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JUST THE FACTS

To ensure you get the most from your visit to Jordan, it is important to have a few basic facts on hand before you arrive. From currency to transport, from newspapers to business hours, you'll find the information you need by clicking the links below.



 Entrance Fees

 Local Time

 Attire

 Water

 Business Hours

 Medical Care

 Accessibility

 Communications

 Newspapers

 Currency

 Credit Cards

 Postal Services

 Radio & Television

 Population

 Language

 Public Holidays

 Electrical Current

 Weights & Measures

 Education

 Embassies

 Shopping

 

ATTIRE



Jordan is a primarily 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.




ACCESSIBILITY

Visitors with a valid passport may obtain a visa at any Jordanian embassy, consulate, or legation abroad. A visa can also be obtained at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport or at any other border crossing except King Hussein Bridge and the ferryboat from Egypt. Visas are valid for 2 weeks, but can be extended at any police station.





NEWSPAPERS

The main English-language daily is The Jordan Times. Foreign newspapers are available at hotels and some shops.




CREDIT CARDS

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.




RADIO & TELEVISION

Television:

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

Radio:

Many radio stations broadcast in English including Radio Jordan and many other privately owned channels.




LANGUAGE

The official language of Jordan is Arabic, but English is widely spoken especially in the cities. Many Jordanians have travelled, or have been educated abroad, so French, German, Italian and Spanish are also spoken, but to a lesser extent.
 

When Arabic is written in Jordan using the Latin alphabet, English spelling is applied; however, these spellings can be interpreted in various ways - the spelling, for example, of street addresses can vary widely. For this reason, the sounds of the words are a much better guide than the spelling.
 

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.

Here are a few useful words and phrases to get you started:


ENGLISH

ARABIC

Yes

Na'am

No

Laa

Please

Min fadlak (to a man)

Min fadlik (to a woman)

Thank you

Shukran

You're welcome

Afwan

Hello

Marhaba

Goodbye

Ma'asalameh

What is your name?

Shoo ismak? (to a man)

Shoo ismek? (to a woman)

Please

Lao samaht

Excuse me

'An iznek

What time is it?

Edesh el sa'aa?

How much?

Addeysh?

I don't speak Arabic

Ana laa ahkee Arabee

One

Waahid

Two

Tinain

Three

Talaateh

Four

Arba'a

Five

Khamseh

Six

Sitteh

Seven

Sab'a

Eight

Tamenyeh

Nine

Tis'a

Ten

'Ashra

Left

Shmaal

Right

Yameen

Straight

Dughree



Arabic numbers are easy to read - in fact, the western numerical system was originally derived from the Arabic system. Unlike the words, Arabic numerals are read from left to right (the same as western numerals).

arabic_numerals.gif

 


ELECTRICAL CURRENT

220 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs. Visitors from the US will need a transformer, which most hotels can provide.





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' centres. There you will find hand-woven rugs and cushions, beautifully embroidered items and clothing, traditional pottery, glassware, silver jewellery embedded with semi-precious stones, Bedouin knives, coffee pots, narghiles (hubble bubble), marquetry work, antiques and other artefacts. The list is endless and about as varied as you can imagine.

Take time to visit the souks in Jordan’s larger towns and cities. These are treasure troves for those seeking something a little bit out of the ordinary. Within the souks are also excellent gold and silver outlets, where some great bargains can be found. Also worth visiting are the busy market shops, especially for exotic spices, herbs and seasonings.

Both Amman and Aqaba offer sophisticated shops and boutiques selling the very latest fashions in jewellery, clothing, accessories, leather and electronic goods.

When in Amman, don’t forget to visit Al-Wakalat Street to find all European and North American brand stores lining the streets and offering their latest collections, as well as in the many malls available throughout the city. Also, Rainbow Street is a great tourist area, where many handicraft stores, coffee shops, and lounges overlook the paved lanes.

Almost everywhere in Jordan you can find the world-famous Dead Sea spa products. All are of excellent quality and produced under strict clinical conditions. They are also very reasonably priced.

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!





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.
 




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.





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.

National Telephone Codes:

City

Dialing Code

Ajlun

02

Al Mafraq

02

Amman

06

Aqaba

03

The Dead Sea

05

Jerash

02

Karak

03

Ma'an

03

Madaba

05

Petra

03

Al-Tafila

03

As-Salt

05

Wadi Rum

03

Zarqa

05





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.
 

Currency Converter





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.
 

There are also a number of international courier services, including DHL, FedEx, TNT International, UPS, etc.
 




POPULATION

The population of Jordan has grown rapidly over the last fifty years or so to 8,117,564 million people.


Last updated 2/9/2015.





PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

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

Fixed public holidays include:

New Year’s Day


January 1st

Labour Day


May 1st

Independence Day


May 25th

Christmas Day


December 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.

  • 12 Rabee' Al Awal - The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
     




WEIGHTS & MEASURES

Jordan uses the metric system.