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Jordan Tourist Guide

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General Information
Area: 97,740 sq km (37,73 sq miles) - Capital: Amman
Population: 5,039,000 (2000) - Capital Population: 1,864,500 (1999) - Population Density: 56.4 per sq km.

Government: Constitutional Monarchy since 1952.
Head of State: King Abdullah Ibn Al-Hussein Al-Hashimi since 1999.

Language: Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken in the cities. French, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish are also spoken.
Religion: Over 90% Sunni Muslim, with Christian and Shi'i Muslim minorities.

Weights & Measures: Metric System (1 mile = 1.6 km, 1 kg = 2.205 bound)
Clock Conscious: Jordan local time is 7 hours ahead of American Eastern Standard Time. From October through March, Jordan is 2 hours ahead of UTC, and 3 hours ahead the rest of the year.

Business Hours: Most Jordanians work 5 days a week with Friday and Saturday off, but business and shopping hours are flexible. Some establishments are open from 9:30 - 13:30 and after break from 15:30 - 18:00. Others maybe open straight through the day, from 08:00 - 20:00.

Government offices are open from 08:30 - 15:00. All businesses and most shops, other than those in the souqs, are closed on Fridays. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, working hours are more flexible and generally shorter.

Telephone: IDD service is available within cities, with direct dialing to most countries.
Country code: 962 (followed by 6 for Amman, 3 for Aqaba and Petra, 5 for Dead Sea and Ma'in).
Mobile telephone: GSM 900 networks in use. Network providers include Fastlink (79) and MobileCom (77). Integrated Digital Enhanced Network is also provided by XPress Telecommunications (74).
FAX: Most good hotels have faxing facilities. Main post office in Amman downtown also provides fax service.

Telegram: The overseas telegram service is reasonably good. Telegrams may be sent from the Central Telegraph Office, Post Office, First Circle, Jebel Amman, Jordan Intercontinental or from major hotels and post offices all around.

Internet: There are Internet cafes all around Jordan in and outside hotels.
Post: Packages should be left opened for customs officials. Airmail to Western Europe takes 3 to 5 days. For a higher charge, there is rapid service guaranteeing delivery within 24 hours to around 22 countries.
Post office opening hours: Sat-Thu 8:00-18:00, closed Friday (except for the downtown post office on Prince Mohammed Street in Amman).
Press: English-language newspapers are The Jordan Times (daily), Arab Daily, and The Star (weekly).

Currency: Dinar (JD) = 1000 fils - US$ 1 = JD 0.708 - Notes are in denominations of JD 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 500, 250, 100, 50, 25 and 10 fils.
Currency exchange: Foreign currencies can be exchanged easily in banks and bureaux de change. Most hotels also provide exchange facilities. The daily exchange rates are published in local newspapers.
Credit & debit cards: American Express and Visa are widely accepted, whilst MasterCard and Diners Club have more limited use. Check with your credit and debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.
Travellers cheques: Those issued by UK banks are accepted by licensed banks and bureaux de change. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars.

Currency restrictions: The import of local currency is unlimited. The export of local currency is restricted to JD300. The import of foreign currency is unrestricted provided declared on arrival. Export of foreign currency is up to the amount imported and declared.
Banking hours: Sun-Thu 08:30-15:00. Hours during Ramadan are 08:30-10:00, although some banks open in the afternoon.

Visa and Departure Tax
The cost of one entry visa for all nationalities is JD 10 (around $14) for all nationalities and for multiple entries it is JD 20 (around $30). Groups of 5 persons or more arriving through a designated Jordanian tour operator are exempted from all visa charges.

Departure taxes for non Jordanians are 5 JD, around $7, from any border. Certain nationalities are restricted and need prior permission. Please contact us for more information.

The weather in Jordan is pleasurable for travelling throughout the year. Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with temperatures averaging approximately 25°C (75 F). During the spring, the most beautiful season in Jordan, fields and mountains are coated with rich greenery and exquisite wildflowers.

In autumn, the weather is mild and pleasant. July and August are hot and dry, but not restrictive of tourist activities. The valleys and Aqaba are ideal winter resorts, with temperatures averaging 16-22°C (66-72 F) between November and April. Rainfall is a rare occurrence in Aqaba as well as in the desert areas of Jordan.

Women in Jordan are not required to wear head scarves or face covers. It is up to the visitor's discretion to choose the appropriate attire keeping in mind the relative conservatism of Middle Eastern societies.

Swimming attire should only be worn around swimming pools or beaches and not in public places. Even summer evenings can be quite cool, so one should be prepared to wear a shawl or sweater. Winters are cold, windy and rainy. Heavy snow is not unusual.

National Holidays
New Year's Day: 1 January
King Abdullah II's Birthday: 30 January
Labor Day: 1 May
Independence Day: 25 May
The Late King Hussein's Birthday: 14 November
Christmas Day: 25 December

Islamic holidays based on lunar calendar:
Eid Al-Fitr: a 3-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.
Eid Al-Adha: a 4-day holiday, which is the feast at the end of Hajj (the month of Pilgrimage to Mecca).
First of Muharam: Islamic New Year.
Al Isra Wal Mi'raj: Prophet Mohammad's (pbuh) night Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem & scension to heavens.

Medical Care
Modern medical services are readily available in Jordan's larger cities and towns and the bigger hotels normally have a doctor on call. Most doctors speak English fluently. Pharmacies can provide medication for minor aliments, but travelers should carry their own prescription medication.

Handicapped facilities: Few specific facilities for those with special physical requirements exists in Jordan, although local people will do their best to assist people in need. Nevertheless, the accessibility of some tourist sites is very limited; it is advisable to call ahead to establish if special needs can be met. At Petra, for example, horse-drawn carriages to the main sites can be arranged in special cases.

Water & Electricity
Potable water is a precious resource in Jordan. However, hotels rated 3* or more have their own water filtering systems (their water is considered safe to drink) and bottled water is cheap and readily available.

As for electricity, 200V; 50 cycles; rounded two-prong plugs are used. Transformers and adapters available widely.

Alcoholic Beverage
Could be found in hotels, restaurants, bars and some shops. Drinking is strictly prohibited on streets.

One hour developing is widely available. All sorts of films, cameras, disposable cameras, camcorders are available. Like in any country, it is advisable that one asks permission before photographing strangers.