), the USA (11.2 percent), other Arab countries (20 percent), the Common Market countries (17.9 percent in 1969), and the socialist countries (13 percent in 1969). Jordan’s exports go primarily to other Arab countries, including Kuwait, Lebanon and Syria (77 percent), as well as to India (3.2 percent) and Yugoslavia (8.6 percent).

The monetary unit is the Jordanian dinar. In April 1971, JD0.3571 was equal to US $1. Jordan’s foreign debt in 1969 was JD37 million (25 million in 1966).

Armed forces.he armed forces of Jordan consist of ground forces, an air force, a navy, and local self-defense units. The supreme commander in chief is the king; the armed forces are directly administered by the Ministry of Defense. Manpower is supplied under a law of universal military obligation; the term of active service is two years. There were about 60,000 men in the armed services in 1971. The ground forces consist of one division each of infantry, mechanized, and tank forces, as well as of specialized smaller units. The air force has about 30 combat planes. The navy has 250 men and eight small cutters. All weaponry and military equipment are British and American.

Medicine and public healthAccording to figures of the World Health Organization for 1966, the birthrate in Jordan was 46.2 per thousand inhabitants and the death rate was 5.0 per thousand; infant mortality was 36.3 per thousand live births.

Infectious diseases are the main health problem. Diseases found throughout the country include gastrointestinal disorders, tuberculosis, and trachoma. Malaria is endemic in the Jordan and Yarmuk valleys, sections of Amman, the Jabal Ajlun uplands, and sections southeast of the Dead Sea. Malaria is especially widespread among the nomadic tribes. Ascariasis, trichuriasis, and enterobiasis are extremely common; dracunculiasis occurs occasionally.

In 1966 there were 57 working hospitals with 3,500 beds (or 1.7 per thousand population), 57 polyclinics attached to the hospitals, 24 independent polyclinics, 24 health centers, and 375 dispensaries. There were 505 working physicians (one per 4,000 population), 75 dentists, 396 pharmacists, 180 midwives, and 320 nurses. Health services are financed by state (in 1966, 6.3 percent of the budget) and municipal subsidies and by the World Health Organization.

Veterinary services.Nomadic stock raising and mountain ranching predominate. Poor veterinary control results in the spread of highly dangerous infections. In 1970 there were 17 new foci of murrain, six of sheep pox, nine of hydrophobia, and 16 of Newcastle’s fowl disease. Naturally endemic animal diseases in the south and east include babesiasis of cattle and piroplas-moses of solidungulates. Goat-pox, sheep mange, coccidioses, and helminthic infections of all species of animals have been found in most of the livestock throughout the country. Gangrenous mastitis and contagious felons cause great economic losses. Jordan does not have its own institutions of veterinary education. There were 41 veterinarians in the country in 1969.

Education.fter Jordan received independence a 1952 law announced compulsory free education at the primary level and secondary education at a fee. In the early 1960’s, 50 percent of the population was illiterate.

The system of public education consists of six-year primary schools, three-year incomplete secondary schools, and three-year complete secondary schools. Separate instruction predominates.

The complete secondary schools provide specialized training in agriculture, engineering, and business. In 1969–70 there were 318,000 students in primary schools, over 55,000 in incomplete secondary schools, and 27,000 in complete secondary schools. Schools have been organized for the children of Palestinian refugees, who have streamed into Jordan as a result of Israeli aggression.

In order to combat illiteracy, two-year courses were introduced in 1966 to eliminate illiteracy in the adult population. Great attention is also paid to vocational training. Three-year vocational schools are fed by the primary schools. In 1970 there were 17 vocational-technical schools (with 2,400 students) and four agricultural schools (with over 350 students). The secondary preparatory schools feed seven teacher-training colleges (five state-run and two affiliated with UNESCO), which had a total of 1,780 students in 1970. They also prepare students for an agricultural college with a two-year program of study.

The first institution of higher learning in Jordan is the University of Jordan in Amman, opened in 1962. It has three departments: liberal arts, economics and commerce, and natural sciences. Students must pay tuition. There were 2,600 students in the university in 1970–71. Jordanians also receive higher education in Egypt, Lebanon, and other countries; 940 Jordanian students were studying abroad in 1972. Work in agriculture is being carried on under the Department of Agricultural Research. The country’s water resources are being studied in this connection.

The largest libraries are located in Amman: the university library, with 21,000 volumes, as well as a public library with 30,000 volumes; Amman is also the home of the Jordan Archaeological Museum (founded in 1923) and the Museum of Islam.

Press, radio, and television.Newspapers have been published in Jordan since 1909. The Arabic-language newspaper al-Dustur (founded in 1967; circulation, 14,000) was being published in 1972. A number of government journals and several weeklies are also published. A government-owned radio station has broadcast since 1959. The station is located in Amman and broadcasts in Arabic, English, Spanish, and Hebrew. There have been television broadcasts since 1968 in Arabic and English.

