Amman (English: /ɑːˈmɑːn/; Arabic: عمّان ʻammān
pronounced [ʕamːaːn]) is the capital and most populous city of
Jordan, and the country's economic, political and cultural centre.
Situated in north-central Jordan,
Amman is the administrative centre
Amman Governorate. The city has a population of 4,007,526 and a
land area of 1,680 square kilometres (648.7 square miles). Today,
Amman is considered to be among the most liberal and westernized Arab
cities. It is a major tourist destination in the region,
particularly among Arab and European tourists.
The earliest evidence of settlement in the area is a
known as 'Ain Ghazal. Its successor was known as "Rabbath Ammon",
which was the capital of the Ammonites, then as "Philadelphia", and
finally as Amman. It was initially built on seven hills but now
spans over 19 hills combining 27 districts, which are administered
Greater Amman Municipality
Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Yousef
Al-Shawarbeh. Areas of
Amman have gained their names from either
the hills (Jabal) or the valleys (Wadi) they occupy, such as Jabal
Wadi Abdoun. East
Amman is predominantly filled with
historic sites that frequently host cultural activities, while West
Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the
Approximately two million visitors arrived in
Amman in 2014, which
made it the 93rd most visited city in the world and the 5th most
visited Arab city.
Amman has a relatively fast growing
economy, and it is ranked Beta− on the global city index.
Moreover, it was named one of the
Middle East and North Africa's best
cities according to economic, labor, environmental, and socio-cultural
factors. The city is among the most popular locations in the Arab
world for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices,
Doha and only behind Dubai. It is expected that in the next
10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of
multinational corporation activity in the region.
2.1 Ancient period
2.2 Classical period
2.3 Islamic era
2.4 Modern era
4 Local government
4.1 Administrative divisions
5.1 Banking sector
7.2 High-rise construction and towers
8.5 Media and music
9.3 Bus and taxi
9.4 Bus rapid transit
11 Twin towns and sister cities
13 See also
16 External links
Amman derives its name from the 13th century BC when the Ammonites
named it "Rabbath Ammon", with the term Rabbath meaning the "Capital"
or the "King's Quarters". Over time, the term "Rabbath" was no longer
used and the city became known as "Ammon". The influence of new
civilizations that conquered the city gradually changed its name to
"Amman". In the Hebrew Bible, it is referred to as "Rabbat
ʿAmmon" (Biblical Hebrew: רבת עמון, Tiberian Hebrew
Rabbaṯ ʿAmmôn). However, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian
ruler of the
Ptolemaic Kingdom who reigned from 283 to 246 BC, renamed
the city to "Philadelphia" (Ancient Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια;
literally: "brotherly love") after occupying it. The name was given as
an adulation to his own nickname, Philadelphus.
History of Amman
History of Amman and Timeline of Amman
'Ain Ghazal and Ammon
'Ain Ghazal Statues on display at The
Jordan Museum. Dating back to
7250 BC, they are considered to be among the oldest human statues ever
In the outskirts of Amman, one of the largest known ancient
settlements in the
Near East was discovered. The site, known as 'Ain
Ghazal, dates back to 7250 BC and spans an area of 15 hectares (37
acres). It was a typical aceramic
Neolithic village that accommodated
around 3,000 inhabitants. Its houses were rectangular mud-bricked
buildings that included a main square living room, whose walls were
made up of lime plaster. The site was discovered in 1974 as
construction workers were working on a road crossing the area. By
1982, when the excavations started, around 600 meters (2,000 feet) of
road ran through the site. Despite the damage brought by urban
expansion, the remains of
'Ain Ghazal provided a wealth of
'Ain Ghazal is well known for a set of small human statues found in
1983, when local archaeologists stumbled upon the edge of a large pit
2.5 meters (8.2 feet) containing them. These statues are human
figures made with white plaster, with painted clothes, hair, and in
some cases ornamental tattoos. Thirty-two figures were found in two
caches, fifteen of them full figures, fifteen busts, and two
fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed, the
significance of which is not clear.
