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The curative properties of the Dead Sea have been recognized since the days of Herod the Great over 2,000 years ago.

The Dead Sea is 80km (50 miles) long, approximately 14km (9 miles) wide. The northern and larger part is very deep, reaching at one point a depth of 430m (1320 feet). The southern bay is, on the contrary, very shallow, averaging hardly a depth of 4m (13 feet).

Dead Sea mud, or pelloid, is mineral-rich alluvial sediment, saturated with sulphide components. It holds heat well and can be smeared on the body to cleanse the skin, as well as relieve arthritic and rheumatic pain.

A modest shrine commemorating the death of Aaron, brother of Moses, was built in the 13th century by the Mameluk Sultan, high atop Mount Aaron (Jabal Haroun) in the Sharah range.

Evidence of Jordan's history dates as far back as 7,000 years before Christ. Paleolithic statues carved in lime were found at the Neolithic site of Ain Al-Ghazzal, on the northeast outskirts of Amman during an excavation in 1983.

Only half an hour's drive northwest from Jerash is the magnificent Ajlun Castle, built high above the scenic landscape at the edge of the Ajlun Nature Reserve. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Jerash for a few days.

From the top of the castle, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Jordan Valley.

The Gulf of Aqaba is renowned worldwide for its underwater sea life. It hosts about 110 species of soft corals, 120 species of hard corals, and over 1,000 species of fish.

Some of the world's earliest known churches have been recently discovered in Jordan. The remains of a mud-brick building in Aqaba may be the world's oldest known purpose-built church. This Aqaba early church dates from the late 3rd or early 4th century AD.

Most Jordanians enjoy sweet things and all towns have several popular patisseries. Baklawa is a favourite choice and is made with paper thin layers of filo pastry filled with chopped almond or pistachio nuts and honey.

The black Bedouin tents are made from goat's hair and are woven by the Bedouin women on handmade looms in strips of up to 40m long. During the dry summer the fabric appears to have many gaps and holes, which actually allow the air to circulate and keep the tents cool. During the winter months, when the fabric becomes wet, it shrinks and the holes close up, making the tents warm and watertight.

Aqaba's reef is alive with untold variety in its coral and fish. Common species are branch coral, fungia and montipora, and the rare archelia, a black, tree-like specimen found at great depths and first discovered by King Hussein himself.

Corals are not plants but living organisms. They are part of an ancient and simple group of animals known as cnidaria. A coral structure is actually composed of hundreds or thousands of these tiny animals growing together as a colony. Because of their slow rate of growth - about 1cm a year - the corals that you see in the Gulf of Aqaba are centuries old.

The hills and deserts of Wadi Rum come alive during springtime with over 2,000 species of wild plants and flowers, including poppies, red anemones and the beautiful Black Iris, Jordan’s national flower.

A traditional Bedouin coffee ceremony involves 3 cups of coffee - one for the soul, one for the sword, and one because you are a guest...If you ask for a fourth you’re being greedy!

Nestled in the heart of the Dead Sea area, the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre's state-of-the-art facilities are the perfect place for meetings of any size or occasion.

Jordan rocks
Every year, Wadi Rum and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom reverberate to the sound of pop music. The event, ‘Distant Heat’, now in its fourth year, has firmly established Jordan on the international music scene. Last year over 1,200 people attended, proving that the heat was not too distant to travel into the deserts of Jordan for an outrageously cool event.

This year The Biggest Electronic Dance event of the Year - (Distant Heat 2009) will be on the 23th and 24th of July. For more information, log onto

The Jordanian flag symbolizes the Kingdom's roots in the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, as it is adapted from the revolt banner. The black, white and green bands represent the Arab Abbasid, Umayyad and Fatimid dynasties respectively, while the crimson triangle joining the bands represents the Hashemite dynasty. The seven-pointed Islamic star set in the centre of the crimson triangle represents the seven verses of Surat Al-Fatiha, the first sura in the Holy Qur'an.

Food is a very important part of the Arab culture and is used to express friendship, generosity and hospitality. Jordanians are proud to invite visitors into their homes, no matter how modest their means. If you are lucky enough to be invited, you are not expected to bring anything, but you are expected to eat everything!

The Mameluk Fort, one of the main historical landmarks of Aqaba, was originally a Crusader Castle. It was rebuilt by the Mameluks in the 16th century. Square in shape and flanked by semicircular towers, the fort is marked with various inscriptions marking the latter period of the Islamic dynasty.

Gadara was one of the most important cities of the Decapolis;it had minted its own coins, and adhered to the Pompeian calendar.

The Garden Eels, which can be seen in the abundant sea-grass beds, were discovered by Ludwig Sillner, one of Jacques Cousteau’s underwater cameramen - a fact that is acknowledged in the eel’s Latin name, Gorgasia sillneri.

