Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.
In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city's much older past.
Due to the city's modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan's population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined streets and avenues flanked by elegant, almost uniformly white houses in accordance with a municipal law, which states that all buildings must be faced with local stone.
The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewellery to everyday household items.
The people of Amman are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well-educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city.
FUN & ADVENTURE
Amman is a good base for action-packed activities in the surrounding area. The Jordan Valley is just a short drive away and easily accessible for day excursions for walking, hiking, riding, sports and much more.
Within Amman there is plenty of fun to be found including water parks with lots of thrilling rides to keep the children entertained. There is a wide range of health clubs and fitness centres, as well as facilities for paintballing and other action-packed sports.For information on paintballing, contact: The Mountain Breeze Country Club Tel. + 962-777-234569 or visit their website: www.jordanadventure.com or Email: email@example.comHorse riding is a very popular activity and Amman’s riding centres offer excellent facilities:
Princess Alia Centre for Riding
Hussein Sports Club
Arabian Horse Club
Country Riding Centre of Jordan
Those interested in getting off the ground, in any of Jordan’s main resorts, should contact the Royal Aero Sports Club of Jordan, a highly professional organization that provides a range of flying activities including skydiving, micro-light flying, hot air ballooning & parachuting, as well as single engine flight training.
Amman has an excellent 9-hole 'brown' golf course, with par of 67; the Bisharat Golf Course is the first proper golf course to be found in Jordan., Nestled in the hills alongside Amman’s Queen Alia Airport, and located just 14km outside the city, the club provides caddie service, a pro-shop and professional coaching.For more information please visit www.GolfJordan.com Tel: + 962 79 5520334Fax: + 962 6 4624660Working Days: All Week Opening Hours: Sunrise to SunsetAmman's 'Waves Water Park' is a great place to chill out and have some fun - especially for children who are tired from shopping and visiting the sites. The park is large, ecologically-friendly and has plenty of shady areas. The lower level has wave pools, river rides and slides as well as fast food outlets for the kids. The upper level has a quieter pool and restaurant area.The King Hussein National Park is located on the western outskirts of the city and is a great place to while away a few hours. Within the Park is The Cultural Village, which highlights Jordan’s heritage through its handicrafts and culture. The Centre includes studios for Arabic calligraphy, stone inscriptions, natural dyes and various other traditional crafts. The Park, which overlooks Amman, has outstanding themed gardens and an auditorium where various events and festivals regularly take place. It also has a large sports training facility, as well as a children’s playground, a children’s museum, medical clinic and restaurant.
Nightlife in Amman
There’s plenty to do in Amman after dark. Nightclubs throb to the beat of modern music, attracting the young fashionable crowds while the more traditional establishments offer Arabic music and dance. Many international restaurants also provide live entertainment.
Amman has many cinemas which screen all the latest movie releases. There are also theatres and concert halls that have regular performances of stage shows, music concerts and ballets on their agenda.Rainbow Street offers great shopping opportunities for those looking to score local and handmade goods, while Wakalat Street offers many brands name stores for the international shopper. Both streets are lined with cafes and restaurants ideal for a social night out.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and cannot make the trip outside Amman for some amazing rock-climbing you do not have to miss out! Try the region’s largest indoor climbing facility at Climbat Amman, where you can traverse climbing surface of over 1500 square meters along more than 6000 bolt-on climbing holds! Climbat opened in 2010 in partnership with Climbat Barcelona and Top30 Climbing Walls to bring Amman an exhilarating rock-climbing experience using the most up to date materials, manufacturing techniques assembled by highly experienced worker. Whether you’re a first time climber or a pro there is always something new for you to explore at Climbat! To contact Climbat: Website: www.climbat.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +962 657 361 77 Jerusalem Street, P.O. Box 5681 Amman 11183 - Jordan Tel. 06-5736177 - Fax: 06-5736977
HISTORY & CULTURE
Amman's history spans nine millennia dating back to the Stone Age. It boasts one of the largest Neolithic settlements (c.6500 BC) ever discovered in the Middle East. The Citadel hill contains early Bronze Age tombs (3300-1200 BC).By the beginning of the Iron Age Amman had become the capital of the Ammonites, referred to in the Bible, and was called Rabbath-Ammon. It was here that King David of Israel killed Uriah the Hittite. Fortress towers ringed the city at that time - the best preserved of these can still be seen today - but they were little protection against King David's attack. His forces toppled the Ammonites and, apart from a brief revival in the 9th and 8th centuries BC, the area was ruled in succession by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians for several hundred years. By the 4th century BC the city had been renamed "Philadelphia" after its Ptolemaic ruler, Philadelphus. Seleucid and Nabataean rule followed until 63 BC, when it was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the Roman general, Pompey, annexed Syria and made Philadelphia part of the Decapolis League - an alliance of ten free city states with overall allegiance to Rome. The Romans rebuilt the city with colonnaded streets, baths, a theatre and impressive public buildings. Philadelphia found itself at the centre of the new Roman province of Arabia and of lucrative trade routes running between the Mediterranean and an interior that stretched to India and China as well as routes north and south. The city flourished.
