Jordan 7th most peaceful in MENA region

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AMMAN — The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) on Thursday released its eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), ranking Jordan 95th out of 163 countries.

Published annually, the report ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness, based on a comprehensive data-driven analysis on trends in peace, its economic value and ways to develop peaceful societies

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2,152 visit Islamic shrines in Southern Mazar in June

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AMMAN — A total of 2,152 people visited the tombs of Prophet Mohammad’s companions in the Southern Mazar last June.

Mohammad Sarairah, the supervisor of the shrines, said that 1,285 of the visitors were Muslims from Turkey, the US, Pakistan, China, India, Malaysia and several African and European countries, while 485 visitors were Arabs and 362 were Jordanians. In May, some 2,609 people visited the Islamic shrines.

 

RJ announces 2 weekly Aqaba-Dubai direct flights

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AMMAN — Royal Jordan Airlines on Wednesday announced plans to operate two weekly direct flights between Aqaba and Dubai as of June 8, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh said that the flights will enhance tourism, as the UAE is the biggest investor in Aqaba, 330km south of Amman, with a value of $10 billion.

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Tourism Ministry allows 300 cafés to serve hookah

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The Tourism Ministry on Saturday allowed some 300 restaurants and cafés to serve hookah without issuing fines against them provided that they rectify their status by December 31.

In case of exceeding the given period, legal actions will be taken against the establishments in accordance with the law, the ministry noted.

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Madaba Museum launched to 'revive community's interest in preserving local treasures

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AMMAN — The Madaba Regional Archaeological Museum Project (MRAMP) was officially launched on May 17 under an international consortium of experts from Jordan, the US and Italy, seeking to establish a new archaeological museum in Madaba  in order to preserve and protect the rich heritage of Madaba and the surrounding region, while fostering a greater sense of ownership and engagement by the local community, a statement from the organisers said. 

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Salt to be nominated as UNESCO world heritage site

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AMMAN — Tourism Minister Lina Annab is scheduled to head Jordan’s delegation to the 41st session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Monday.

Annab said that the session’s agenda includes nominating Salt’s historical town, 35km northwest of Amman, to be listed as a world heritage site.

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Preparations for Jerash festival begin ‘too early’ for tour guides

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JERASH — Preparations for Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts 2017 have begun, triggering criticism from local tour guides over alleged disruption to tourist movements in some parts of the Greco-Roman city.

A local tourist guide in Jerash, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The Jordan Times on Monday that the preparations are “too early” and that the festival’s facilities would hinder the movement of visitors and block the view of some monuments. 

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Jordan Food Exhibition 2017 kicks off

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AMMAN — Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah, Water and Irrigation Minister Hazem Nasser on Wednesday opened the Jordan Food Exhibition 2017, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The five-day fair, which is held at the Expo Land near airport, is organised by the International Promoters Company (IPCO), in cooperation with Amman Chamber of Industry, the Islamic International Arab Bank and Giant Industrial Group.

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Ramadan evenings kick off in downtown

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AMMAN —  Ramadan evenings kicked off in downtown Amman on Monday with the participation of a number of Islamic troupes from all over the world. 

The event is held as a celebration for Amman’s selection as the Islamic cultural capital, Greater Amman Municipality’s (GAM) Culture Executive Director Samer Khair Ahmed said. 

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Al Hussein Park to close during Amman Summer Festival

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AMMAN —The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Tuesday announced that Al Hussein Park will close during the Amman Summer Festival from July 6 until July 15, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The decision is intended to facilitate the movement of vehicles and pedestrians inside the park, except for visitors to the Royal Automobile Museum.

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Airport International Group PSC CEO: Jordan’s QAIA to Handle 16 Million Travelers in 2032

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Speaking of his group’s recent partnership signed with Jordan’s government, Chief Executive Officer of Airport International Group PSC Kjeld Binger said that it ranked among the top 40 deals reached by both the private and public sectors worldwide.

The partnership exemplifies what is achievable when both sectors come together for a project that would benefit the whole local community.

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Jordan reveals latest archaeological wonder at Beit Ras

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Frescoes at Beit Ras in Jordan

An ancient tomb has been discovered in Jordan in the northern town of Beit Ras during an excavation project to expand a local waste-water sanitation network.

The tomb includes a cave with two burial chambers.

The larger chamber contains a basalt stone rock-cut tomb decorated with raised etchings of two lion heads and with several human bones enclosed.

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Children Museum Jordan reaches award final round

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AMMAN — The Children Museum Jordan on Wednesday announced that it reached the final round of the 2017 Children Museums Award, for its project titled “Mobile Museum of Children”.

The announcement came after a jury meeting of the Children in Museums Award in Amsterdam in late June, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

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Princess Sanaa attends opening of 23rd Shabib Festival

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AMMAN — HRH Princess Sanaa Asem on Wednesday attended the opening ceremony of the 23rd Shabib Festival at the Roman Theatre in Amman, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The festival’s Higher Executive Committee President Sharifa Budur Bint Asem, said that the festival has succeeded in delivering its message of diversity in arts and culture.