Literature.Until the 19th century the literature of the people inhabiting modern Jordan developed as part of the general tradition of Arabic literature. The end of the 19th century was marked by the cultural and literary activity of Yusaf Zay-al-Din al-Khalidi (1829–1906), Nahl Zariq (1859–1921), Khalil Baydath (1875–1949), and Khalil al-Sakakini.

The poetry of the first half of the 20th century was dominated by romanticism and sentimentalism. This is exemplified in the works of Ibrahim al-Dabbagh, Ibrahim Tuqan, and Said al-Qiyarami.

Mustafa Wahba Al-Til (1899–1949) expressed the period’s ideas of national liberation. Deep social values are found in the works of Iskandar al-Huri al-Baytajali, the patriotic poetry of Muhammad al-Shariqi and Husni Fariz, and the early lyric poetry of Muayyad Ibrahim al-Irani. The national liberation movement left its imprint on young realist writers, such as Muayyan Basisu and Nazhat Salam.

Other lyric poets include Burhan al-Din al-Abusha, Abd al-Karim al-Qiyarmi (Abu-Salam), and Mahmud al-Khut. The novella and short story occupy the leading place in prose. Mahmud Sayf al-Din al-Irani and Muhammad Adib al-Amri are authors of novellas and innovators in form and content. The biographical novel and novella are represented by the works of Najat Sidqa. Modern anti-imperialist themes appear in the works of the poets Mahmud Darwish (born 1942; verse collection Remains of the Night published 1968), Harun Hashim Rashid, and Muayyan Basisu (author of Trees Die Standing, 1967, and the narrative poem To the People’s Resistance Gazette).

Architecture and art.Many monuments survived from ancient times on Jordanian territory. The rock paintings of Qilwa date from the Paleolithic age. The oldest layer of the settlement of Jericho, with its adobe houses and stone fortifications, dates from the Neolithic. Unique sculptural portraits—skulls with the faces restored in clay—have been found here. Megalithic tombs, the remains of packed-clay dwellings and ritual temples (sometimes with wall paintings), ceramics, jewelry, and glyptics have been found from the Aneolithic and the Bronze Age. There are seals engraved with winged spirits and a stone statuette of a priest from Amman from the first half of the first millennium B.C. In the fourth century B.C. the influence of classical art becomes evident in the northern part of Jordan in the planning and construction of cities such as Philadelphia (now Amman) and Gerasa (now Jarash).

The architecture of the Nabateans (beginning in the fourth century B.C.) is of particular interest; it is characterized by its wealth and refinement of form and articulation (exemplified by Petra, the capital city complex of the Nabatean kingdom, carved out of cliffs, and by the ruins in Kirbat-Tannur and Umm al-Jimal).

There are many Roman ruins (second and third centuries A.D.) and Byzantine ruins (fourth to early seventh centuries A.D.) consisting of temples and dwellings. Some of these have mosaic floors. The most important works of Arab art of the Omayyad period (661–750) include the centrally domed mosque Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) in Jerusalem, with its magnificent mosaics and rich ornamentation; the residential palace of Qasr al-Mushatta, famous for its frieze decorated with the most delicate stone carving; Kirbat al-Mafjar, with its mosaic floors and panels and its stucco ceilings with geometrical designs and scenes of animals fighting; and Qasr Amra, with its unique frescoes depicting scenes of hunting and labor.

Palaces of the Crusaders of the 12th century are preserved in Karak and al-Shubak. Fortresses of Arab emirs of the 12th century are preserved in Ajlun (the fortress of Qalat al-Rabad). There is a 14th-century fort in Aqaba.

Later centuries have not left valuable works of art. New construction in Jordan consists primarily of one- to four-story dwellings with flat roofs and of modern business and administrative buildings.

Folk art is represented chiefly by patterned weaving and geometrically ornamented embroidery (sometimes including stylized depictions of plants and animals), ceramics, and wood, mother-of-pearl, and leather items.


Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

The threat of terrorism remains high in Jordan. Transnational and indigenous terrorist groups have demonstrated the capability to plan and implement attacks in Jordan. Violent extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, including the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), and al-Qa’ida, directly or indirectly have conducted or supported attacks in Jordan and continue to plot against local security forces, U.S. and Western interests and “soft” targets, such as high-profile public events, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, schools, and malls. Jordan’s prominent role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and its shared borders with Iraq and Syria increase the potential for future terrorist incidents.

