Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
POB 224
Amman 11118 Jordan
Tel: 962 6 642311/4, Fax: 962 6 648 465,
Tlx: 21741


Physical geography

Jordan covers an area of 97,000 sq. km. and has common borders with Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In the northwest lies the profound depression containing the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 76km long and 17km wide. It lies 395 metres below sea-level and is known for its high salt contents. Into it flows the celebrated River Jordan which is bordered on both sides by a series of his. These are inhabited by sedentary farmers. The rest of Jordan is constituted by steppe and desert land. The only Jordanian port is Aqaba on the Red Sea, in the extreme south of the country.


The climate in Jordan is temperate, though it may vary considerably from one part of the country to another during certain seasons. Summer, April to October, is hot, sunny and without rain, though the evenings are generally cool. Winters, or the rainy season, are mild, with some cold in the northern part of the country and ideally warm in the winter resort of Aqaba and the Jordan Valley.

Economic geography

Jordan's economy has been based on agriculture for a long time. More than 15 per cent of the area is under cultivation. The main products include grain cereals (wheat, barley and maize), vegetables (beans, lentils, tomatoes, egg-plant, onion), and its fruit (olives, apples, citrus fruits, grapes and pears, plums and peaches, apricots, figs, bananas).

There is a considerable amount of mining throughout the land: phosphates, marble, potash and mineral salts (from the Dead Sea). Fishing is limited to the south (Gulf of Aqaba).

Jordan produces light consumer goods: canned vegetables, cigarettes and cigarette paper, aluminium products, local handicrafts, mother of pearl, olive-wood, hides and skins (leather for various purpose), crude oil, asphalt, propane, soap, benzene, kerosene, beer, carbon dioxide, cement, matches.


The total population of Jordan is 4,139,458 (1994).

The population of the main cities: Amman - 1,579,809, Irbid - 747,179, Bulka'a - 280,537, Kerak - 169,770, Na'an - 79,670.

A brief history

Until the outbreak of the First World War Jordan formed a part of natural Syria which was under Ottoman rule. It was given independence in 1921 and Emir Abdullah was proclaimed Prince of Transjordan. In 1946, it became a Kingdom under the name of 'The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan'. After the armistice agreement between the Arabs and Israelis, that part of Palestine that remained in Arab hands voted to join the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and was known as the West Bank of Jordan. Ever since the 1967 war the West Bank has been occupied by Israel.


Moslem (predominantly the Sunni sect); Christians, in smaller numbers.

Languages spoken by nationals

Arabic, English.


Two hours ahead of G.M.T.


The unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar JD), equivalent to about. US$0.14. One JD is divided into 1,000 fils. The currency is in denominations of notes of 500 fils, 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinars and in coins of 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 fils. Money exchange offices operate under the monetary regulations of The Central Bank of Jordan, and can buy and sell most currencies. The major known international traveller's cheques and credit cards are accepted throughout the Kingdom.


1 January, New Year's Day - 1 May, Labour Day - 25 May, Independence Day - 10 June, Arab Renaissance Day - 11 August, H.M's Accession to the Throne - 14 November, Birthday of H.M. the King. Religious holidays are computed against a lunar calendar and this makes computation of dates difficult. These are: Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, his Nocturnal Journey (Isra'a), Al-Fitr Feast (three days) and Al-Adha Feast (four days) - New Year's Day.

All offices and shops are closed on Friday.

What one should not fail to see

Amman: the Roman theatre, other ruins, the citadel and the Museum.

In Jeruh: a fantastically well-preserved Graeco-Roman city.

In Madaba: the mosaic map of Palestine; nearby Mt Nebo from where one can see a beautiful panorama of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.

In Keralm the Crusaders' castle.

In Petra: the Nabataean city, the site of fascinating ruins. Wadi Rum or the valley of the Moon.

Daert Cutla dating from the eighth century.

Aqaba, Jordan's Red Sea winter resort town.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

April to October.

How to dress

Ladies: the days are very warm, but the evenings are very cool. So, light clothing for the day but a wrap or coat is a must in the evenings. April and October are cooler and clothing must be appropriate. A raincoat is needed for these two months.

Gentlemen: a warm suit for the evenings is not unnecessary. Otherwise, light clothes will do.

Main holiday resorts

Aqaba, the Ajlun forest, the Jordan valley, Dead Sea shores.