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Jordan Tourist Arrivals

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The number of tourist arrivals in Jordan rose 3.7 percent year-on-year to 588.1 thousand in March of 2017, following a 6.7 percent increase in the previous month. The number of visitors increased the most from: Indonesia (117.8 percent); the United States (11.4 percent) and Saudi Arabia (0.3 percent).

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Roman Amphitheater, Amman

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Dating back to the second century, Roman Amphitheater speaks to the period of Roman rule over Amman, when the city was known as Philadelphia. The construction of the 6,000-seat amphitheater into the hillside at a steep angle kept the sun off spectators and created excellent acoustics, which enabled audience members even at the top seat to hear people in the arena.

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Aqaba Marine Park to be listed as first marine nature reserve

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AMMAN — The Aqaba Marine Park (AMP) is scheduled to join Jordan's network of nature reserves this year, becoming the country's first marine nature reserve, according to a consultant on coastal management and protection.

The park, located 15 kilometres from downtown Aqaba, was declared a nature reserve by the government in 1997 with the aim of protecting the marine environment from rising pollution resulting from the rapid growth of Aqaba’s population and the expansion of its industrial activities.

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Amman: White City

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Jordan's capital city, Amman spreads across 19 hills and includes many distinct districts, each with their own historical and cultural marvels. The topography of the city adds to the sense of eclecticism and discovery, with hidden areas and surprises lying out of sight and ready to be explored.

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Top 10 Reasons to Visit Jordan

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FLOAT IN A GIANT SALT LAKE

The Dead Sea, bordered by Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, is actually a lake, and quite a salty one at that—around 34 percent saline, almost ten times that of seawater. The bright-blue waters attract many swimmers who want the odd feeling of floating without any effort at all. The Dead Sea's extreme saltiness means that once you wade in, your body instantly bobs to the surface—leaving you free to lie back, relax, and enjoy a soak at the planet's lowest point.

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Jerash: A Rome Away From Rome

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A close second to Petra on the list of favourite destinations in Jordan is the ancient city of Jerash, which boasts an unbroken chain of human occupation dating back more than 6,500 years.

Jerash lies on a plain surrounded by hilly wooded areas and fertile basins. Conquered by General Pompey in 63 BC, it came under Roman rule and was one of the ten great Roman cities of the Decapolis League. 

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Jordan Food Exhibition to begin on July 5

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AMMAN — The five-day Jordan Food Exhibition 2017 is scheduled to begin on July 5 at Expo Land on airport road, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 
 
Jordan Food Exhibition 2017 will allow visitors to sample the “high standards of all Jordan’s food imports and products”, Petra said, adding that it will be open to the public from 4pm until midnight and will include various events, including games for children. 
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Drowned City: Jordan to Search for Ancient Site's Underwater Remains

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This July, archaeologists in Jordan will begin an underwater search for remains of an early Islamic city.

Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea, modern-day Aqaba is Jordan's only port. In the Middle Ages, the city was known as Ayla. Archaeologists uncovered the ruins of Ayla only in the last 30 years, and now, they want to know if there's more to be found off the coast.

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Jordan not just Petra, Dead Sea, tourism sector leaders agree

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AMMAN — “Unfamiliar” tourist sites around the Kingdom can be promoted as providing visual experiences and opportunities for interaction with local residents through new marketing campaigns, representatives from the tourism sector said on Tuesday.

In an article posted recently on Middle East social news website www.stepfeed.com, 14 tourist attractions around Jordan “that aren’t Petra, Amman, and the Dead Sea” were promoted.

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Archaeologist highlights Nabataean heritage in agriculture, wine making at Petra

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AMMAN — Despite the harsh desert climate, the Nabataean inhabitants of ancient Petra were capable of growing different kinds of agricultural products, and even making wine, according to researcher and archaeologist Ulrich Bellwald.

In a lecture late last week at the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Amman on agriculture and wine making in the area, Bellwald presented a winery located in a valley west of “Little Petra” as a model for the Nabataeans’ agricultural production units.

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Travel in Jordan

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Amman, northern Jordan is home to other ancient cities of the Decapolis. These include Jarash (Gerasa), Umm Qays (Gadara), Tabaqat Fahl or Fihil (Pella), Bayt Ras (Capitolias), and Quwayliba (Abila). Jarash, straddling one of the ancient world's key trade routes, offers extensive and breathtaking ruins of colonnaded streets, arches, temples, and baths in a remarkable state of preservation and completeness.

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Swiss archaeologist examines ancient Nabateans' water technology at Petra

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AMMAN — The infrastructure of Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabateans, still remains a mystery to most people who visit this heritage site. The focus of tourists when they arrive to Petra is to find splendid monuments, temples, shrines, churches and market places, but the water infrastructure and the way Nabateans preserved water for irrigation and drinking is relatively unknown, noted Ulrich Bellwald, a Swiss archaeologist, conservator and architect.