  • Travelers to Jordan should be aware that violent extremist groups have carried out terrorist activities against U.S. and Government of Jordan targets in Jordan.
  • Jordanian security services have conducted multiple operations to disrupt terrorist plots and operations.
  • In November 2019, a lone terrorist stabbed eight people, including four foreigners, at the Jerash tourist site. The perpetrator was immediately arrested and charged with committing a terrorist act.
  •  U.S. government personnel must have permission for official travel on Highway 10 east of the town of Ruwayshid toward the Iraq border, due to Jordanian military activity, known smuggling routes, and a lack of emergency facilities.
  • U.S. government employees are not permitted to visit most border areas or any refugee camps on personal travel, and the Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid both locations.
  • On occasion, the U.S. Embassy temporarily makes other areas within Jordan off limits to its staff based on the security situation. This information will be shared with the U.S. citizen community through our website and through a message to STEP enrollees.

In general, terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. government personnel and private U.S. citizens. Terrorists may target areas frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, shopping malls, transportation hubs, places of worship, expatriate residential areas, and schools. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance:

  • be aware of your surroundings
  • take appropriate steps to increase your security awareness
  • be unpredictable in your movements by varying your times and routes
  • maintain a low profile
  • avoid contact with any suspicious or unfamiliar objects and immediately report the presence of such objects to local authorities

U.S. government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime: Statistically, petty crime is the most common form of crime that U.S. citizens and other Western nationals experience in Jordan, especially at tourist sites and in crowded areas. Pickpockets, purse snatchers, and opportunistic thieves are known to target foreigners in the narrow and crowded streets of the older parts of Amman’s city center. Travelers should be alert in these areas and in all tourist locations in Jordan. Jordanian police have warned the public to exercise vigilance when leaving banks or ATMs, to reduce likelihood of targeting by thieves.

Thefts of vehicles, assaults, robbery, and attempted residential break-ins have also been reported. Take care not to display valuables in your car or on your person and be sure to lock car doors and windows.

Violent crime does occur, but U.S. citizens or other Westerners are rarely targeted. In the past, the Embassy has received reports of firearms being discharged at vehicles being driven by Westerners. Celebratory gunfire is common, especially during major festivals, sporting events, or the biannual release of high school test scores.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods. Not only are the pirated copies illegal in the United States, if you purchase them, you will also be breaking local law. Most DVDs, CDs, and software available for sale in Jordan are pirated.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

In general, demonstrations remain peaceful. However, some have turned violent, even when intended to be peaceful, leading security officials to intervene. Travelers should avoid all protests and large gatherings of people. Many demonstrations occur on Thursday evenings near government buildings and on Fridays near mosques following mid-day prayers. You should exercise special sensitivity and caution when visiting or traveling near mosques and religious sites during holy days and Fridays. Demonstrations and other forms of unrest have occurred on public university campuses in Jordan. Some acts of violence on university campuses have involved the use of firearms. Although generally peaceful, anti-U.S. demonstrations have also taken place in front of the U.S. Embassy.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 911. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence are encouraged to contact 911 and ask to be put in touch with the Family Protection Directorate, part of the national police, which is staffed 24/7 and has some English-speaking personnel. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime. U.S. citizen victims of crime may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance at (6) 590-6950.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should call 911 and ask to speak to the Family Protection Directorate which is tasked with assisting and investigating issues of domestic violence. U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Flash Flooding: Certain areas of Jordan, including Petra, the Dead Sea, and other tourist areas, are prone to heavy rain and flash flooding, especially from October-March. Roads and bridges may become impassable and the Jordanian government may close tourist areas completely. The first rains of the season in particular often cause flooding throughout Amman and other cities in Jordan. It is important to watch the weather reports and heed local recommendations. The Jordanian government may send out Arabic language text messages to all cell phones registered in Jordan when inclement weather, such as heavy rain, occurs.

Tribal Violence: Clashes between feuding tribes, clans, or families periodically erupt without notice and sometimes involve violence, including the use of firearms. In some cases, Jordanian security services are slow to respond or may opt to let the violence subside before intervening.

Syria and Iraq Borders: U.S. citizens should avoid the border areas with Syria and Iraq. All U.S. government personnel on official travel must receive prior permission to visit any area within 10 km of the Jordan-Syria border, except the tourist site of Umm Qais or the city of Irbid. U.S. government personnel must also have permission for official travel on Highway 10 east of the town of Ruwayshid toward the Iraq border, or for official visits to refugee camps anywhere in Jordan. Personal travel by U.S. government employees to the border areas or refugee camps is not permitted. Police and security officials have arrested weapon and drug smugglers, as well as foreign fighters attempting to enter Syria to fight in the country’s ongoing conflict. In the past, fighting in Syria has occurred close to Syria’s border with Jordan, and some munitions have landed within Jordan’s borders. On June 21, 2016, ISIS conducted a car bombing attack against a Jordanian military facility in the country’s northeast, along the border with Syria, killing seven Jordanian soldiers. The Department of State warns against all travel into Syria and Iraq. Please see the Travel Advisories and Country Information for Syria and Iraq for further information.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.


