WHERE IS JORDAN?
Jordan is located in the Middle East and borders Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, and Iraq. Covering some 89,342 sq.km., it is located at 31 00 N, 36 00 E.
JUST THE FACTS
To ensure you get the most from your visit to Jordan, it is important to have a few basic facts on hand before you arrive. From currency to transport, from newspapers to business hours, you’ll find all the information you need here.
Jordan is a primarily a Muslim country, although freedom of religion is protected. Muslim women’s clothing often covers their arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but very revealing clothing is never appropriate and conservative dressing is advised for both men and women in the old part of Amman (downtown), and outside the cities. Shorts are rarely worn by either sex, and would be out of place in the downtown Amman area. Topless sunbathing is prohibited and one-piece swimsuits are preferred, although two-piece swimsuits are acceptable at hotel pools.
Visitors with a valid passport may obtain a visa at any Jordanian embassy, consulate, or legation abroad. A visa can also be obtained at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport or at any other border crossing except King Hussein Bridge and the ferryboat from Egypt. Visas are valid for one month, but can be extended at any police station.
The main English-language daily is The Jordan Times. Foreign newspapers are available at hotels and some shops.
Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, including American Express, Visa, Diners Club, and MasterCard. Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, and it’s essential for shopping in the local souks (markets).
The official language of Jordan is Arabic, but English is widely spoken especially in the cities. Many Jordanians have travelled, or have been educated abroad, so French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken, but to a lesser extent.
Wherever you go in Jordan you will find plenty of opportunities to shop. For visitors there is a wide range of locally made handicrafts and other goods available at all the popular sites, as well as within the boutiques of the leading hotels and at the various visitor centers. There you will find hand-woven rugs and cushions, beautifully embroidered items and clothing, traditional pottery, glassware, silver jewelry embedded with semi-precious stones, Bedouin knives, coffee pots, narghiles (hubble bubble), marquetry work, antiques and other artifacts. The list is endless and about as varied as you can imagine.
Take time to visit the souks in Jordan’s larger towns and cities. These are treasure troves for those seeking something a little bit out of the ordinary. Within the souks are also excellent gold and silver outlets, where some great bargains can be found. Also worth visiting are the busy market shops, especially for exotic spices, herbs and seasonings.
Both Amman and Aqaba offer sophisticated shops and boutiques selling the very latest fashions in jewellery, clothing, accessories, leather and electronic goods.
When in Amman, don’t forget to visit Al-Wakalat Street to find all European and North American brand stores lining the streets and offering their latest collections, as well as in the many malls available throughout the city. Also, Rainbow Street is a great tourist area, where many handicraft stores, coffee shops, and lounges overlook the paved lanes.
Almost everywhere in Jordan you can find the world-famous Dead Sea spa products. All are of excellent quality and produced under strict clinical conditions. They are also very reasonably priced.
In all cases, the shopkeepers are helpful and friendly. Most speak at least a little English but even if they don’t, there is usually someone around who will only be very willing to assist you. After all, this is Jordan!
October – March: Greenwich Mean Time plus 2 hours (G.M.T. + 2).
April – September: Greenwich Mean Time plus 3 hours (G.M.T. + 3).
Jordan is seven hours ahead of US Eastern Time.
Telephone services within Jordan are efficient and reliable. Directories in Arabic and English are widely available and international calls can be made from public and private phones. Fax services are available at most hotels while telegrams can be sent from post offices. Internet access is widespread via Internet cafes and hotels.
The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, symbol JD, also pronounced as “jaydee.” There are 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 JD notes. The dinar is divided into 100 piasters (pronounced “pee-asters”) of 1000 fils (“fills”). The fils is the unit most commonly used and you will usually see prices written as 4,750 (which is 4 JD and 750 fils).
Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange booths and at most hotels. Street money-changers are best avoided. Exchange rates are set daily by the Jordanian Central Bank.
It’s better to know also the following information
Besides Royal Jordanian, more than 20 international air carriers fly into Queen Alia International Airport, located 35km south of Amman. The flying time from the major European cities is about four hours. The easiest way to get to downtown Amman from Airport is by taxi; the Journey takes 30-45 minutes, and the fare is about 15 JDs (equivalent to around $22). However, shuttle buses to the city centre bus station are also available, leaving the Airport every half-hour.