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January-May tourist rates rise by 10.5%

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AMMAN —Tourism Minister Lina Annab said that the number of tourists to the Kingdom in the first five months of the year increased by 10.5 per cent, compared with the same period of last year.

A total of 2.6 million tourists visited Jordan until the end of this year’s May, compared with 1.864 million visitors to the country in the same period of 2016. 

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World Economic forum on Mideast and North africa kicks off

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa is scheduled to kick off today at the Dead Sea, in Jordan and it will host more than 1000 business and political leaders and representatives from civil society, international organizations, youth and the media from over 50 countries, organizers said today.

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Visitors to Amman parks increase during Ramadan

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The Greater Amman Municipality’s (GAM) Al Hussein Parks has been receiving around 2,000 visitors every day since the fasting month of Ramadan started, while King Abdullah II Park in Muqabalein has been receiving around 1,000 visitors daily, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

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RSCN confiscates 280 illegally hunted, kept animals last year

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AMMAN — Nature inspectors recorded 280 cases of illegal hunting, possession and trade of wild birds and animals last year, according to the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN).

Foxes constituted the majority of the seized and confiscated animals found with violators, according to the RSCN, which said it has seized and confiscated 10 foxes over the past year.

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Tourist restaurants allowed to open during day in Ramadan

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Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani on Tuesday said that the Tourism Ministry’s instructions allow tourist facilities to work during Ramadan and provide services without violating the “sanctity” of the fasting month.

Muslims abstain from food and drink during Ramadan from dawn until after sunset.

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Jordan 5th safest Arab country for tourists, 38th worldwide

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Jordan ranked as the 38th safest destination for tourists globally in 2017, and the 5th among regional countries, a recent report by the World Economic Forum stated.

Finland topped the 136 countries listed in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017, followed by the UAE, Iceland, Oman and Hong Kong.

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More tourists arriving from Asian countries

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Jordan’s tourism sector has witnessed a “considerable and promising” increase in the number of visitors since the beginning of the year, particularly from Asian countries, an official said in a recent interview.

The number of overall tourists reached 1.639 million visitors during the first four months of this year, compared to nearly 1.457 million over the same period last year, registering a 12.5 per cent growth, said Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat.

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UK visitors drive tourism to Jordan

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Last year marked another successful year for Jordanian tourism, with UK visitor numbers rising by seven per cent, compared to 2015, with Britain remaining the largest European source market for the Hashemite Kingdom.

The launch of the ExtraJORDANary campaign, in spring 2016, contributed to the positive arrival figures as travellers where able to book holidays through several new tour operators.

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Jubeiha Amusement Park shuts down permanently

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Jubeiha Amusement Park, one of Amman’s oldest entertainment facilities, has closed down permanently due to the deteriorated state of its rides and structures, a municipal official said on Tuesday.

The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Tuesday announced the closure of the amusement park for safety reasons, indicating that most of the park’s rides and structures had exceeded their lifespan.

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Three new wells start operating in Maan Governorate

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AMMAN — The pumping of water from three new wells in Petra District in Maan Governorate has begun at a capacity of 600 cubic metres per hour, in a bid to improve supply at the desert town, an official said on Monday.

The three new wells are part of a project which seeks to provide additional water to the residents of Petra District, according to Omar Salameh, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

The project also entailed the construction of water reservoirs, operation rooms and the installation of 12 kilometres of pipelines, according to Salameh.

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2,609 visit Islamic shrines in Southern Mazar in May

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AMMAN — A total of 2,609 people visited the tombs of Prophet Mohammad’s companions in the Southern Mazar in May, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Thursday.

Mohammad Sarairah, the supervisor of the shrines, said that 1,553 of the visitors came from Muslim countries, 373 visitors were Arabs and 683 were Jordanians. The shrines house the tombs of Jafar Bin Abi Taleb, Zaid Bin Haretha and Abdullah Bin Rawaha.

Jordanian and Egyptian tourism ‘interconnected’, need joint tourism strategy

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 AMMAN — By developing joint tourism promotional offers, Jordan and Egypt can exploit untapped opportunities to boost bilateral and inbound tourism to both countries, officials from both sides agreed.

Speaking at a session organised by the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association (JITOA) on Sunday, officials said the “strong” and “strategic” relations binding the two countries were the foundations for cooperation in various fields, including tourism.

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Downtown lights up for Ramadan

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AMMAN — Illuminated decorations, crescents and stars have lit up downtown Amman in celebration of the holy month of Ramadan. 

The illuminated decorations have turned the city centre into the main hub for Jordanians, who flock to downtown Amman right after the end of the fast-breaking iftar meal, often staying until the start of suhoor before dawn.

Initiated by the Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC), the illuminations are part of a campaign implemented in cooperation with the Greater Amman Municpality and the Arab Bank, according to an ACC statement. 

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Jordan welcomes increasing number of British visitors

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Jordan saw further growth in UK visitor numbers in the first quarter of 2017, January – March, increasing by 15.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2016.

The swell in travellers follows the announcement that UK tourists to the Hashemite Kingdom also grew by seven per cent in 2016.

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