Political parties and leaders

Ahrar al-Urdun (Free People of Jordan) Party [Samir al-ZU’BI]
Al-Awn al-Watani (National Aid) Party [Faysal al-AWAR]
Al-Balad al-Amin Party [Khalil al-SAYED]
Al-Itijah al-Watani (National Trend Party) [Ahmad al-KAYED]
Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Party [Salah al-QUDAH]
Al-Nida’ Party [Abd-al-Majid ABU-KHALID]
Al-Rayah Party (Flag Party) [Bilal DHEISAT]
Al-Shahama Party [Mashhour ZREIQAT]
Al-Shura Party [Firas al-ABBADI]
Arab Socialist Ba’th Party [Zyad AL-HOMSI]
Conservatives Party [Hasan RASHID]
Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa’eed DHIYAB]
Democratic Sha’b Party (HASHD) [Abla ABU-OLBEH]
Freedom and Equality Party [Hamad Abu ZEID]
Islamic Action Front [Murad AL-ADAYLAH]
Islamic Centrist Party [Madallah AL-TARAWNEH]
Jordanian Al-Ansar Party [Awni al-RJOUB]
Jordanian Al-Hayah Party [Abd-al-Fattah al-KILANI]
Jordanian Communist Party [Faraj ITMIZYEH]
Jordanian Democratic Socialist Party [Jamil al-NIMRI]
Jordanian Democratic Tabiy’ah (Nature) Party [Ali ASFOUR]
Jordanian Equality Party [Zuhair al-SHURAFA]
Jordanian Fursan (Cavaliers Party) [Ali al-DHWEIB]
Jordanian Justice and Development Party [Ali al-SHURAFA]
Jordanian National Action Party [Abd-al-Hadi al-MAHARMAH]
Jordanian National Constitutional Party [Ahmad al-SHUNNAQ]
Jordanian National Democratic Grouping Party [Shakir al-ABBADI]
Jordanian National Party [Muna ABU-BAKR]
Jordanian National Union Party [Zeid ABU-ZEID]
Jordanian Progressive Ba’th Party [Fu’ad DABBOUR]
Jordanian Promise Party [Mahmoud al-KHALILI]
Jordanian Reform Party [Eid DHAYYAT]
Jordanian Social Justice Party [Abd-al-Fattah al-NSOUR]
Jordanian Wafa’ (Loyalty) Party [Mazin al-QADI]
Justice and Reform Party [Sa’eed Nathir ARABIYAT]
Modernity and Change Party [Nayef al-HAMAYDEH]
National Congress Party [Irhayil GHARAYBEH] (formerly the Zamzam party)
National Renaissance Front Party [Isma’il KHATATBEH]
National Unity Party [Muhammad al-ZBOUN]
Pan Arab Movement Party [Dayfallah FARRAJ]
Partnership and Salvation Party [Muhammad al-HAMMOURI]
Reform and Renewal Party [Mazin RYAL]
Risalah Party [Hazim QASHOU’]
Stronger Jordan Party [Rula al-HROUB]
Unified Jordanian Front Party [Farouq AL-ABBADI]


Что за страна

Королевство Иордания расположено на Ближнем Востоке. Оно граничит с Израилем, Сирией, Саудовской Аравией, Ираком. Большая часть населения исповедует ислам.

В страну едут за пляжным отдыхом. В Иордании сразу два моря — Красное и Мертвое, поэтому много санаториев и хороших отелей. Из развлечений — спа с горячими источниками, джип-туры по пустыням, дайвинг, снорклинг и арабские базары. Еще в Иордании может быть интересно православным: на территории страны расположена гора Нево, где предположительно похоронен Моисей, и река Иордан, где крестили Христа.

В сезон путевки в Иорданию в четырехзвездочный отель стоят от 150 тысяч рублей — скриншот с сайта «Левел-тревел»
В то же время путевки в Египет стоят от 80 тысяч

Безопасность. Несмотря на то что Иордания находится в неспокойной зоне, в 2018 году она вошла в рейтинг самых безопасных стран мира. Это похоже на правду. В стране жесткий полицейский режим: по улицам ходят военные патрули, повсюду стоят блокпосты с таможенниками, а в заливе — военные корабли. В Иордании мы чувствовали себя в безопасности.

Местные говорят, что тут редко воруют или как-то иначе преступают законы. Они жесткие: в 2018 году в Иордании вынесли 16 смертных приговоров. Наш экскурсовод Мухаммед рассказал, что за приставания к незнакомке можно сесть в тюрьму на полгода, а подглядывание за женщиной даже через окно — на 3—6 месяцев.