During the Byzantine period, when Christianity became the official religion of the Eastern Roman Empire, the city was the seat of a Christian Bishop and two churches were constructed. By the early 7th century, Islam was already spreading northwards from the Arabian Peninsula and, by 635 AD, had embraced the land as part of its domain. The city returned to its original Semitic name of Ammon or, as it is known today, Amman.With various shifts in political power over the following centuries, Amman's fortunes declined. During the Crusades and under the Mameluks of Egypt, Amman's importance was overtaken by the rise of Karak in the south. By 1321 AD, it was reported that Amman was "a very ancient town and was ruined before the days of Islam" there are great ruins here and the river al-Zarqa flows through them.”Under the Ottoman Empire, Amman remained a small backwater with As-Salt being the main town of the area. By 1806, the city was reported to be uninhabited except for the Bedouins.The departure of the Ottomans from the region coincided with the exodus of a large numbers of Circassian and other persecuted Muslims from the Caucasus. They found refuge in the area and established a settlement on the east bank of the Jordan River. Although they were mostly farmers, amongst these early settlers there were also gold and silversmiths and other craftsmen, and it wasn’t long before they built rough roads linking their settlement to Amman. Commerce, once again, began to flourish. Learn more about Amman's historical sites
But it was the construction of the Hejaz Railway which really brought the city back to life. Linking Damascus with Medina, the railway passed through Amman in 1902. Once again, Amman became the centre of a busy trade route and its population began to grow. By 1905, the city held a mixed population of some 3000 people.
On May 5th,1923, the Emirate of Transjordan came into existence, with Emir Abdullah, a Hashemite and direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as its undisputed leader. On the March 22nd,1946, Transjordan secured its independence. Two months later, Abdullah’s title of Emir was changed to King, and the country was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with Amman as its capital.
Over the ensuing decades the city has expanded and flourished to become a modern, lively, commercial metropolis of well over two million people. Excellent hotels and accommodation, gourmet restaurants, coffee shops, shopping centres, offices and luxury villas have replaced older dwellings. However, there is still much of the old city to be admired.In addition to its numerous archaeological sites, Amman has many museums, art galleries and cultural centres, as well as theatres and cinemas.The Royal Film Commission of JordanThe Royal Film Commission of Jordan aims to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Jordanian audio-visual production industry, partly by developing and cultivating film culture, and by encouraging Jordanians to use film and audio-visual media to tell their stories, voice their opinions and express their ideas. The Commission also provides opportunities for audiences to get together with filmmakers to watch independent and experimental films, open a dialogue with filmmakers, exchange ideas, and cultivate multimedia literacy. For more information, please contact:P.O.Box 811991Amman 11181 JordanTel: +962 6 464 22 66Fax: +962 6 464 2299E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.film.jo
LEISURE & WELLNESS
A wide range of leisure and wellness opportunities are available for visitors to Amman. Most of the leading hotels have swimming pools, tennis courts and excellent, fully-equipped and professionally managed spas and fitness centres. Within the city are many private gyms and sports facilities as well as clubs and sports organizations for everything from horseback riding, cycling, and flying to golf, basketball football and running.Amman also has a large water park, with lots of slides and rides, to keep children and the young at heart cool and entertained for hours.A visit to the Hammam is a good way to discover more about the local culture. This is an Arabic-style communal bathhouse, highly popular throughout Jordan and the region since Roman times. The baths consist of three main rooms - a Frigidarium, Tepidarium and Calidarium – the cold, warm and hot rooms respectively. This is a totally invigorating experience for both mind and body. After a long day of visiting Amman’s many attractions, there is no better way to unwind than by visiting one of the luxurious spas found in many of the city’s leading hotels. The spas combine Eastern and Western techniques and offer luxurious body treatments, rejuvenating facials, cleansing scrubs and body wraps, and relaxing massages. The Jordanian people are extremely health-conscious, so it’s hardly surprising that the country’s clinics and medical and research facilities are notable within the region.