Jordan Facts

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which once captivated ancient travelers, continues to enthrall a whole new generation as a modern, vibrant nation.

From the haunting, primeval starkness of Wadi Rum, to the teeming centre of urban Amman, from the majestic ruins of bygone civilizations to the timeless splendour of the Dead Sea, Jordan is unveiled as a unique destination offering breathtaking and mysterious sights, high standard accommodations, exquisite cuisine and countless activities that can provide visitors with inspiration, motivation, and rejuvenation.

Jordan is a primarily a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions 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 dress is advisable 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. 

 

 
 
Geographical Information
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a relatively small country situated at the crossroads of the Middle East. Comprising some 92,300 square kilometers (57,354 squares miles), it is bordered on the north by Syria at the east by Iraq, and by Saudi Arabia on the East and South.
 
Also, to the south one finds the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea, while Israel and Palestine lie to the west. Jordans diverse terrain and landscape belay its actual size, demonstrating a variety usually found only in large countries.  
   
   
Population
The population of Jordan has grown rapidly over the last fifty years or so to 6,081,541 million people.
Around 70% of the population live in urban areas, with 2,315,600 million living in the capital, Amman.
   
   
Language
The official language of Jordan is Arabic, but English is widely spoken especially in the cities. Many Jordanians have traveled, or have been educated abroad, so French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken, but to a lesser extent. Speaking Arabic is easier than you might think; attempting a few basic words will gain you respect from the locals and is a good way to break the ice. The Jordanian people are extremely understanding and will help you whenever they are able. 
   
   
Education
Jordan is a leader among Arab countries in educational spending as a percentage of GDP. Jordan's eight public universities, 13 private universities, 21 community colleges, and 35 vocational training centres house more than 140,000 students from around the globe and the Arab world, with the numbers of foreign students growing at a rate of 9% per annum. Jordan has a young population, 70 percent are under the age of 30 (about 3.8 million), and these programs are creating an impressive pool of bilingual, savvy ICT graduates.
   
   
Local Time
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. 
   

Weather
Jordan is blessed with a Mediterranean climate for pleasurable year-round travel. Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with average temperatures around 23C (73F). Springtime brings optimal weather, lush with greenery, and autumn equally mild and pleasant. July and August are hot and dry but not oppressive. Because of the capital citys elevation, evenings are cool. Aqaba and the Jordan Valley are ideal winter resorts, with temperature averaging 16-22C (61-72F) between November and April. There is very little rain in the Aqaba area and in the desert.

 

 Amman Average Temperatures

J

F M A M J J A Sp O N D

7

8 11 16 20 23 25 25 23 20 14
9

Aqaba AverageTemperatures

J

F M A M J J A Sp O N D

14

16 19 24 28 31 32 32 30 26 21
16  

 

   
   
 
Business Hours
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.  
   
   
 
Currency

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.

   
   
Credit Card
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. 
   
   
Shopping
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 visitors' 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 artcracts. The list is endless and about as varied as you can imagine. 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! 
   
   
Newspapers
The main English-language daily is The Jordan Times.
A weekly English-language paper, The Star, is published on Thursdays and has a French language supplement. Foreign newspapers are available at hotels and some shops. 
   
   
 
Radio & TV

Television:


Jordan television broadcasts in English and French on Channel 2. Daily program listings can be found in The Jordan Times. CNN and other international stations are available via satellite at larger hotels.

 

Radio:
Radio Jordan: 24hr English-language service on 96.3FM.
BBC World Service: 24hr English-language service on 103.1FM.

Radio Sawa: 24hr English-language service on 98.1 FM

   
   
 
Electricity
220 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs.
Visitors from the US will need a transformer, which most hotels can provide. 
   
   
 
Water
Water is a precious resource in Jordan and visitors are encouraged not to waste it.

Hotels rated 3 stars and up have their own water filtering systems and their water is considered safe to drink. Elsewhere, bottled water is inexpensive and readily available.

   
   
Medical Services
Medical services are excellent in the larger cities and towns and most doctors are bilingual in Arabic and English. Larger hotels have a doctor on call and embassies can also suggest doctors and hospitals.
   
   
 
Communications
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.
   
   
 
Postal Services
As well as post offices, most 4 and 5-star hotels offer postal services.

Post office opening hours are:
Summer: Sat-Thurs 07.00-19.00 / Fri 07.00-13.00.
Winter: Sat-Thurs 07.00-17.00 / Fri 07.00-13.00. 

   
 
Weights & Measures
Jordan uses the metric system.
 
 

 

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Public Holidays
Banks, businesses, government offices and many shops close all day for public holidays.

Fixed public holidays

New Year’s Day / Jan 1st
Labors Day / May 1st
Independence Day / May 25th
Christmas Day / Dec 25th

A number of public holidays are not fixed. These include Easter and the following Islamic Holidays, which are based on the Lunar calendar:
Eid al-Fitr - A 3 or 4-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.
Eid al-Adha - A 4 day feast at the end of the Hajj, or month of pilgrimage to Mecca.
First of Muharam - Islamic New Year. 

 

Gratitude
Petra Horse Back Ride Tip is usually USD 4.00 per person. Restaurants Tips is around 10% of the total bill. Guide Tips is open to the clients satisfactions and appreciation, yet it is expected. Bus, Car driver Tips are expected 
   
Distances Between Cities   
   
City
Amman
Ajloun
Aqaba
Azrak
King H. Bridge
Jerash
Kerak
Madaba
Petra
Salt
Amman
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ajloun
73
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aqaba
328
396
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Azrak
103
155
415
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
King H. Bridge
56
78
366
152
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jerash
51
22
374
132
88
 
 
 
 
 
Kerak
118
182
237
205
146
160
 
 
 
 
Madaba
32
95
323
119
60
74
86
 
 
 
Petra
230
297
97
317
268
275
142
228
 
 
Salt
30
63
353
123
38
50
139
53
254
 
Syria Border
94
57
414
141
131
43
202
116
316
93