Senior Citizens Travel to Jordan

Jan 17th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

A friend and his family lived in Saudi-Arabia for two years as employees of ARAMCO (American Arabian Oil Company.)  Andy is a music teacher and his wife a dental assistant.  They enjoyed traveling all over the middle east and Europe with their two children and twice a year ARMCO flew them back to the states for a little R & R.  When I saw Andy on one of his return jaunts, we had a conversation about Jordan, and he aroused my curiosity.

I invite you to explore Jordan with me. Lots of folks including seniors visit Jordan as tourism is one of the most important sectors in Jordan’s economy. In 2008, there were over 6 million arrivals, 3 million of them tourists.

The culture of Jordan, called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is greatly influenced by religion and monarchy. Islam dominates the way of life here. Jordan’s local name is Al-Mamlakah al- Urdunniyah al- Hashimiyah [that’s a mouthful isn’t it?] nd it has a multi-ethnic population. Migrants from across the continent have been assimilated in the local way of life, and a lot of the migrant culture has become a part of Jordan with a population of 5,981,000 (estimated in 2009). The vast majority of the population are Arabs, about one-third of whom are Palestinian Arabs who fled to Jordan from neighboring Israel and the West Bank as a result of the Arab-Israeli wars.

The language is Arabic (official); Religion, Islam (official; predominantly Sunni); Currency is the Jordanian dinar. Four-fifths of the country is desert; less than one-tenth of the land is arable.

Sharing borders with Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is one of the more stable, trouble-free countries in the Middle East and consequently one of the more appealing as a holiday center. Consolidating its viability as a tourist destination are its numerous sightseeing attractions.  Amman is the capital city and is famed for its Roman remains, while the ancient rock city of Petra gets a UNESCO endorsement and is a holiday highlight for most visitors. The curious Dead Sea, with its phenomenally high saline content, and the Wadi Rum desert area are among the country’s greatest natural attractions. Wadi Rum is a desert valley famed for its breathtaking scenery (featuring amazing rock formations) and for having been a popular haunt with Laurence of Arabia during the time of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans in WWI.  Learn all about King Abdullah II and his father King Hussein.

So what do the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the Prophet Moses, and Lawrence of Arabia have in common? These are just three of the many historical personalities who passed through Jordan throughout history, and whose itineraries now attract adventure seekers and action vacationers from throughout the world. Jordan has great comparative advantage in this sector, based on several assets: guaranteed sunshine for eight months of the year; a base of powerful, unique cultural attractions such as Petra and Jerash that is famous for its Roman ruins and is Jordan’s second most popular tourist destination after Petra. The city is awash with historical sights.  Amman is a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley. Due to the city’s modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area.

Petra the world wonder, is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. This site has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985 and you know of my personal interest in World Heritage Sites.   It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.  Petra is is an awe-inspiring experience. A massive façade, 30m wide and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.  It is called “a rose-red city half as old as time.”  

Other attractions when visiting Jordan include Aqaba (Jordan’s Red Sea Resort town near Wadi Rum), the Jordan river and Holy Lands to visit Mount Nebo and the location where Christ is said to have been baptized by John (the Baptist) and perhaps a day at Madaba taking in its sights (the most famous of which is its mosaic of Jerusalem that dates back to the 6th century).

For entrance into Jordan any non-Arab visitor to Jordan, whether for business or tourism, needs an entry visa. The required fee for a visa in addition to the granted stay duration depends on the visitor’s nationality.

Enjoy Jordan, the land of Inspiration, Peace and Love!  jeb

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  1. Senior Citizens Travel to Jordan | Senior Citizen Journal…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon Shaw Elrod. Sharon Shaw Elrod said: Senior Citizens Travel to Jordan: A friend and his family lived in Saudi-Arabia for two years as employees of AR… […]

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