Main holiday sports

Swimming, sailing, water-skiing, scuba diving, camping.

What to eat and drink

The most popular Arab dishes are barbecued lamb, rice and stuffed wine leaves, and Mansaf, Jordan's traditional dish of lamb, yoghurt sauce and rice. They are delicious. The native drink is Arak, flavoured with anise. All the hotels also serve excellent European food.

What to buy

Charming local handicrafts include: delicately wrought bronze and silver anicles; oriental jewellery; exquisite mother-of-pearl brooches, ear-rings, cufflinks and rosaries; traditional cross-stitch embroidered linens, beautiful velvet crusader jackets and wraps from Bethlehem, products of the Holy Land olive-wood industry; colourful ceramic vases, plates, beer-mugs and candle-sticks; fleece coats and fleece-lined slippers from Hebron; and bedouin rugs; dolls clothed in national costume; excellent antiquities bargains.

Frontier formalities

Travellers need a valid passport or a recognised travel document. Visas are issued by Jordanian embassies or consulates abroad. Some nationalities require prior approval from The Ministry of Interior in Amman. Collective visas are available for tour groups.


Entry: from all countries (air - sea - rail - road): 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars, or 200gr. tobacco, one litre wine or one litre spirit. Toilet waters: quantity sufficient for personal use.

Personal effects, sports equipment, cameras (films), printing or sound reproduction equipment, typewriters, firearms for hunting, munitions, binoculars, moving picture cameras, baby carriages, souvenirs, jewels, dogs, cats or other animals (if vaccinated and certified), may be brought in by tourists. Phonographs with records (including portable and used), alcohol, perfumes, furniture and food are liable to duty. Radios are exempted for a period of less than six months.

Exit: all goods in reasonable amounts for non-commercial purposes.

Currency regulations

Jordan currency (notes and coins), for import: JD100, by travellers proceeding to all Arab States, who are residents of Jordan.

Foreign currency (notes and coins), traveller's cheques, for import: no limit, to be declared. For export: JD100, in foreign currency for travellers proceeding to all Arab States, who are residents of Jordan, or up to the amount declared on entry if the traveller is a non-resident.

For stocks, bonds, gold, coins: special authorisation required for import and export.

Main travel routes

By road: Amman - Madaba - Karak - Petra - Ma'an - Amman. Amman - Ma'an - Quweira - Aqaba - Rum - Quweira Amman. Amman - Desen castles - Amman.

Amman - Jerash - Dibbeen - Amman.

By air and road: Amman - Aqaba. A ferry service links Jordan's sea port of Aqaba with Nuwaiba port on the Egyptian side departing Amman at 12.00 and arriving at 13.00. Departing at 16..00 arriving at 19.00. Departing Nuwaiba at 12.00 arriving at 15.00. Departing Nuwaiba at 15.00 and arriving at 16.00.

Travel Between Jordan and The West Bank: Travel between Jordan and the West Bank: (King Hussein Bridge).

The working hours of the bridges from 8:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.

Groups and individuals entering the country through different entry points, except the two Jordan/Israel crossing points, are allowed to visit the West Bank; through the bridges without the need for obtaining prior permissions from the Ministry of the Interior.

Tourists and individuals willing to visit Jordan on the West Bank will have to apply to he Ministry of Interior through a travel agent or a relative residing in the Kingdom to obtain the necessary permit. A visiting permit valid for one month to stay in Jordan will be granted in this case. Tourists who already obtained their visas from Jordanian Embassies or consulates abroad, are allowed to enter Jordan through the bridges and leave through the airports or any other crossing point including the said two points.

Tourist groups and individuals from a third nationality arriving through the two crossing points are allowed to return through the bridges and have to pay a departure tax.

Travel between Jordan & Israel (The two border crossings (Allenby and Sheikh Husein): - The working hours of the Crossing Points from 6:30a.m. till 10:00p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00a.m. till 8:00p.m. - Visas for most nationalities can be obtained at the border, prior permits are not needed.

Departure tax as follows: Airport tax (JD1), Sea port tax (JD6) and land routes tax (JD4).

Representatives abroad

For further information apply to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, PO Bo 224, Amman, Jordan, or the Jordanian Diplomatic Missions abroad, or the Royal Jordanian Airline offices abroad.

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Jordan thanks to the co-operation of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.