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JORDAN OVERVIEW

JORDAN IN BRIEF

Full country name: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Area: 89,213 sq. km (34,445 sq.m.)
Population: 10,407,793 million
Capital City: Amman (population: 4,008,000)
People: Arab (98%), Circassian (1%), Armenian (1%).

Languages: Arabic (official), English
Religions: Sunni Muslim 95%, Christian 4%, Other (1%)
Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JD)
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of the State: His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin al-Hussein

 Jordan is a Muslim country where Islam is the major practiced religion, yet almost 10% of the population (7,200,000) practice Christianity.

The culture of Jordan follows Arab traditions as the Kingdom is in the heart of the Middle East. The official language is Arabic although English is widely used in commerce, government and taught at public and private schools.

Jordan has diverse communities with many different ethnic groups living in this small country, where 95% of Jordan’s population are either Bedouin or from Palestinian origins. The remaining 5% come from different ethnic origins such as Circassia’s, Chechens, Armenians and Kurds.

Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East. It is northwest of Saudi Arabia. Iraq is located to its east and Palestine to its west. Syria is located to its north. Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Alongside traditional culture, Jordan’s younger generation are producing new forms of music, arts and theatre. As such, new cultural hotspots are appearing with cafes, bookshops and galleries.

Weather

 

Jordan is a very sunny country, with over 310 days of sunshine a year. The weather is almost exclusively dry and sunny from April to October, where there is barely any rainfall. Summers are hot but relatively pleasant due to the low humidity in the mountain heights with daytime temperatures frequently exceeding 36°C and averaging about 32°C, while nights are almost exclusively cool and pleasant. In the Jordan valley (dead sea area), summers can be very hot with temperatures reaching into the low forties on occasions, while Aqaba’s weather in the south is similar to the Jordan valley’s but with less rainfall.

Hot and dry summers with cool evenings. The Jordan Valley (Dead sea area), below sea level is warm during winter and extremely hot in summer. Rain falls between November and March, while colder weather conditions occur in December/January.

Required clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens are advised between May and September. Warmer clothes are necessary for winter and cool summer evenings. Rainwear is needed from November to April.

Daytime temperatures during the summer months frequently exceed 36°C and average about 32°C. In contrast, the winter months–November to April-bring moderately cool and sometimes cold weather, averaging about 13°C. Except in the rift depression, frost is fairly common during the winter, and it rarely snows in Amman.

Currency

 

Jordan’s currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or JOD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piasters. It appears in paper notes of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 0.5 JD, 0.25 JD, and 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils. The rate of exchange is 1 JOD = 1.41 USD.

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.

 

Local Time

Wintertime: The Kingdom switches to wintertime on the last Friday in October by setting clocks one hour backward (GMT+2).

Daylight Saving Time: The Kingdom switches to DST on the last Friday in March by setting clocks one hour forward (GMT+3).

 

Business Hours – Opening hours

  • Fridays and Saturday’s government offices, banks and most offices are closed.
  • Government departments open from 08:00 to 15:00 daily, from Sunday to Thursday.
  • During Ramadan: 09h00 – 14h00, from Sunday to Thursday.
  • Banks: 08h00 – 15h00, from Sunday to Thursday.
  • Trade organizations: 09h00 – 19h00, from Saturday to Thursday.
  • Stores: 09h00 – End of the day.
  • Certain supermarkets are open 24h.

Other Numbers

  • Tourist Police: 117777
  • Complains Concerning Hotels’ Services: 06 4642311

Airports

    • International Airport (international flights):
    • Amman airport (charter flights).
    • Aqaba airport (domestic and charters).

Jordan Land Borders

  • Land entry into Jordan is possible through Egypt, Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. at any other border crossing (except the King Hussein Bridge and the ferryboat from Egypt).. departure tax fees are 10 JD / $ 14 for single entry and 40 JD / $ 56 for multiple entries to be paid in local currency.

    From Israel: there are three borders to cross to Jordan…

    • North border (sheikh Hussein bridge).
    • Allenby border (king Hussein bridge).
    • South border (Eilat – Aqaba border) (no visa fees).

     

Geographic co-ordinates

 

29,11 – 33,22 N, 34,59 – 39,18 E

Shopping – Credit Cards

Shopping – Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, including American Express, Visa, 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.

 

Calendar

In Jordan used the AD and AH calendars, but accepted to be used in all departments and institutions and schools is the Gregorian calendar (the international).

 

Weekends – Days off

The official Jordanian weekend is now Friday and Saturday. On these days, banks and most offices are closed. Post offices are open on Saturdays; large shops in Amman (except supermarkets) will certainly be closed on Fridays, but are probably open on Saturdays. The franchise and malls open 7 days a week, as are nearly all small shops.

Eid’s Holiday

That are celebrated in the kingdom include the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, the two ‘Eids (festivals; ‘Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), and other major Islamic festivals, along with secular events such as Independence Day and the birthday of the late King Hussein.

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic Festival of Breaking Fast), also called al-Eid al-Saghir , first of two canonical festivals of Islam. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar (though the Muslim use of a lunar calendar means that it may fall in any season of the year).

Eid al-Adha (Arabic Festival of Sacrifice), also called ‘Id al-Qurban or al-‘Eid al-Kabir (Major Festival) , the second of two great Muslim festivals, the other being ‘Id al-Fitr. ‘Id al-Adha marks the culmination of the hajj (pilgrimage) rites at Mina, Saudi Arabia, near Mecca, but is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world. As with ‘Id al-Fitr, it is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (salat) at daybreak on its first day. It begins on the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijja.

Jordan Visa

Most of nationalities can get the visa upon arrival to Jordan, or from Jordanian diplomatic and consular missions abroad or from major ports of entry according to regulations based on reciprocity with most of the countries for restricted nationalities.

 

Visa Fees

  • 40 JOD for One Entry Only.
  • 60 JOD for Two Entries.
  • 120 JOD for Multiple Entry.

Airlines

  • Royal Jordanian Is the official airline of Jordan, it is a regular international airline, founded in 9 of August 1963, and began operations in 15 December, 1963 , and was named Alia due to the daughter of King Hussein, and it was provided by private sectors , and later it was purchased by the Jordanian government to provide the necessary support expansion of its activities.

     

Ports

  • The Port of Aqaba is situated in southern Jordan on the north shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. It can accommodate ships handling a wide variety of cargos, from Aqaba port you can travel by sea  to Taba  and nuweba’a in Egypt.

Alcohol

  • Alcohol is widely available at bars and hotels across Jordan. During Ramadan, drinks are only available to visitors in their hotels. Alcohol can also be bought from supermarkets.

Useful Numbers

  • The Emergency Numbers for Police, Fire Department or civil protection and Ambulance and first aid is (199).

Electrical System

  • The electrical system in Jordan is based on 220 AC volts, 50 cycles and requires two-pronged wall plugs. Visitors from North America will need an adapter, which is available at most hotels.