Люди. Иорданцы показались мне дружелюбными и гостеприимными. Когда мы заходили в сувенирную лавку поглазеть на бижутерию и посуду, нас угощали чаем с мелиссой и сладостями, советовали, как лучше добраться до местного рынка, и желали доброго дня. Таксисты рассказывали, что интересного посмотреть в городе и как попасть на хороший пляж. Еще они признавались в любви к России и всегда находили сдачу.

Язык. Большинство иорданцев хорошо говорят по-английски — проблем с общением у нас не возникало.

По данным портала Countrymeters, большинство исповедует ислам. Христиане составляют 2,2% населения
Мертвое море со стороны Иордании

Когда ехать

В Иордании 330 дней в году светит солнце. Комфортное время для посещения страны — весна и осень. На мой взгляд, идеальный месяц для поездки — апрель: нет изнуряющей жары и пронизывающего ветра. Температура воздуха составляет +16…23 °C, а в популярном курортном городе Акабе воздух прогревается до +31 °C.

Мы побывали в Иордании в апреле. Гулять по городу, загорать, ездить на экскурсии и купаться в море было комфортно, временами даже жарко.

Летом воздух прогревается до +40 °C. В это время можно неделю отдыхать в дешевом отеле за 30 000—50 000 Р. Но даже летом нужно быть готовым к прохладным вечерам в пустыне. Там температура ночью резко падает до +10 °C или ниже. Когда мы ночевали в пустыне в лагере бедуинов — спали в теплой одежде под двумя одеялами. Мы очень замерзли, но утром резко потеплело. Обязательно берите на ночевку в пустыню куртки, шерстяные носки и свитера.


За 10 дней мы объездили всю Иорданию: побывали в пяти городах, видели десятки исторических мест и поплавали в двух морях — Красном и Мертвом.

За 10 дней мы посетили 5 городов и 10 исторических мест

Первым делом отправились исследовать Петру — древний город, вырубленный в скалах. Затем катались на джипах по пустыне Вади-Рам, где снимали фильм «Марсианин», и ночевали там под звездами в лагере бедуинов. В Аммане и Джараше мы изучали древнеримскую историю, а в Акабе — богатый подводный мир Красного моря. Дальше подробно расскажу обо всех достопримечательностях.

Путевка и отель

В сезон авиабилеты Москва — Акаба — Москва на двоих стоят от 60 000 Р. Мы посчитали, во сколько обойдется жилье, страховки и визы, если бронировать все отдельно, и решили ехать по путевке.

Билеты в сезон дорогие — дешевле ехать по путевке

Я до последнего надеялась, что нас определят в отель уровня «Хилтон» или «Мовенпик». Но этого не произошло: нас отправили в маленький и скромный отель «Орикс», который слабо соответствовал нашим ожиданиям. Он непопулярен среди русских, только среди местных. Позже в турагентстве нам пояснили, что туристов по фортуне определяют именно в этот отель.

Лобби отеля «Орикс»

По сервису и услугам «Орикс» больше похож на четырехзвездочный отель, а не пятизвездочный, как заявлялось в буклете. Вечерней развлекательной программы и анимации не было. Спа-услугами и спортивным залом можно воспользоваться только до 17:00, хотя обычно в это время все загорают или уезжают на экскурсии. В бассейне и джакузи, расположенных на заднем дворе отеля, была прохладная из-за его тени вода — мы там не купались.

Каждое утро автобус выезжал в Тала Бей в 9:00 или 10:00. На территории пляжа нам бесплатно выдавали полотенца, предоставляли зонты и шезлонги. Обратно мы возвращались на автобусе в 13:00 или 17:00. Расписание удобным не назовешь: о вечерних прогулках по пляжу, купании в любое время и закатах можно смело забыть — или же быть готовым каждый раз добираться до отеля на такси за 400 Р.

Первое время нам было неудобно приезжать на море по расписанию. Но отдыхать на плохо обустроенном городском пляже Акабы оказалось еще хуже, поэтому пришлось адаптироваться.

Питание в отеле было ориентировано на местных: в еду добавляли терпкие травы, зелень, оливки, кедровые орешки, финики, лимоны. Блюда были разнообразными, но еда — простой и без излишеств, поэтому большого гастрономического удовольствия не приносила. Любимая опция россиян «все включено», как оказалось, была с ограничениями: из алкогольных напитков подавали лишь бокал пива один раз в день.

Сначала мы надеялись, что нам все-таки будут подавать морепродукты и вкусные закуски. Но никаких ужинов со средиземноморской кухней и тематических вечеров не было.

Несмотря на такие явные недочеты, в целом сервис в «Ориксе» нам понравился: номер был большой и уютный, убирались ежедневно. Все наши просьбы выполнялись, а вопросы решались незамедлительно.

На мой взгляд, если вы хотите просыпаться с видом на море, наслаждаться восточной кухней, по вечерам посещать развлекательную программу и отдыхать на закрытой пляжной территории в любое время — стоит выбирать отели в районе Тала Бей и не ехать по фортуне.