The hippodrome has ten starting gates (carceres), as opposed to the usual twelve, which have now been reassembled from the rubble with other missing stones quarried and rebuilt. The seating area (cavea) was 4m deep with sixteen rows of seats. The seats accommodated 15,000 spectators who, it is said, were Greek-speaking even during Roman times.

The Treasury at Petra was used in the final sequence of the film, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

The Nabataean city of Petra made its Hollywood debut in 1989 in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” starring Harrison Ford.

Amongst the most popular souvenirs from Jordan are the famous Jordanian decorative knives. Years ago, a much more lethal version of those sold today were carried by almost all men in Arabia and were used for everything from cutting bread and food, to slaughtering the animals.

At the Wadi Rum Rest House, you can hire a local Bedouin guide who will offer you either a 4x4 vehicle or, for the more adventurous, a camel ride to explore the area. Prices are displayed at the Visitors' Centre.

Tel: +962 3 2090600
Fax: +962 3 2032586

Kan Zaman, on a hilltop about 12km south of the city, is a renovated complex of stables, storehouses, and a residential complex, that has become a major tourist attraction. Kan Zaman, which means ‘once upon a time’, combines a turn-of-the-century atmosphere with some of the best food and crafts of Jordan. The paved courtyard is lined with shops selling handicrafts, jewellery and spices. Visitors can smoke shisha at the coffee shop or enjoy excellent Arabic food at the traditional restaurant. Some unusual entertainment is also on the menu.

The best-preserved halls and passageways are located underground and can only be reached through a massive door.

Ridley Scot's recent Hollywood blockbuster, 'The Kingdom of Heaven' starring Orlando Bloom, has numerous scenes based in and around the crusader castle at Karak, although the castle itself was not used during filming.

Aside from the popular downtown souks, Amman, like most major cities offers shoppers a wide variety of choices, from large shopping malls to small back-street art and craft shops and everything in between.

On May 25th 1946, Britain gave up its mandate on Transjordan and Jordan became the independent Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The Jordan Archaeological Museum boasts an excellent collection of antiquities ranging from prehistoric times to the 15th century, including an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls and four Iron Age anthropomorphic coffins.

The Oryx, an elegant white antelope, is one of the few mammals indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula. It became extinct in Jordan around the 1920s. The last known wild Oryx in the world was killed by hunters in Oman in 1972.
In 1978, eleven Oryx were relocated in Shawmari. The number of Oryx has now increased to a phenomenal two hundred!

Thermals and currents generated by heat rising from the desert and winds channeling through the towering cliffs make Wadi Rum an exceptional place for hang gliding, parascending and kiting enthusiasts.

The Wadi Rum Desert Patrolmen wear what is perhaps the most attractive uniform in the Middle East. It consists of a long khaki dish-dash held by a bright red bandolier, a holster with a dagger around the waist and a rifle. On their heads they wear the traditional red and white kouffieh, worn by the Bedouins of Jordan. The Desert Patrol operates out of an old police fort built in the 1930s.

In Bedouin jewellery, silver beads are often combined with glass beads and semi-precious stones and are used as amulets: Blue glass from Syria is protection from the evil eye; green malekite from Aqaba or green agate is for good health; brown agate is to ward off bad spirits; and white agate ensures a husband’s enduring love.

During the second half of the 2nd century BC and down to the year 63 BC, the history of Jordan was linked to the history of the Nabataeans. Their capital city was Petra, the meeting centre of the trade routes coming from the Persian Gulf, Western Arabia, and the Red Sea.

The Petra by Night tour, which begins at the Petra Visitors' Centre at around 8:30 p.m.(1630 GMT) on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, takes visitors through the Siq to the Khazneh along a candle-lit path leading to the centre of the historic city. Enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouins at the Treasury.

Quseir Amra, one of the most preserved Desert Castles, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its interior walls and ceilings are covered with lively frescoes, and two of the rooms are paved with colourful mosaics.

The Jerash Heritage Company has daily ticketed performances of the Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE) at the hippodrome in Jerash.

The show runs twice daily, at 11am and 3pm (2pm during the winter), except on Fridays. It features 45 legionaries in full armour in a display of Roman Army drill and battle tactics, ten gladiators fighting “to the death,” and several Roman chariots competing in a classical seven lap race around the ancient hippodrome. For more information:

Tel: +962 2 634 2471
Fax: +962 2 634 2481

As a result of its history as an Ottoman centre of government, As-Salt features many fine examples of classic Ottoman architecture.

Ten minutes to the west of Madaba is the most revered site in Jordan: Mount Nebo, with the memorial of Moses at the presumed site of the prophet's death and burial place.

This American M40 Anti-aircraft tracked vehicle, originally in employ of the Jordanian Army, was scuttled as an artificial reef on September 1st 1999 by the Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society and has since accumulated a lot of marine life. It is now a popular snorkelling and diving attraction.

