The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is strategically located in the Middle East and is bordered by Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, Israel, and Iraq. Amman is the largest city and the capital of Jordan. The drive from Amman, in the mountains, to the shores of the Dead Sea, is a descent of 1,200m in less than an hour.
The climate in Jordan is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with annual average temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 C.
Jordan is home to the Dead Sea, which is considered the lowest point on earth lying - 408 meters below the Sea Level. The highest point in Jordan, in contrast, is Jebel Umm El Dami, which lies 1854 meters above sea level.
Facts about Jordan
- The official name of Jordan is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
- The Jordanian dinar (JD) is a paper currency
- The national flag of Jordan shows three equal horizontal bands of black (representing the Abbassid Caliphate), white (representing the Ummayyad Caliphate) and green (representing the Fatimid Caliphate), along with a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916.
- Arabic is the official language of the country and is spoken even by the ethnic minorities who maintain their own languages in their everyday lives. There are differences between the languages of the towns and of the countryside, and between those of the East and West banks. English is widely understood by the upper and middle classes.
- Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution of 8 January 1952. King Abdallah II succeeded to the throne following the death of his father, King Hussein.
- Jordan is a relatively-small, semi-arid, almost-landlocked country with a population numbering at 9.5 million.
- Islam, practiced by around 92% of the population, is the dominant religion in Jordan. It coexists with an indigenous Christian minority.
- Jordan is considered to be among the safest of Arab countries in the Middle East, and has avoided long-term terrorism and instability
- Jordan is classified as a country of "high human development" with an "upper middle income" economy.
- Unlike the other Arab states in the Middle East, Jordan has no oil of its own.
- Jordan has a long history of accepting refugees. Positioned in the midst of turmoil, it has accepted vast numbers of refugees from surrounding conflicts. Most notably, the country has an estimated two million Palestinians and 1.4 million Syrian refugees residing in the country. In a nation of just 9.5 million people, this represents over a third of the population.
- Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as "The Rose City" it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
- Jordan is home to many biblical sites including, among others, the Jordan River where Jesus was babtised by John the Baptist, Mount Nebo where Moses died, as well as the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- The lowest point on Earth in terms of dry land is the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan. It lies at 1,378ft (420m) beneath sea level.
- The waters of the Dead Sea are extremely saline which keeps bathers buoyant. With 34.2% salinity it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean.
- Food is one of the ultimate highlights of visiting Jordan. The rich Jordanian food coupled with the famous Jordanian hospitality creates an atmosphere of festivities each time a meal is served. Mansaf is the most traditional lunch meal while Konafah is the most traditional desert!!
Tourism and Travel
Jordan is an area of immense historical interest, with some 800 archaeological sites, including 224 in the Jordan Valley. Jordan's notable tourist attractions include the Greco-Roman remains at Jerash (ancient Garasi), which was one of the major cities of the Decapolis (the capital, 'Ammān, was another, under the name of Philadelphia) and is one of the best-preserved cities of its time in the Middle East. Petra (Batra), the ancient capital of Nabataea in southern Jordan, carved out of the red rock by the Nabataeans, is probably the East Bank's most famous historical site. Natural attractions include the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea, which—at 392 m (1290 ft) below sea level—is the lowest spot on Earth. Biblical attractions include Bethany Beyond the Jordan, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist; and Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land.
The beaches on the Gulf of Aqaba offer holiday relaxation for Jordanians, as well as tourists. Sports facilities include swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, and bowling alleys. Eastern Jordan has modern hotel facilities in 'Ammān and Al-Aqabah, and there are government-built rest houses at some of the remote points of interest. A valid passport and visa are required. Visitors may obtain a visa, for a fee, at most international points of entry.
For more information, please visit http://www.visitjordan.com/