Иорданцы часто приезжают в Акабу на выходные и селятся в домах или отелях, расположенных на побережье


Мы летели через Израиль: прибыли в Эйлат, пересели на автобус и проехали 146 км до пограничного пункта Вади-эль-Араба. Это странный и долгий путь: российские чартеры летают в Акабу и Амман. Видимо, такой сложный маршрут был дешевле для туроператора «Корал-тревела», но совсем неудобен для нас.

Гражданам России, Беларуси, Украины и многих других стран визу бесплатно оформляют в аэропорту по прибытии. Условие одно: в стране надо находиться более 48 часов. Виза действует месяц.

При пересечении наземных пограничных пунктов сбор составляет 12 $ (822  Р). Мы были в числе туристической группы более пяти человек в сопровождении лицензионного гида и пересекали иорданскую границу в свободной экономической зоне ASEZA, поэтому ничего не платили. Если вы въезжаете через свободную экономическую зону Акабы на срок до 30 дней, визу оформляют бесплатно.

На границе помимо визового штампа иорданцы ставят в паспорт на первую страницу наклейку со штрихкодом. По возвращении домой удалять ее стоит очень аккуратно. Редактор Т⁠—⁠Ж старалась это сделать, но все равно отклеила штрихкод вместе с крошечной частью страницы. После этого в УФМС посоветовали заменить паспорт: неизвестно, как отреагировали бы пограничники разных стран на поврежденный документ.

Обратно мы добирались тем же путем, через Эйлат. На КПП в Израиле и в аэропорту нас ждала беседа со службой безопасности. Сотрудники несколько раз осматривали сумки и задавали вопросы: «Где отдыхали?», «Кто собирал ваш чемодан?», «Передавали ли вам для провоза какие-либо вещи?» и так далее. В аэропорт мы приехали около 14:00, а в зеленом коридоре с дьюти-фри оказались только в районе 18:30.

Такой путь нас сильно утомил и вывел из себя. Если будете лететь через агентство, заранее уточняйте, откуда вылет.


Валюта — иорданский динар. Местные охотно принимают доллары, но выгоднее расплачиваться динарами: 1 JOD равен 1,4 $.

Поменять деньги можно в любом представительстве местных банков, например Bank al Etihad или ABC bank, и обменниках. Они повсюду. Комиссии за услугу нет, но курс обмена везде разный. Я советую прогуляться по городу, прицениться и выбрать место с наиболее выгодным.

Я рекомендую хранить деньги на счете и взять немного наличных. Мы расплачивались картой в местных кафе, музеях, продуктовых магазинах, а наличными — в такси, сувенирных лавках, на пляже и рынке. Хватило 141 $ (9666  Р) для оплаты мелких покупок.


На улицах десятки кафе, ресторанов, прилавков с едой, фруктами и турецким кофе. В популярных туристических местах цены на еду завышены. Местные в основном питаются в уличных кафе. Там кебаб, или шашлык, стоит 10—12 $ (685 —822  Р), а курица гриль с гарниром — 7—9 $ (479 —617  Р).

Не стоит бояться покупать еду в уличных кафе: практически во всех заведениях, где мы ели, было чисто и вкусно. Там десятки видов шаурмы — пожалуй, больше мы нигде не встречали. Особенно божественной оказалась шаурма с ягнятиной, наструганной с вращающегося и постепенно жарящегося куска и завернутой в питу с овощами, специями и соусом. Еще советую обязательно попробовать орехи, сладости, мороженое, кофе с кардамоном и рис с бараниной мансаф.

Если будете в Акабе, рекомендую поужинать в ресторане Diwan The View Rooftop Lounge. Он расположен на крыше отеля DoubleTree by Hilton. Там вкусная еда и прекрасный вид на ночной город и море. За небольшое ассорти из морепродуктов и напитки мы заплатили 42 $ (2879  Р).


Чтобы сэкономить на экскурсиях, еще в России мы нашли в соцсетях пару, которая тоже собиралась посетить Иорданию. Мы договорились вместе ездить по стране. У гидов-таксистов фиксированная стоимость услуг — вчетвером дешевле, чем вдвоем.

Местного водителя нашли во Вконтакте. Он предложил нам три отдельных тура на легковом автомобиле. В предложение входили:

  1. Поездка в Петру на весь день.
  2. Джип-тур по достопримечательностям пустыни Вади-Рам, ужин с ночевкой в лагере бедуинов.
  3. Двухдневная поездка в столицу Амман с посещением горячих источников, Мертвого моря и христианских святынь: горы Нево, реки Иордан, города Мадабы.

В отеле предлагались идентичные экскурсии, цены начинались от 47 $ (3222  Р) за поездку на одного. Но питание не входило в стоимость, а ездить по достопримечательностям пришлось бы с толпой туристов. Мы переплатили и не жалеем об этом: смотреть страну с индивидуальным гидом для нас было комфортнее.