Petra is sometimes called the ‘Lost City’. In spite of its being such an important city in antiquity, after the 14th century AD, Petra was completely lost to the western world. It was rediscovered in 1812 by the Swiss traveller, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who tricked his way into the fiercely guarded site by pretending to be an Arab from India wishing to make a sacrifice at the tomb of the Prophet Aaron.

During the 2nd half of the second century BC and down to the year 63 BC, the history of Jordan was linked to the history of the Nabataeans. Their capital city was Petra, the meeting centre of the trade routes coming from the Persian Gulf, Western Arabia, and the Red Sea.

Less than 2km from Umm Ar-Rasas is the highest standing ancient tower in Jordan. It is 15m high and has no door or inner staircase. Today the tower is inhabited only by flocks of birds.

Because of its extremely high content of salt and other minerals, the Dead Sea is devoid of plant and animal life.

Bottles filled with brightly coloured sands have been made by artisans in Petra and Aqaba for decades. It is believed that the first person to do this was a native of Petra, Mohammed Abdullah Othman, who taught himself the craft as a child, collecting his material from nearby mountains and caves. Othman and his fellow artisans have no need to use dyes for their art as there are more than 20 different natural colours occurring in the local sandstone.

Much of David Lean’s epic 1962 movie "Lawrence of Arabia," starring Peter O'Toole, Alec Guiness and Omar Sharif, was filmed on location in Wadi Rum.

Much of David Lean’s epic 1962 movie "Lawrence of Arabia," starring Peter O'Toole, Alec Guiness and Omar Sharif, was filmed on location in Wadi Rum.

On March 20th, 2000, the late Pope John Paul II visited Mount Nebo during his visit to the Holy Land.

When Jordan was awarded a round of the FIA World Rally Championship it was an announcement that had been 50 years in the making.The eyes of the world will switch to Jordan from April 24-27 when the Kingdom hosts not only its biggest ever sporting and social event, but one of the highest profile extravaganzas the Arab world has ever seen.

The Jordan Rally will not only reach 200 million Arab consumers, it will reach households across the world with the expected television viewership to top one billion.

Supported up by intensive local, regional and international public relations and marketing campaigns, the 2008 Jordan Rally will capture the imagination of a global audience who will discover that Jordan is the gateway to a new and progressive Middle East.

For more information please visit Jordan Rally website

There are several theories as to why Madaba’s map of the Holy Land was depicted in mosaics on the floor of a Christian building in a remote provincial town of the Roman Empire. Some have suggested that the map may have been useful to pilgrims, to help them find their way from one holy place to another. Others believe that, because it is close to Mount Nebo, it may represent the vision that Moses had of the Promised Land, from the place of his death.

Three Popes visited Jordan :

  • Pope Paul VI in 1964
  • Pope John Paul II in 2000
  • Pope Benedict XVI in 2009

Transformers II Revenge of the Fallen was filmed in Jordan in 2008.

As-Salt is the most historic town in Jordan. For long periods in history it was the most important settlement between the Jordan River and the desert to the east.

The stunning 6th century Byzantine mosaic map, which is located in the contemporary Greek Orthodox church of St. George and shows Jerusalem and other holy sites, features around two million pieces of coloured stone!

Hundreds of mosaics from the 5th through to the 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes.

The ancient town of As-Salt was once the capital of Jordan.

As-Salt houses a Handicrafts School, where you can admire traditional skills of ceramics, weaving, silk-screen printing and dyeing.

The dried white grapes commonly known as sultanas, took their name from As-Salt, where they have been grown for centuries. Raisins and grapes were amongst the produce exported from As-Salt to Palestine during Ottoman times.

The first literary reference to the city of Pella is from the 19th century BC when it is mentioned in Egyptian texts as Pihilum, or Pehel. It was a flourishing trade centre, with links with Syria and Cyprus as well as Egypt.

Like many of Jordan's ancient cities and monuments, the cities of Umm Qays and Pella were destroyed during the terrible earthquake of 747 AD.

During the early years of Roman rule, the Nabataeans controlled the trade routes as far north as Damascus. Unhappy with the competition, Mark Anthony dispatched King Herod the Great to weaken the Nabataeans. In appreciation for his efforts, Rome rewarded Herod with Gadara.

Ajlun Castle protected the communication routes between south Jordan and Syria, and was one of a chain of forts, which lit beacons at night to pass signals from the Euphrates as far as Cairo.

The castle is one of the best preserved and most complete examples of medieval Arab-Islamic military architecture.

Islam entered Gadara after the victory of Islamic troops over Byzantine armies at the Battles of Fahl (Pella) and Yarmouk in 635 AD and 636 AD.

While it could hardly be described as beautiful, Karak is an impressive example of the Crusaders' architectural military genius.

