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Copyrigtht 2018 A Brush with Jordan

PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT JORDAN

 

A few basic facts will help you get the most from your visit to Jordan before you arrive.

Visas:

Visitors with a valid passport may obtain a visa at any Jordanian embassy or consulate. A visa can also be obtained at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport on arrival, cost is JD 40. Visas are valid for one month. No inoculations are required for entry into Jordan. Our tours include visas as long as all information is provided.

 

Business Hours:

Friday is the weekly holiday though some stores open after 2pm. Banks, government offices and some businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Most shops open from 9 am or 10am till 8 or 9pm and till 10pm in the shopping malls.

 

Public Holidays

A number of public holidays are not fixed. These include Easter and the following Islamic Holidays, which are based on the Lunar calendar:

  • Eid al-Fitr A 3 or 4-day feast marking the end of Ramadan

  • Eid al-Adha A 4 day feast at the end of the Hajj, or month of pilgrimage to Mecca

  • First of Muharam Islamic New Year

  • The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)

 

Currency and cash:

The local currency is the Jordanian Dinar, symbol JD or JOD, which is often called the “jaydee”. There are 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 JD notes. 

Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange booths and at most hotels. Exchange rates are set daily by the Jordanian Central Bank though the JD is currently pegged to the US dollar at .708.

Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, and it’s essential for shopping in the local souks. Travellers' cheques are seldom accepted. Many banks are represented in Jordan and it usually easy to obtain cash from ATMs.  

 

There is a 16% VAT on most items in Jordan, and restaurants will also add a 10% service charge. This is often identified as the cost of the item, plus, plus (eg JD3.50++).

 

Language:
The official language of Jordan is Arabic, but English is widely spoken – especially in the cities.

When Arabic is written in Jordan using the Latin alphabet, there can be a variety of interpretations

of the words. For this reason, the sounds of the words is a much better guide than the spelling.

Speaking Arabic is easier than you might think and attempting a few basic words will be welcome

and will  gain you respect. The Jordanian people are extremely understanding and will help you

whenever they are able.

 

Dress code

Modest conservative clothing is always advisable, avoid revealing outfits. Formal clothes are not required, Jordan is a very casual country.  Shawls for the evenings are useful as we are travelling in spring and autumn, it can be hot during the day but cool at night.

Don't forget your swimwear for the Dead Sea. Please let us know if you have a specific question.


Electrical Current:
220 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs, although 3 pronged square powerpoints are also in use. Visitors from the US will need a transformer.

 

Local Time:
End of October – March: Greenwich Mean Time plus 2 hours (G.M.T. + 2)

April – September: Greenwich Mean Time plus 3 hours (G.M.T. + 3)

 

Communications:
Telephone services within Jordan are efficient and reliable. While 'roaming' charges can be expensive,

text messaging is a cost effective way for our group to communicate if visitors have mobile phones.

A local SIM card can also be purchased for moderate cost. Internet access is widespread in cafes and hotels.

The International dialing code is +962.
 

Postal Services:
The postal service is fine for postcards (if a little slow) but for any item of value or requiring a faster service it is best to pay a little extra for registered mail or pay for the services of an international courier service. 

Photography:

Many people love having their photo taken, but visitors should always follow basic etiquette, be respectful and ask

if its OK, especially when wanting to take photos of women. Don't be surprised if you are refused.

Tipping:

While there is a service charge added to restaurant bills, a small tip is appreciated for waiters,

hotel staff, and drivers. It means a lot to those who will be assisting you during your travels.

Smoking: 

Jordanians smoke a lot! There is non smoking in malls, government buildings and other locations.

Smoking argeelah (nargilah, shisha or hubbly bubbly are all names for the water pipe) is a favourite past time with cafes dedicated to the habit. While offensive to some in a close space, the sweet smell of the fruit scented smoke on a summer evening under a jasmine or grape covered terrace is a fond memory of Jordan for others.

Alcohol:

While Jordan is a predominantly Muslim county, alcohol is available in liquor shops and many restaurants, 

but it can be pricey. There are certain religious holidays when it is forbidden to sell alcohol, other than in

4 or 5 star hotels.   

"Coffee Time'by Cathie Boucher

'Jabal el Webdeh' by Ammar Khammash

Landscape by Saleh Abu Shindi

The Citadel by Peter Lawrence

'Jabal Amman no Kioku' by Filiz Soyak.