OFFICIAL NAME: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
POPULATION: 4.0 million (est.).
MAIN CITIES: Amman, Zarqa, Aqaba, Irbid, Salt.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Arabic, Although English is used in commerce
and by many Jordanians.
Valid passport, visas may be obtained in advance from Jordanian Consulates
and Embassies. Visas may also be issued on arrival in Jordan.
The Jordanian Dinar (JD) is divided into 1,000 fils. (Some Jordanians
refer to piasters instead of fils. There are 100 piasters to the dinar,
so for example, 30 piasters = 300 fils.
Notes: 500 fils, 1, 5, 10, 20 dinars.
Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000 fils.
The Royal Jordanian Airline links Amman with many of the capitals
of Europe, South Asia and the Arab World, and operates wide body jets to
New York. Many other international air carriers also operate regularly
to Amman. The Queen Alia International Airport south of Amman is one of
the most modern facilities in the Middle East.
Good international roads link Jordan with surrounding countries.
Daily bus service and weekly Hejaz Railway trains connect Amman with Damascus.
Taxi service is also available.
Travel within Jordan is efficient and enjoyable. A good road system
is constantly being expanded and upgraded, and most of the sites a visitor
would want to see are at most within a few hours drive from Amman. Jordan's
road signs are marked in English and Arabic, and there are petrol stations
and rest houses at regular intervals throughout the country.
Jordanian handicrafts represent a tradition of skilled workmanship
and art that dates back many thousands of years. The most common Jordanian
craft items include Madaba rugs, carved olive wood, mother of pearl, cross
stitch embroidery, Palestine pottery, Hebron glass, silver jewelry, carved
stone animals, Bedouin jewelry and artifacts, sheepskin and leather goods
and Aqaba's colored sand bottles. A walk through a downtown souk will bring
you in touch with hundreds of small everyday items that you may wish to
take home as a souvenir of your visit to Jordan.
and Rest houses
Jordan is well equipped with five and four star hotels throughout
the country. Hotel and restaurant prices are controlled by the Ministry
of Tourism and the Ministry of Supply. Government rest houses with sleeping
and dining facilities are located at key tourist sites throughout Jordan.
Five star hotels are operated by local groups and well known international
chains such as Intercontinental, Marriot, SRS, Forum and Trust house Forte.
Eating well is part of the Jordanian tradition, and there are many
fine restaurants that offer a wide selection of authentic Arabic food at
reasonable prices. Hotels offer a mixed menu of Arabic and continental
cuisine. Dishes to try are the national dish, mansaf, a whole stewed lamb
with cooked yoghourt sauce served on bed of rice; musakhan, chicken with
onions, olive oil, pine seeds and seasoning cooked in an oven on a thick
loaf of Arabic bread; maglouba, a meat or fish and vegetable stew served
with rice, and of course, the basic shish kebab, pieces of lamb, marinated
chicken and patties of minced and spiced lamb meat all cooked over a char-coal
fire with onions and tomatoes.
Locally produced beer, wine and spirits are available throughout
the country, as are imported drinks. The local drink that is popular with
Arabic dishes is arak, an anise flavored liquor that is mixed with water
Excellent direct telephone, fax, telex communication is available
Arabic and English Jordanian newspapers, as well as foreign publications,
are available at many newsstands.
Postage stamps can be purchased at hotels and post offices.
220 volts ac, 50 Hz.
Weights and measures
Plus two hours Greenwich Mean Time.
Spring and autumn are long and pleasant
throughout Jordan. Rain falls from November to March in the north, but
Aqaba on the Red Sea is a warm and sunny winter resort.
Friday is the official weekly day of rest,
though many Christian shopkeepers close on Sunday instead. Several national
holidays are observed on the same day every year: Labor Day (may 1), Independence
and Army Day (may 25), King Hussein's ascension to the throne (august 11),
and King Hussein's birthday (November 14). Several Islamic religious holidays
are observed, but their precise dates vary by about two weeks every year,
in line with the Islamic Lunar calendar that is used to determine religious