Rujm Al-Malfouf Ammonite watch tower built around 1000 BC.
In the 13th century BC
Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, and
became known as "Rabbath Ammon".
Ammon provided several natural
resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone, along with
a productive agricultural sector that made
Ammon a vital location
along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt
Syria and Anatolia. As with the
Moabites, trade along this route gave the Ammonites considerable
revenue. Ammonites worshiped an ancient deity called Moloch.
Excavations by archaeologists near
Amman Civil Airport
Amman Civil Airport uncovered a
temple, which included an altar containing many human bone fragments.
The bones showed evidence of burning, which led to the assumption that
the altar functioned as a pyre.
Today, several Ammonite ruins across
Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd,
Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the
Amman Citadel. The ruins of Rujm
Al-Malfouf consist of a stone watchtower used to ensure protection of
their capital and several store rooms to the east. The city
was later conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian
View of Qasr Al-Abd.
Conquest of the
Middle East and
Central Asia by Alexander the Great
firmly consolidated the influence of Hellenistic culture. The
Greeks founded new cities in the area of modern-day Jordan, including
Jerash and Amman. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian
ruler of Egypt, who occupied and rebuilt the city, named it
"Philadelphia", which means "brotherly love" in Greek. The name was
given as an adulation to his own nickname, Philadelphus.
One of the most original monuments in Jordan, and perhaps in the
Hellenistic period in the Near East, is the village of
Iraq Al-Amir in
the valley of
Wadi Al-Sir, southwest of Amman, which is home to Qasr
Al-Abd (Castle of the Slave). Other nearby ruins include a village, an
isolated house and a fountain, all of which are barely visible today
due to the damage brought by a major earthquake that hit the region in
the year 362.
Qasr Al-Abd is believed to have been built by
Hyrcanus of Jerusalem, who was the head of the powerful Tobiad family.
Shortly after he began the construction of that large building, in 170
BC upon returning from a military campaign in Egypt, Antiochus IV
conquered Jerusalem, ransacked a temple where the treasure of Hyrcanus
was kept and appeared determined to attack Hyrcanus. Upon hearing
this, Hyrcanus committed suicide, leaving his palace in Philadelphia
uncompleted. The Tobiads fought the Arab
Nabateans for twenty
years until they lost the city to them. After losing Philadelphia, we
no longer hear of the Tobiad family in written sources.
The Roman Theatre built around 100 AD.
The Romans conquered much of the
Levant in 63 BC, inaugurating a
period of Roman rule that lasted for four centuries. In the northern
modern-day Jordan, the Greek cities of Philadelphia (Amman), Gerasa,
Pella and Arbila joined with other cities in Palestine and
Syria; Scythopolis, Hippos, Capitolias, Canatha and
Damascus to form
Decapolis League, a fabled confederation linked by bonds of
economic and cultural interest. Philadelphia became a point along
a road stretching from Ailah to
Damascus that was built by Emperor
Trajan in 106 AD. This provided an economic boost for the city in a
short period of time. During the late Byzantine era in the seventh
century, several bishops and churches were based in the city.
Roman rule in
Jordan left several ruins across the country, some of
which exist in Amman, such as the Temple of Hercules at the Amman
Citadel, the Roman Theatre, the Odeon, and the Nymphaeum. The two
theatres and the Nymphaeum fountain were built during the reign of
Antoninus Pius around AD 161. The theatre was the larger venue
of the two and had a capacity for 6,000 attendees. It was oriented
north and built into the hillside, to protect the audience from the
sun. To the northeast of the theatre was a small odeon. Built at
roughly the same time as the theatre, the Odeon had 500 seats and is
still in use today for music concerts. Archaeologists speculate that
the structure was originally covered with a wooden roof to shield the
audience from the weather. The Nymphaeum is situated southwest of the
Odeon and served as Philadelphia's chief fountain. The Nymphaeum is
believed to have contained a 600 square meters (6,500 sq ft)
pool which was 3 meters (9.8 ft) deep and was continuously
refilled with water.