Иорданию нам показывал Мухаммед — местный житель и отличный водитель. В течение всего путешествия он на прекрасном английском языке рассказывал про здешние традиции, менталитет, политику и еду. Когда мы подъезжали к туристическим объектам, Мухаммед покупал билеты, показывал, куда идти и что обязательно посмотреть, организовывал питание и ночлег, а главное — ездил без нарушения ПДД.

Наша чудесная компания, Мухаммед и его Хендай Элантра

Что посмотреть в Петре

Попасть в город можно только через узкое ущелье Сик. Поначалу из-за громоздящихся с двух сторон скал приходится идти в тени: солнцу сложно пробиться сквозь возвышения. Постепенно начинает светлеть, и все красивое ущелье становится видно.

На выходе открывается потрясающий вид на храм Эль-Хазне, вырубленный в скале, а после небольшой прогулки вдоль ущелья — на старый город с множеством каменных домов, рынков, административных зданий. Еще в Петре есть римский театр на 7000 мест и дворцовая усыпальница.

Эль-Хазне — набатейский храм, вырубленный прямо в скале. Название переводится с арабского как «сокровищница». Размер фасада здания — 40 метров в высоту и 25 метров в ширину
Всего в Петре сохранилось 800 исторических объектов. Бродить по ней можно бесконечно, рассматривая спрятанные в скалы дома и храмы

При входе в Петру стоят лошади. Местные жители, бедуины, предлагают облегчить жизнь туристам и довезти их верхом. Мы согласились: думали, что доедем прямо до сокровищницы. Спустя мгновение и 100 метров нашему недоумению не было предела: поездка верхом закончилась. Она заняла 5 минут, а заплатили мы за двоих 1000 рублей. Затем нам пришлось пройти еще несколько километров по ущелью.

Интересно, что Мухаммед предупреждал нас о подобных ситуациях и просил быть бдительными. К сожалению, нам это не помогло. Зато после такого случая нашу команду сложно было обмануть.

Одна из самых красивых построек в Петре — это Ад-Дэйр, огромный монастырь на вершине скалы. Чтобы увидеть его, нужно подняться по 800 ступенькам. Если хотите сохранить силы на обратный путь, лучше оплатить прогулку на ослике. Стоимость проезда на одного к скале — 14 $ (959  Р), обратно — 28 $ (1919  Р). Обычно туристы поднимаются на вершину пешком. На возвращение сил не остается, и они вынуждены арендовать «транспорт» уже по двойному тарифу.

В Петре торгуют бедуины. Для них город — и дом, и место работы. Правительство дало им на это специальное разрешение. Бедуины ночуют семьями прямо в пещерах, вырубленных в скалах. Неподалеку мастерят украшения, предметы декора и тут же ими торгуют. Некоторые продают магниты, брелоки, железные сумки, керамику. Другие предлагают прокатиться на верблюде, еле стоящем на ногах.

Еще бедуины готовы провести к самым потаенным и красивым местам в городе. Чтобы пройти к вершине скалы с видом на Эль-Хазне, где туристы делают впечатляющие фото, потребуется заплатить около 30 $ (2056  Р).

Монастырь Ад-Дэйр — самый большой резной монумент в Петре, построенный в первом веке нашей эры
Ослик на вершине скалы, где находится монастырь Ад-Дэйр

Для прогулок по Петре нужна удобная обувь, головной убор и побольше воды. Не помешает взять и перекус: кафе есть только при входе. Советую следить за личными вещами.

Что посмотреть в пустыне

Вади-Рам — каменистая пустыня, похожая на поверхность Марса. Здесь снимали десятки фильмов, например «Марсианин», «Трансформеры», «Прометей», «Звездные войны». Вход на территорию пустыни стоит 7 $ (479  Р).

Джип-сафари в среднем обойдется в 56—70 $ (3839 —4799  Р) на человека. Гиды показывают самые красивые локации: горы и скалы. Если едете вечером, сможете посмотреть там закат — зрелище невероятное.

Города Иордании

Джараш — город, расцвет которого пришелся на римскую эпоху. После сильного землетрясения он был погребен под обломками. Раскопки организовали лишь в начале 20 века. Оказалось, что под завалами прекрасно сохранились остатки архитектурных сооружений: храмов, амфитеатров, римских бань, городских стен. Вход стоит 15 $ (1028  Р).

Амман — столица королевства. Это современный арабский город, который по ритму жизни напомнил мне Стамбул. Здесь всюду контрасты: мусульманские святыни стоят рядом с древнеримскими руинами, кварталы с модными кафе и галереями современного искусства соседствуют с бедными окраинами, где раскинуты лагеря палестинских беженцев.

