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Jordan

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Jordan is a country in the Middle East. Almost completely land-locked (save for a small outlet on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba and a frontage on the Dead Sea), Jordan is bordered by Israel to the west, by Syria to the north, by Iraq to the east and by Saudi Arabia to the south.

For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King Hussein (1953-99). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed with Israel. King Abdullah II - the eldest son of King Hussein and Princess Muna - assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities, including an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with the United States in 2000, and with the European Free Trade Association in 2001.

Visitors to Jordan from non-Arab countries will need a visa, easily obtainable on arrival at most border points. Previously notoriously complex (and expensive), visa prices have finally been standardized for non-Arabs at JD 10 for single entry, JD 20 for multiple entry, though you can recieve a free, one month, ASEZA visa if you arrive in Aqaba with no visa. If you recieve an ASEZA visa, you will still theoretically have to pay the visa fee if you leave the Aqaba economic zone, paid either with your departure tax, or on reentry to the Aqaba zone. This is the Middle East though, it does not always happen.

All non-Arabs will also need to pay a JD 5 departure tax, payable in Jordanian cash only, so be sure to keep enough handy when you leave.

By plane
Jordan has its own national carrier - Royal Jordanian Airlines. In addition, Jordan is served by a number of foreign carriers including British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Egyptair.

Queen Alia International Airport is the country's main airport. It is 35km south of Amman (on the main route to Aqaba). You should allow 45 minutes to reach the airport from the downtown Amman, approximately 30 minutes from West Amman.

In addition to Queen Alia, Jordan has two other international airports:

Marka International Airport in East Amman (serving routes to nearby Middle Eastern countries, as well as internal flights to Aqaba). King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba.

By train
There are trains twice a week from Damascus (Syria) to Amman. Trains arrive from Damascus at the Mahatta junction just northeast of the downtown area and quite close to Marka Airport. It is straightforward to get a taxi to the downtown area from here.

The trip takes a very leisurely 9 hours (considerably slower than driving), and there is both 1st and 2nd class carriages available.

By car
From Israel
You can cross into Jordan by car from Israel, but the border formalities are time-consuming and expensive as Jordanian insurance is required and you will even have to change your license plates. The main crossings are at King Hussein Bridge (if coming from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv) and Aqaba (if coming from Eilat). There is another crossing at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge for those coming from Northern Israel.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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