Queen Alia International Airport
Conveniently located within 50 minutes of Amman’s downtown, Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) is considered to be the main airport in Jordan and is serviced by many global airline carriers.
Taxis are readily available outside the terminals. Shuttle buses also link QAIA with Amman’s South terminal (and back) every half-hour between 06.00 and 16:30, every hour between 17:00- 00.00, and every hour between 00:00 – 03:00am only Airport – Amman. The cost of the ticket is JOD3.00.
Taxis are inexpensive and often the most convenient form of transportation in Jordan, even over substantial distances, such as the trip between Amman and Aqaba. The white-painted “service taxis” ride fixed routes and are shared. Private taxis are painted yellow; they can be taken from ranks outside larger hotels, or hailed in the street. Taxis have metres, but these are not always used at night, so it is advisable to agree on the cost beforehand. The same applies to long journeys. Taxi drivers are friendly, know the city well, and usually speak English. It is considered appropriate for a woman to sit in the back of the taxi. Tipping isn’t compulsory, but it is customary to add about 200 fils (20 piasters) to the price of the metre.
|Jordanian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, UAE||+9712 4447100||+9712 firstname.lastname@example.org||Diplomatic Complex, Airport Road||8:00 – 14:00, closed Thursday & Friday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Athens, Greece||+30210 6744161||+30210 6740578||Athens@fm.gov.jo||21 papadiamandi street, Palio Psychico||9:00 – 14:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Consulate in Erbil, Iraq||+964 7508114442 or +964 email@example.com||Villa number 713 & 715, Dream City|
|Jordanian Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan||+771 72245255||+771 firstname.lastname@example.org||Novostroitelnaya Street 8/2 Microdistrict, Chubary||10:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordan Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan||+9251 2279124||+9251 2279127||Islamabad@fm.gov.jo||House No: 1 street 88, G-63||9:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey||+90312 4402054||+90312 4404327||Ankara@fm.gov.jo||Mesnevi Dede Korkut, Sok No 18 A. Ayranci||9:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Ottawa, Canada||+1613 2388090||+1613 2323341||Ottawa@fm.gov.jo||100 Bronson Ave. Suite 701||9:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Paris, France||+331 55620000||+331 email@example.com||GMT 92200 Neuilly Sur Seine 80, Boulevard Maurice Barres||9:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan||+99412 4373121||+99412 firstname.lastname@example.org||Caspian Plaza 2, floor no 16||09:00 – 16:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania||+4021 2104705||+4021 2100320||Bucharest@fm.gov.jo||St. Dumbrava Rosie No.1 Sector||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil||+5561 32485414||+5561 email@example.com||Shis QI 09 Conj Unto 18 Casa 14 Lago Sul-Brasilia-DF CEP 71650-180||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Berlin, Germany||+4930 3699600||+4930 firstname.lastname@example.org||Heerstr 201 13595||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Brussels, Belgium||+322 email@example.com||Av. Franlkin, Roosevelt, 104||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa||+2712 3468615||+2712 3468611||Pretoria@fm.gov.jo||Olivier street Brooklyn, 0075 252||09:00 – 16:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq||+964 7812777667||Baghdad@fm.gov.jo||Diplomatic neighborhood, Dajlah complex 2, villa no.3||08:30 – 14:00, closed Friday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Beijing, China||+8610 65323906||+8610 65323283||Beijing@fm.gov.jo||Sanlitun Dongliu Jie No.5, 100600||08:30 – 15:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Berne, Switzerland||+4131 3840404||+4131 firstname.lastname@example.org||Thoracker Strasse 3 Muri. B. – 3074||09:00 – 14:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon||+961 5922501||+961 5922502||Beirut@fm.gov.jo||Al Yas Hilo Street, Ba’bada||08:30 – 14:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel||+9723 7517722||+9723 email@example.com||Rehov Abba hillel silver Ramat Gan, 14 52560||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tunis||+21671 780875||+21671 firstname.lastname@example.org||95 Yoghrata Street, Mitwal Vil||08:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia||+6221 5153484||+6221 5153482||Jakarta@fm.gov.jo||Gedung Artha Graha, 9th floor JI. Jend, sudlrman Kav, 52-53, 12190||08:30 – 15:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Consulate in Jeddah, KSA||+9662 6607633||+9662 6607674||Jeddah@fm.gov.jo||Al Hamra’a Neighborhood, Prince Mohammad Bin Abed Al Aziz Street||08:30 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Algiers, Algeria||+21321 692031||+21321 691554||Algiers@fm.gov.jo||15 