See also: Desert castles
In the 630s, the Rashidun army conquered the region from the
Byzantines, beginning the Islamic era in the Levant. Philadelphia was
renamed "Amman" by the Muslims and became part of the district of Jund
al-Urdunn. A large part of the population already spoke Arabic, which
facilitated integration into the caliphate, as well as several
conversions to Islam. Under the Umayyad caliphs who began their rule
in 661 AD, numerous desert castles were established as a means to
govern the desert area of modern-day Jordan, several of which are
Amman had already been functioning as an
administrative centre. The Umayyads built a large palace on the Amman
Citadel hill, known today as the Umayyad Palace.
Amman was later
destroyed by several earthquakes and natural disasters, including a
particularly severe earthquake in 747. The Umayyads were overthrown by
the Abbasids three years later.
Umayyad Palace on top of the
Amman Citadel built around 800 AD.
Amman's importance declined by the mid-8th century after damage caused
by several earthquakes rendered it uninhabitable. Excavations
among the collapsed layer of the
Umayyad Palace have revealed remains
of kilns from the time of the Abbasids (750-696) and the Fatimids
(969–1099). In the late 9th century,
Amman was noted as the
"capital" of the Balqa by geographer al-Yaqubi. Likewise, in 985,
the Jerusalemite historian al-Muqaddasi described
Amman as the capital
of Balqa, and that it was a town in the desert fringe of Syria
surrounded by villages and cornfields and was a regional source of
lambs, grain and honey. Furthermore, al-Muqaddasi describes Amman
as a "harbor of the desert" where Arab
Bedouin would take refuge, and
that its citadel, which overlooked the town, contained a small
The occupation of the Citadel Hill by the Crusader Kingdom of
Jerusalem is so far based only on interpretations of Crusader sources.
William of Tyre
William of Tyre writes in his Historia that in 1161 Philip of Milly
received the castle of "Ahamant", which is seen to refer to Amman, as
part of the Lordship of Oultrejordain. In 1166 Philip joined the
military order of the Knights Templar, passing on to them a
significant part of his fief including the castle of Ahamant or
"Haman", as it is named in the deed of confirmation issued by King
Amalric. By 1170,
Amman was in Ayyubid hands. The remains of a
watch tower on Citadel Hill, first attributed to the Crusaders, now
are preferentially dated to the Ayyubid period, leaving it to further
research to find the location of the Crusader castle. During the
Ayyubid period, the Damascene geographer al-Dimashqi wrote that Amman
was part of the province of al-Karak, although "only ruins" remained
of the town.
During the Mamluk era (late 13th–early 16th centuries), the region
Amman was a part of Wilayat Balqa, the southernmost district of
Mamlakat Dimashq (
Damascus Province). The capital of the district
in the first half of the 14th century was the minor administrative
post of Hisban, which had a considerably smaller garrison than the
other administrative centers in Transjordan, namely
al-Karak. In 1321, the geographer Abu'l Fida, recorded that Amman
was "a very ancient town" with fertile soil and surrounded by
agricultural fields. For unclear, though likely financial reasons,
in 1356, the capital of Balqa was transferred from
Hisban to Amman,
which was considered a madina (city). In 1357, Emir Sirghitmish
Amman in its entirety, most likely to use revenues from the
city to help fund the Madrasa of Sirghitmish, which he built in Cairo
that same year. After his purchase of the city, Sirghitmish
transferred the courts, administrative bureaucracy, markets and most
of the inhabitants of
Hisban to Amman. Moreover, he financed new
building works in the city.