The city of Karak was the ancient capital of Moab. During Roman times it was known as Characmoba.

During the Mameluk rule, Qal'at Ar-Rabad was one of a network of beacons and pigeon posts that allowed messages to be transmitted from Damascus to Cairo in just 12 hours!

Visitors who take the time to learn and experiment with Jordan’s excellent cuisine will quickly be rewarded with many wonderful surprises. Arabic food can rival any international gastronomy for originality and good taste and, because it comprises wholesome and easily digested ingredients, it ranks highly in nutritional value and is ideal for today's health-conscious society.

A wide variety of birds stop at the Azraq Wetland Reserve each year for a rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa.

The word "Azraq" in Arabic means "blue".

The benefits of the Dead Sea’s minerals - Calcium clarifies the skin surface and relieves pain, Sodium balances the skin pH, Chlorine is a natural antiseptic that boosts the skin's protective layer and reduces swelling, Magnesium enhances functioning of skin metabolism, facilitates breathing and protects against allergies, Bromine is a muscle relaxant, Potassium regulates the body's water balance, Iodine improves thyroid health and cell metabolism, and Sulphur detoxifies and stimulates the metabolism.

The city of Aqaba is situated at the most southern part of Jordan and lies on the most northern tip of the Red Sea, on a clear day you can see Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

An economic 'Free Zone' was established in Aqaba in August 2000. It covers one million square metres, although an additional 2.5 million sq. m. has been allocated for the purpose of establishing industrial projects. Goods traded in the Free Zone are exempt of duty. For more information please visit

The water level of the Dead Sea is dropping by about a 30cm (1 foot) per year. It is being diverted by Israel and Jordan for industry, agriculture and household use. Scientists predict that the sea may be dried up by the year 2050.

Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the Dead Sea area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zaboiim and Zoar.

The warm, low altitude, high oxygen atmosphere of the Dead Sea area has been shown to help heart surgery patients. Patients who have spent up to three weeks at the Dead Sea resort prior to bypass surgery are shown to have less post-surgery complications, such as diastolic stiffness and dysfunction.

Jerash boasts as unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.

Jordan's national dish, called Mansaf, is a real delicacy. It consists of large chunks of tender lamb in a yoghurt-based sauce and is served with saffron-dyed rice. In a Bedouin home it is served in a large dish on a low table, around which family and guests are seated, and it is often eaten by using just the right hand - a serious challenge for most visitors!

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) has set up a local enclosure for the Oryx. The RSCN Visitors' Centre has a souvenir shop with handicraft products located in historical train wagons next to the Rest House.

Wadi As-Seer, about 12km west of the city, is one of the most beautiful valleys in Jordan. The best time to go is spring, when the valley is green and carpeted with wild flowers. The road winds down the valley to the river, passing through several small villages before reaching Iraq Al-Amir (the caves of the prince). The road ends at Qasr Al-Abd (the Palace of the Slave).

Jerash is internationally acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of the Roman Empire.

Guidebooks, maps and information are available from the Visitors' Centre near the South Gate.

Amman is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world.

Jordanian embroidery is not only beautiful but also very distinctive. Designs vary from village to village and have been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Many women, particularly those in and around Amman, still embroider dresses in traditional designs but also produce items in more modern styles to suit today's fashions.

The famous 'Hebron Glass', named after the West Bank city, was originally made from sand but has become environmentally-friendly and is now made from recycled glass. Hebron Glassware comes in simple shapes and the brilliant jewel colours of cobalt blue, bottle green, turquoise, amber and rose.

Silver jewellery pieces are always weighed before you are given the price – this is because silver is generally sold by weight and not by design.

In Graeco-Roman times, Amman was known as Philadelphia, it was named after the Roman emperor Philadelphus. Prior to that it was known as Rabbath-Ammon.

Amman consists of an old and more traditional part called the City Centre or Downtown (in Arabic 'Al-Balad'), and a modern more vibrant western style found in West Amman.

The city of Aqaba is situated at the most southern part of Jordan and lies on the most northern tip of the Red Sea, on a clear day you can see Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

In 1985, Petra was officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Jordan, Click here >>

More information on Petra and its other attractions can be obtained from the Visitors' Centre at the entrance to the site, while the Petra Archaeological Museum, inside the site, houses a wide variety of finds from Petra.

It is generally agreed that the land of modern Jordan forms part of the blessed "neighbourhood" mentioned in the Holy Qur'an [Sura 17, verse 1].

Jordan's remarkable variety of habitats - from rugged mountains and evergreen woodlands to scrubby steppe and hot deserts - makes for a dazzling variety of bird species.

An economic 'Free Zone' was established in Aqaba in August 2000. It covers one million square metres, although an additional 2.5 million sq. m. has been allocated for the purpose of establishing industrial projects. Goods traded in the Free Zone are exempt of duty. For more information please visit
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