Amman, capital of Jordan

Saturday, 30 November 2013 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Rendered picture of the Abdali New Downtown which is currently under construction © Joeyzaza/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rendered picture of the Abdali New Downtown which is currently under construction © Joeyzaza/cc-by-sa-3.0

Amman is the capital and most populous city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is the country’s political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The recent economic growth experienced in Amman is unmatched by any other Arab city except those located in the Persian Gulf. Amman is also the administrative seat of the homonymous governorate. Amman is also ranked a Gamma global city on the World city index.

Amman was named one of the MENA’s best cities according to economic, labour, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. Amman is among the most popular locations for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai. Furthermore, it is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region. It is a major tourist destination in the region and the capital is especially popular among Gulf tourists. Much of Amman’s tourism is focused in the older downtown area, which is centered around the old souk (a colorful traditional market) and the King Hussein Mosque.

Large malls were built during the 2000s in Amman, including the Mecca Mall, Abdoun Mall, Amman Mall, City Mall, Plaza Mall, Al Baraka Mall, Istikal Mall, Taj Mall (in Abdoun), Zara Shopping Center, Sweifieh Avenue Mall, and Mukhtar Mall. Further, Abdali Mall in Al Abdali is under construction. The Wakalat Street (English: “Agencies Street”) is Amman’s first pedestrian-only street and carries a lot of label name clothes. The Sweifieh area in general is considered to be the main shopping district of Amman.

Amman is the 8th most visited city by tourists and business travelers in the Middle East and Africa as well as the 9th highest recipient of international visitor spending. 1.8 million tourists visited the Jordanian capital in 2011 and spent over $1.3 billion in the city. If the entire kingdom is taken into account, there were 8 million tourists in 2010 and $ 4.4 billion in visitor expenditure, including medical tourists.

Amman - Jabel Webdeh - Cafe Mbareh in the typical regional architecture style © Freedom's Falcon Mecca Shopping Mall © Deror_avi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Panoramic view of Amman, seen from Amman Citadel © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Roman Theater of Amman seen from Amman Citadel © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Abu Darweesh Mosque © David Bjorgen/cc-by-sa-2.5 Amman - Jamal Abdul Nasser Circle © Tariq Ibrahim AbdulHadi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Le Royal Hotel in Amman © flickr.com - Mahmood Salam/cc-by-2.0 Amman - Queen Alia International Airport Terminal © T1259/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Amman - Jabel Webdeh - Cafe Mbareh in the typical regional architecture style © Freedom's Falcon
East Amman is the historic city centre. Eastern Amman is more traditional and older than the newer West. Small shops and single-family houses are dominant in East Amman’s landscape. East Amman is the hub for the capital’s historic sites and cultural activities. West Amman is the current economic city centre, and is the modern, stylish extension of Amman. Malls, shopping centres, expensive hotels, bars and international restaurants are part of West Amman’s development.

Amman is considered one of the most “westernized” and liberal cities in the Arab World. Amman has become one of the most popular destinations for “Western” expats and college students who seek to live, study, or work in the Middle East or the Arab World in general. The city’s culinary scene has expanded from its shwarma stands and falafel joints to embrace many popular American restaurants and fast-food outlets like McDonald’s and T.G.I. Friday’s, Asian fusion restaurants, French bistros such as La Maison Verte and Italian trattorias. The city has become famous for its fine dining scene among Western expats and Persian Gulf tourists. Nightclubs, music bars and shisha lounges have sprouted across Amman, changing the city’s old image as the conservative capital of the kingdom. Jordan’s young population is helping shape this new burgeoning nightlife scene.

The New York Times praised the cuisine of Amman. “You’ll find the bright vegetables from Lebanon, crunchy falafels from Syria, juicy kebabs from Egypt and, most recently, spicy meat dishes from Jordan’s neighbor, Iraq. It’s known as the food of the Levant — an ancient word for the area bounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian peninsula. But the food here isn’t just the sum of its calories. In this politically, religiously and ethnically fraught corner of the world, it is a symbol of bloodlines and identity.”

Read more on Greater Amman Municipality, VisitJordan.com – Amman, Queen Alia International Airport, City Mall, Wikitravel Amman and Wikipedia Amman (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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