Al Nakheel Janan Al Malek Haydarah Street||09:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland||+4122 782000||+4122 email@example.com||Due de Vermont 37-39||08:30 – 17:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan||+249183 522293||+249183 522295||Khartoum@fm.gov.jo||Taif Iqar area number 862, block 22||08:30 – 16:30, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Consulate in Dubai, UAE||+9714 3970500||+9714 3971675||Dubai@fm.gov.jo||Khaled Bin Al Waleed Street, Consulates complex||09:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Damascus, Syria||+96311 6136260||+96311 6136263||Damascus@fm.gov.jo||Tarablous street, building 27||08:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Doha, Qatar||+974 4832203||+974 firstname.lastname@example.org||Al Dafnah, Diplomatic area, Embassies street||08:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Liaison Office in Ramallah, Palestine||+970 22974626||+970 22974627||Ramallah@fm.gov.jo||Al Masyoun neighborhood, near Grand Park Hotel||08:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Rabat, Morocco||+212537 759270||+212537 email@example.com||Villa 65, Military Neighborhood||08:30 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Rome, Italy||+3906 86205304||+3906 firstname.lastname@example.org||Via Giuseppe Marchi 1/P||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Riyadh, KSA||+9661 4880039||+9661 4880072||Riyadh@fm.gov.jo||Embassies Neighborhood||08:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Santiago, Chile||+562 9756187||+562 9756178||Santiago@fm.gov.jo||Depto. 1307 – Providencia||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea||+822 3182897||+822 email@example.com||Twin Trcc Building, Floor 6, Tower B, 14 Joonghak – dong, Jongto||09:00 – 16:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tripoli, Libya||+21821 3614761||+21821 3614762||Tripoli@fm.gov.jo||Abed al Rahman Bin Ouf Street||08:00 – 14:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen||+9671 413276||+9671 firstname.lastname@example.org||Damascus Street||08:00 – 15:00, closed Thursday & Friday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan||+99871 2742479||+99871 1401144||Tashkent@fm.gov.jo||Akamal Ikramov District, Chilanzar V-15||09:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tehran, Iran||+9821 88088551||+9821 88080496||Tehran@fm.gov.jo||Zarafshan street north, building number 1553||08:30 – 15:00, closed Thursday & Friday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan||+813 54787177||+813 54780032||Tokyo@fm.gov.jo||Kamiyama-cho, Shibuya, 8-39||09:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt||+202 37485566||+202 email@example.com||6 Bassem Al Kateb Street – Al Daqi||09:00– 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Vienna, Austria||+431 4051025||+431 firstname.lastname@example.org||Rennweg 17/4, 1030||09:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Canberra, Australia||+(02) 6295 9951 ; 6286 1037||+6239 email@example.com||17 Cobbadah Street O’Malley, ACT 2606||Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm AU ET (GMT+10). Day light saving (GMT+11)|
|Jordanian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||+603 42521268||+603 firstname.lastname@example.org||No. 2 Jalan Kedondong off Jalan ampang Hilir 55000||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Kuwait||+965 25312295||+965 25312291||Kuwait@fm.gov.jo||Al Jabriyeh area, piece 5 street number 1||08:00 – 15:00, closed Friday & Saturday|
|Jordanian Embassy in London, UK||+44207 97373685||+44207 9378795||London@fm.gov.jo||6 Upper Phillimore Gardens, W8 7HA||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Madrid, Spain||+3491 3191104||+3491 3082536||Madrid@fm.gov.jo||41 P Gral Martinez Campos, 28010||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Muscat, Oman||+968 24692763||+968 email@example.com||Diplomatic area, Arab University Street||08:00 – 14:00, closed Thursday & Friday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Moscow, Russia||+7495 6994344||+7495 6994354||Moscow@fm.gov.jo||Mamonovsky Pereulok, 3||09:00 – 15:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in New Delhi, India||+9111 24653318||+9111 firstname.lastname@example.org||30 Golf Links, 110003||09:00 – 15:30, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, USA||+1212 8329553||+1212 email@example.com||4th floor 866 Second Avenue, NY 10017||09:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Washington, USA||+1202 9662664||+1202 9663110||Washington@fm.gov.jo||International DR, NW 3504, DC 20008||09:00 – 17:00, closed Saturday & Sunday|
|Jordanian Embassy in Manama, Bahrain||+973 17291109||+973 17291980||Bahrain@fm.gov.jo||Building 43, highway 1901||08:00 – 15:00, closed Thursday & Friday|
Medical services are excellent in Jordan and most doctors are bilingual in Arabic and English. Larger hotels have a doctor on call and embassies can also suggest doctors and hospitals.
Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open. A few businesses and shops close for some of Sunday as well.
FEASTING IN JORDAN
Rich Jordanian food coupled with famous Jordanian hospitality creates an atmosphere of festivities each time a meal is served.
Feasting is a preoccupation not only of Jordan, but of the Middle East as a whole.
Mealtime in Jordan is not merely a biological function, but rather a social event. Jordanians are generally grouped during mealtime and are presented with food in a collective manner.
Food is a very important aspect within the Jordanian culture. In most villages, meals are a community event with the immediate and extended family present. In addition, food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity. Jordanians by nature are very hospital people and, often, it is presented within minutes of a person’s invitation to a local house.
It is with pride that Jordanians serve family, friends, and guests in their homes; no matter how modest their means.
A ‘Jordanian invitation’ means that you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything. This invitation is followed by the popular Arabic phrase “Sahtain wa ‘Afiya.”
Of course, when we discuss Jordanian food, we have to mention- at length- the most distinctive Jordanian dish, Mansaf.
Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan which often symbolizes an occasion.It consists of Arabic rice, a rich broth made from dry sour milk (jameed), and either lamb or chicken. Whether Jordanians are celebrating a graduation, an engagement, or a wedding, Mansaf is commonly served. In addition, Mansaf is also served during condolences and as a means to patch up ties with others.
Feasting on Mansaf is taken seriously, and hours are spent in its preparations.
Mansaf on the menu is the greatest symbol in Jordanian culture for generosity. The level of generosity is determined by the amount of lamb presented. Utensils are not commonly used when eating Mansaf.
Guests feast from the communal dish using their hands, due to the fact that it symbolizes a social community gathering. The grand presentation is placed in the middle of the dining setting.
Another delicacy that is popular in Jordan is stuffed baby lamb. It consists of roasted lamb, stuffed with rice, chopped onions, nuts and raisins.
There is also Al-Zarb, the name given to an oven that is dug one metre deep into the ground and is about 60cm in diameter, and coated with bricks while the bottom is left as is. It is also the name of the lamb dish cooked in this oven.
No matter what your preference, Jordanian cuisine will most definitely offer you something to please your taste buds.
Jordan is an ideal destination for those seeking cultural knowledge and spiritual enrichment. Jordan values its ethnically and religiously diverse population, consequently providing for the cultural rights of all its citizens. This spirit of tolerance and appreciation is one of the central elements contributing to the stable and peaceful cultural climate flourishing in Jordan. More than 92% of Jordanians are Sunni Muslims and approximately 6% are Christians. The majority of Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, but there are also Greek Catholics, a small Roman Catholic community, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and a few Protestant denominations. Several small Shi’a and Druze populations can also be found in Jordan.
As Jordan is predominantly an Islamic country, one may explore the principles of Islam through direct interaction with the people of this monotheistic religion. As the capstone of a long tradition beginning with Judaism and Christianity, Muslims believe that Islam completes the revelation of God’s message to humankind. Islam – which in Arabic means “submission” – is an assertion of the unity, completeness, and sovereignty of God. Muslims believe that God, or Allah as He is known in Arabic, revealed his final message to humankind through the Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Qur’an, which is the divine immutable word of God. Islam focuses heavily on the equality of all humans before the one true God, and therefore it is in many ways a return to the original doctrine of the pure monotheism that characterized the early Judeo-Christian tradition.
Islamic tradition has crystallized five fundamental observances, or “pillars,” that are as important as faith in defining Islamic identity and strengthening the common bond that ties all Muslims together. They are Confession of Faith, Daily Prayer (five times per day facing the holy city of Mecca), Fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage to Mecca.