Ottoman railway ten arches bridge, built in 1910 in Amman
Amman following Sirghitmish's death in 1358 passed to
successive generations of his descendants until 1395, when his
descendants sold it to Emir Baydamur al-Khwarazmi, the na'ib
as-saltana (viceroy) of Damascus. Afterward, part of Amman's
cultivable lands were sold to Emir Sudun al-Shaykhuni (died 1396), the
na'ib as-saltana of Egypt. The increasingly frequent division and
sale of the city and lands of
Amman to different owners signaled
declining revenues coming from Amman, while at the same time, Hisban
was restored as the major city of the Balqa in the 15th century.
From then until 1878,
Amman was an abandoned site periodically used to
shelter seasonal farmers who cultivated arable lands in its vicinity
Bedouin tribes who used its pastures and water.
Ottoman Empire annexed the region of
Amman in 1516, but for much
of the Ottoman period, al-Salt functioned as the virtual political
centre of Transjordan.
Amman began to be resettled in 1878, when
Circassians arrived following their exodus from the
Caucasus; between 1872–1910, tens of thousands of Circassians
had relocated to Ottoman
Syria after being displaced by the Russian
Empire during the events of the Russo-Circassian
War.[self-published source] In 1879, English traveller
Laurence Oliphant wrote of his visit to
Amman in The Land of
Amman in 1940
By 1878, the Ottoman authorities directed the Circassian immigrants
who were mainly of peasant stock to settle in Amman, and distributed
arable land among them. The very first Circassian settlers lived
near Amman's famous Roman theater, and incorporated its stones into
the houses they built. The British report from 1933 shows around
Circassians living in Amman. Yet the community was far from
insulated. They formed alliances both with local urban and nomadic
communities and regional grain merchants to cement their status in the
newly established city. The city's demographics changed
dramatically after the Ottoman government's decision to construct the
Hejaz Railway, which linked
Damascus and Medina, and facilitated the
Hajj pilgrimage and trade. Because of its location along the
Amman was transformed from a small village into a major
commercial hub in the region.
The First and
Second Battle of Amman
Second Battle of Amman were part of the Middle Eastern
World War I
World War I and the Arab Revolt, taking place in 1918.
Amman had a strategic location along the Hejaz Railway; its capture by
British forces and the Hashemite Arab army facilitated the British
advance towards Damascus. The second battle was won by the
British, resulting in the establishment of the British Mandate.
Amman in 1985
In 1921, the Hashemite emir and later king, Abdullah I, designated
Amman instead of al-Salt to be the capital of the newly created state,
the Emirate of Transjordan, which became the Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan in 1950. Its function as the capital of the country attracted
immigrants from different Levantine areas, particularly from al-Salt,
a nearby city that had been the largest urban settlement east of the
Jordan River at the time. The early settlers who came from Palestine
were overwhelmingly from Nablus, from which many of al-Salt's
inhabitants had originated. They were joined by other immigrants from
Amman later attracted people from the southern part of the
Al Karak and Madaba. The city's population was
around 10,000 in the 1930s.
Jordan gained its independence in 1946 and
Amman was designated the
Amman received many refugees during wartime events
in nearby countries, beginning with the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. A
second wave arrived after the
Six-Day War in 1967. In 1970,
a battlefield during the conflict between the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian Army known as Black September.
The Jordanian Army defeated the PLO in 1971, and the latter were
expelled to Lebanon.
A neighbourhood in Al Ashrafiya in 1997.
The first wave of Iraqi and Kuwaiti refugees settled in the city after
the 1991 Gulf War, with a second wave occurring in the aftermath of
the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Most recently a wave of Syrian refugees
have arrived in the city during the ongoing
Syrian Civil War
Syrian Civil War which
began in 2011.
Amman was a principal destination for refugees for the
security and prosperity it offered.
