Jordan Country Information

About Jordan

Jordan is a relatively small country situated in the Arabian province. It is defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves and seaside resorts. It is home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, the Nabatean capital dating to around 300 B.C. Set in a narrow valley with tombs, temples and monuments carved into the surrounding red-pink sandstone cliffs, Petra earns its nickname, the “Rose City”.

Geography

Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, Israel and Palestine to the west. The Dead Sea lies along its western borders and the country has a small shoreline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west, but is otherwise landlocked.

Jordan takes its name from the Jordan River that runs roughly north to south through Jordan and into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea has the lowest point of dry land in the world at 420m below sea level, and it is 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. The Dead Sea is called the Dead Sea because of its high salinity, which prevents fish and aquatic plants from living here.

Jordan has a hot dry climate, characterized by long, hot dry summers and short cool winters. The coldest month is in January, where Jordan can often get snow, and the hottest month is in August where temperatures can reach 35C.

The human population of Jordan is estimated at 9.702 million with 4.008 million living in the capital of Amman.

Politics

Jordan is divided into 12 administrative muhāfazāt (governorates), which in turn are divided into districts and sub-districts, each of which is headed by an official appointed by the minister of the interior. Cities and towns each have mayors and partially elected councils.

Economy & Tourism

The two most important economy sectors in Jordan is industry and construction. Jordan’s industry section relies heavily on clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement and tourism.

The Jordanian government vigorously promotes tourism, and the number of tourists visiting Jordan has grown dramatically since the mid-1990s. Visitors come mainly from the West to see the old biblical cities of the Jordan Valley and such wonders as the ancient city of Petra, designated a World Heritage site in 1985.

Language

Arabic is the official language of Jordan, but English is widely spoken

Religion

Jordan’s major religion is Islam

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