Jordan General information

About Jordan

Location Capital: Amman Population: 2.5 million (2011 estimate). Government Constitutional monarchy

Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)

Area total: 89,318 km2 Water: 540 km2 Land: 88,778 km2 Population: 9.249 million

Language: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes.

Religion: Sunni Muslim 94%, Christian 4% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi’a Muslim and Druze populations) (2012 est.).

Electricity: 220V/50Hz (Continental round pin & UK plugs). Calling Code: +(962)

Time Zone: GMT + 2 (All over the year). Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, south of Syria, southwest of Iraq, and east of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Geographic co-ordinates: 29 – 34 00 N, 35 – 39 E.

Jordan Passport/Visa Passports: Passport validation for six months is a must for all nationalities.

Visas : Most nationalities can obtain visas at any border, port or airport EXCEPT at the King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge, which requires a pre-issued visa. Some nationalities require visas in advance. A single entry visa will cost you US$58.00. Groups consisting of 5 persons and over will be granted a free collective visa if they spend a minimum of two nights in the kingdom. Keeping in mind that entering & leaving the country as 01 group is a must ( in case of having a free of charge collective visa ) Tourist visas generally expire after two weeks, and are easily renewed. Otherwise, a penalty of US$ 2.00 per day is applicable & to be paid upon departure. Transit visas can only be issued at Jordanian airports/airlines and not at embassies or consulates. Currency Dinar (JOD; symbol JD) = 100 piaster or 1,000 fils. Notes are in denominations of JD 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of JD1/2 and 1/4; and 10, 5 and 1 piaster (qirsh).

Currency Exchange : Foreign currencies can be exchanged easily in banks and exchange offices. Most hotels also provide exchange facilities. The daily exchange rates are published in local newspapers.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATM : American Express, Visa, Diners Club and MasterCard are accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger shops. ATM machines can be founded in most of the larger towns and throughout Amman.

Banking Hours : Sun-Thurs 08:30 am -15:30 pm. Hours during Ramadan are Sun-thurs 08:30 am.- 14:00 PM. although some banks open in the afternoon ( which located in the commercial malls ).

How to get there By Air : Queen Alia International Airport is the country’s main airport. It is 35km south of Amman (on the main route to Aqaba). You should allow 45 minutes to reach the airport from the downtown Amman, approximately 30 minutes from West Amman. Facilities: Duty-free shops, ATMs, banks, eating and shopping facilities and car hire. In addition to Queen Alia, Jordan has two other international airports:

Marka Airport in East Amman
King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.
Jordan’s national airline is Royal Jordanian Airlines. In addition, Jordan is served by a number of foreign carriers including BMI, Air France, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates , Qatar Airways, middle east, Delta Airlines….etc..

By Land Getting There by Rail The Hejaz Railway operates twice a week on the old Ottoman track between Amman and Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic). It uses ancient rolling stock and takes about nine hours. It is really only worth making the journey for the experience. The journey by car takes about half the time.

Getting There by Road There are roads into the Syrian Arab Republic via Ramtha or Jaber. The route to/from the Syrian Arab Republic to Western Europe is through Turkey. Driving time from Amman to Damascus is four hours. From Egypt there are bus connections from Cairo (visa should be obtained in advance). Multiple-entry visas may be needed. It’s also possible to enter the Palestinian National Authority Region at Allenby Bridge. Border crossings with Israel are at Sheikh Hussein Bridge (Jordan River Crossing) near Lake Tiberias in the north and Wadi Arabah (Arava Crossing) in the south, the latter linking Jordan to the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat. Most nationalities can obtain a visa at the border.

From Iraq, It is possible to enter Jordan via Al Karama Border,

From Saudi Arabia Entry from Saudi Arabia is by bus. Jordan-bound buses can be taken from almost any point in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf. Most of these are used by Arabs. The border crossing, called Al-Haditha on the Saudi side, and Al-Omari on the Jordanian side.

Getting There by Sea Jordan can be entered at the port of Aqaba via the Egyptian port of Nuweiba. There are two services, ferry and speedboat. There is a daily car and passenger ferry between Aqaba and Nuweiba in Egypt. The trip takes less than one hour. Road and Sea departure tax: 8.000 JD. Get in Visitors to Jordan from non-Arab countries will need a visa, easily obtainable on arrival at most border points. One key exception is the crossing from the West Bank at the King Hussein (“Allenby”) Bridge. Visas are available at all other land crossings into Jordan, including the two crossings from Israel at Eilat/Aqaba and the Sheik Hussein Bridge near Irbid. Previously notoriously complex (and expensive), visa prices have finally been standardized with the amount of 20.000 JD / Person for non-Arabs ( single entry ), and multiple entry visa should be granted from the Jordanian Embassy at your country, though you can receive a free, one month, ASEZA visa if you arrive through Aqaba without any fees. Departure tax is already included in the flight ticket when departing Jordan through Queen Alia International Airport.

Jordan Public Holidays Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2015-December 2016 period.

Tuesday – Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Thursday – Jan 24 Mawlid al-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet).
Wednesday – Mar 20 March equinox
Friday – Mar 29 Good Friday
Sunday – Mar 31 Easter Day
Monday – Apr 1 Easter Monday
Wednesday – May 1 Labour Day
Sunday – May 5 Orthodox Easter Day
Saturday – May 25 Independence Day
Wednesday – Jun 5 Al Isra’ wal Miraj
Sunday – Jun 9
King Abdullah’s accession
to the throne

Friday – Jun 21 June Solstice
Tuesday – Jul 9 Ramadan begins
Thursday – Aug 8 Eid-al-Fitr
Sunday – Sep 22 September equinox
Tuesday – Oct 15 Eid-al-Adha
Tuesday – Nov 5 Muharram/New Year
Saturday – Dec 21 December Solstice
Wednesday – Dec 25 Christmas Day

Note : Easter holidays are only observed by Christian business establishments.Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.

Climate Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with Mediterranean prevailing in the North and West of the country, while the majority of the country is desert. Generally, the country has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with annual average temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 C (54 to 77 F) and summertime highs reaching the 40 C (105-115 F) in the desert regions. Rainfall averages vary from 50 mm (1.97 inches) annually in the desert to 800 mm (31.5 inches) in the northern hills, some of which falls as snow in some years.

Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are mostly used but newer buildings may have three-pin plugs

Language Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken. French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken in many tourist areas.

Social Conventions Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. Jordanians are proud of their Arab culture and hospitality is a matter of great importance. Visitors are made to feel very welcome and Jordanians are happy to act as hosts and guides, keen to inform tourists about their traditions and culture. Islam always plays an important role in society and it is essential that Muslim beliefs are respected. Arabic coffee will normally be served continuously during social occasions. To signal that no more is wanted, slightly tilt the cup when handing it back, otherwise it will be refilled. If invited for dinner, a small gift is customarily given. Women are expected to dress modestly and beachwear must only be worn at the beach or poolside.

Photography It is polite to ask permission to take photographs of people in some places photography is forbidden.