Amman in 2013
On 9 November 2005,
Al-Qaeda under Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's leadership
launched coordinated explosions in three hotel lobbies in Amman,
resulting in 60 deaths and 115 injured. The bombings, which targeted
civilians, caused widespread outrage among Jordanians. Jordan's
security as a whole was dramatically improved after the attack, and no
major terrorist attacks have been reported since then.
During the last ten years the city has experienced an economic,
cultural and urban boom. The large growth in population has
significantly increased the need for new accommodation, and new
districts of the city were established at a quick pace. This strained
Jordan's scarce water supply and exposed
Amman to the dangers of quick
expansion without careful municipal planning. Today,
Amman is known as
a modern, liberal and westernized Arab city, with major mega
projects such as the
Abdali Urban Regeneration Project
Abdali Urban Regeneration Project and the Jordan
Gate Towers. The city contains several high-end hotel franchises
including the Four Seasons Hotel Amman, Sheraton Hotel Amman, Fairmont
St. Regis Hotel
St. Regis Hotel Amman, Le Royal Hotel and others.
A Greek Orthodox church seen with snow in Amman
Amman is situated on the East
Bank Plateau, an upland characterized by
three major wadis which run through it. Originally, the city had
been built on seven hills. Amman's terrain is typified by its
mountains. The most important areas in the city are named after
the hills or mountains they lie on. The area's elevation ranges
from 700 to 1,100 m (2,300 to 3,600 ft).
Zarqa are located to the northwest and northeast, respectively,
Madaba is located to the west and al-Karak and
Ma'an are to Amman's
southwest and southeast, respectively. One of the only remaining
Amman now supplies the
Zarqa River with water.
Spring in an affluent neighbourhood in the city
Amman's position on the mountains near the Mediterranean climate zone
places it under the semi-arid climate classification (Köppen climate:
BSh). Summers are mildly hot and breezy, however, one or two heat
waves may occur during summer. Spring is brief and warm, where highs
reach 28 °C (82 °F). Spring usually starts between April
and May, and lasts about a month. Winter usually starts around the end
of November and continues from early to mid March. Temperatures are
usually near or below 17 °C (63 °F), with snow
occasionally falling once or twice a year. Rain averages about
300 mm (12 in) a year and periodic droughts are common,
where most rain falls between October and April. At least 120 days
of heavy fog per year is usual. Difference in elevation plays a
major role in the different weather conditions experienced in the
city: snow may accumulate in the western and northern parts of Amman
(an average altitude of 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above sea level)
while at the same time it could be raining at the city centre
(elevation of 776 m (2,546 ft)).
Amman has extreme examples of microclimate, and almost every district
exhibits its own weather. It is known among locals that some
boroughs such as the northern suburb of Abu Nser are among the coldest
in the city, and can experience frost while other districts such as
Marka experience much warmer temperatures.
The temperatures listed below are taken from the weather station at
the centre of the city which is at an elevation of 767 m
(2,516 ft) above sea level. At higher elevations, the
temperatures will be lower during winter and higher during summer. For
example, in areas such as al-Jubaiha, Sweileh, Khalda, and Abu Nser,
which are at/higher than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) above sea level
have average temperatures of 7 to 9 °C (45 to 48 °F) in
the day and 1 to 3 °C (34 to 37 °F) at night in January.
In August, the average high temperatures in these areas are 25 to
28 °C (77 to 82 °F) in the day and 14 to 16 °C (57
to 61 °F) at night.[original research?]
Climate data for Amman
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Jordan Meteorological Department
Source #2: NOAA (sun 1961–1990), Pogoda.ru.net (records)
Main article: Greater
Amman is governed by a 41-member city council elected in four-year
term direct elections. All Jordanian citizens above 18 years old are
eligible to vote in the municipal elections. However, the mayor is
appointed by the king and not through elections. In 1909 a city
council was established in
Amman by Circassian
Ismael Babouk who
became the first ever
Mayor of the capital, and in 1914 Amman's first
city district centre was founded.