В музее королевских автомобилей выставлены 70 ретромашин и 70 мотоциклов короля Хусейна. Авто были его страстью: он приобретал их сам или получал в подарок от лидеров других стран. Все экспонаты в отличном рабочем состоянии. Вход стоит 4 $ (274  Р). Советую туда обязательно заглянуть.

Другие достопримечательности

Источники Хаммамат Маин — это горячие минеральные воды, которые падают с гор высотой тридцать метров. Под ними комфортно стоять даже в межсезонье: температура воды +38…40 °С.

Как правило, туристические группы отдыхают у подножия водопада. Индивидуальные туры проводят на территории спа-центра вдали от шумных туристов. Вход стоит 24 $ (1645  Р).

Гора Нево — это место, где, по преданию, Бог показал Моисею Землю обетованную. Считается, что Моисея похоронили именно там.

Река Иордан — популярное место среди паломников: там крестили Иисуса Христа. Туристы привозят белые рубашки, заранее купленные в сувенирных магазинах за 10 $ (685  Р), надевают их и окунаются в воды Иордана. Христианский обряд контролируют военные с автоматами: по реке проходит граница Израиля и Иордании. Расстояние между странами — три метра.

По пути к горе Нево есть удивительный участок на дороге, где машины сами по себе едут в гору и вода течет вверх. Одни говорят, что это магнитная аномалия, другие называют оптической иллюзией. Я так и не разобралась, где правда


Общественный транспорт в стране развит плохо, исключение — столица Амман.

Проезд в автобусе стоит около 0,71 $ (48  Р). Оплату принимают в динарах, но разобраться в схеме движения транспорта сложно: все названия маршрутов и остановок, расписание автобусов — только на арабском. Надписи на английском встречаются редко.

Между городами курсируют автобусы и маршрутки нескольких фирм. Одна из наиболее популярных — Jett. Примерная стоимость билетов:

  • автобус Амман — Петра — 14 $ (959  Р);
  • автобус Амман — Акаба — 11 $ (754  Р);
  • маршрутка Акаба — Петра — 7 $ (479  Р).

Самый популярный и удобный способ передвижения — такси. Большинство машин оборудованы счетчиками и кондиционерами. Можно легко поймать такси на улице и смело предлагать стоимость проезда, невзирая на счетчик.

Мы передвигались по городу и до района Тала Бей исключительно на такси, на автобусах не ездили. За все время потратили на поездки 3000 рублей.

Дайвинг и снорклинг

Акаба — одно из самых популярных мест в мире для дайвинга. С берега море выглядит совершенно обычным. Но когда опускаешь голову под воду в маске, оно напоминает разноцветный аквариум: там обитают тысячи видов рыб и растет 220 видов кораллов.

Погружаться можно только в строго отведенных местах и в сопровождении инструктора, у которого есть лицензия. На пляже к нам подошел местный парень и предложил поплавать с маской за 35 $ (2399  Р). Он выдал оборудование, провел инструктаж и отвез нас на катере к рифу «Японские сады».

Купить подобный тур можно на пляже у местных жителей или в туристических агентствах города. Снорклинг стоит от 47 $ (3222  Р), дайвинг — от 105 $ (7198  Р). В стоимость входит снаряжение и проезд до места погружения и обратно.


Мобильная связь есть на всей территории крупных городов и курортов. Основные операторы — Zain, Orange и Umniah. Симкарты продаются в фирменных киосках в аэропорту, торговых центрах и супермаркетах. Стоимость в неделю — от 600 Р.

Вайфай есть во многих кафе, закусочных и отелях, но скорость невысокая.

Палестина, Израиль и Египет расположены так близко, что телефон периодически подключается к их базовым станциям

Что взять с собой

Аптечку. Непривычная восточная кухня может вызвать несварение или отравление. Рекомендую взять стандартный набор лекарств.

Тапочки для купания лучше приобрести, чтобы не пораниться о коралл или морского ежа. В Иордании пара обойдется в 1000 Р, в России — от 500 Р.

Маску и трубку стоит взять, чтобы сэкономить на их аренде. Еще использовать свою маску и трубку гигиеничнее и приятнее.

Закрытую одежду для девушек. В Иордании нет закона, запрещающего ходить в открытых платьях или коротких шортах. Но по своему опыту скажу: в закрытой одежде будет комфортнее. С ней можно избежать пристальных взглядов местного населения.


  1. В Иордании безопасно, но по темным гетто лучше не гулять.
  2. Не покупайте тур по фортуне, чтобы не рисковать.
  3. Уточняйте, куда прилетает чартерный рейс туроператора. Если нужно переходить границу с Израилем, лучше поискать другой тур.
  4. Если договариваетесь о чем-то с бедуинами, обсуждайте все детали: могут обмануть.
  5. Возьмите с собой или арендуйте оборудование для снорклинга.


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