Greater Amman Municipality
Greater Amman Municipality has been investing towards making the
city a better place, through a number of initiatives. 'Green Amman
2020' was initiated in 2014, aiming to turn the city to a green
metropolis by 2020. According to official statistics, only 2.5% of
Amman is green space. In 2015, (GAM) and Zain
operating free-of-charge Wi-Fi services at 15 different locations,
including Wakalat Street, Rainbow Street, The Hashemite Plaza,
Ashrafieh Cultural Complex, Zaha Cultural Centre, Al Hussein Cultural
Al Hussein Public Parks and others.
List of districts of Amman
List of districts of Amman and List of mayors of Amman
Jordan is divided into twelve administrative divisions, each called a
Amman Governorate divides into nine nahias, five of which
are divided into districts and are further divided into neighborhoods.
The other four nahias lying in the suburbs are either divided into
villages or towns.
The city is administered as the
Greater Amman Municipality
Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and
covers 27 districts which include:
The banking sector is one of the principal foundations of Jordan's
economy. Despite the unrest and economic difficulties in the Arab
world resulting from the
Arab Spring uprisings, Jordan's banking
sector maintained its growth in 2014. The sector currently consists of
25 banks, 15 of which are listed on the
Amman Stock Exchange.
the base city for the international Arab Bank, one of the largest
financial institutions in the Middle East, serving clients in more
than 600 branches in 30 countries on five continents. Arab Bank
represents 28% of the
Amman Stock Exchange and is the highest-ranked
institution by market capitalization on the exchange.
Royal Jordanian Airlines
Royal Jordanian Airlines headquarters in Amman
Amman is the 4th most visited Arab city and the ninth highest
recipient of international visitor spending. Roughly 1.8 million
Amman in 2011 and spent over $1.3 billion in the
city. The expansion of
Queen Alia International Airport
Queen Alia International Airport is an
example of the Greater
Amman Municipality's heavy investment in the
city's infrastructure. The recent construction of a public
transportation system and a national railway, and the expansion of
roads, are intended to ease the traffic generated by the millions of
annual visitors to the city.
Jordan in general, is the Middle East's hub for medical
Jordan receives the most medical tourists in the region and
the fifth highest in the world.
Amman receives 250,000 foreign
patients a year and over $1 billion annually.
Amman is introducing itself as a business hub. The city's skyline is
being continuously transformed through the emergence of new projects.
A significant portion of business flowed into
Amman following the 2003
Iraq War. Jordan's main airport, Queen Alia International Airport, is
located south of
Amman and is the hub for the country's national
carrier Royal Jordanian, a major airline in the region. The
airline is headquartered in Zahran district.
Rubicon Group Holding
Rubicon Group Holding and
Maktoob, two major regional information technology companies, are
based in Amman, along with major international corporations such as
Hikma Pharmaceuticals, one of the Middle East's largest pharmaceutical
companies, and Aramex, the Middle East's largest logistics and
In a report by Dunia Frontier Consultants, Amman, along with Doha,
Qatar and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, are the favored hubs for
multinational corporations operating in the
Middle East and North
Africa region. In FDI magazine,
Amman was chosen as the Middle
Eastern city with the most potential to be a leader in foreign direct
investment in the region. Furthermore, several of the world's
largest investment banks have offices in
Amman including Standard
Chartered, Société Générale, and Citibank.
Historical population of Amman
In 1947 following independence, several inhabitants in areas all
Jordan had moved in into the newly established capital
Largest groups of Arab foreign residents
Population of city reached 4,007,526 in 2015,
Amman contains about 42%
of Jordan's entire population. It has a land area of 1,680 km2
(648.7 sq mi) which yields a population density of about
2,380 inhabitants per square kilometre (6,200/sq mi). The
Amman has risen exponentially with the successive waves
of immigrants and refugees arriving throughout the 20th century. From
a population of roughly 1,000 in 1890,
Amman grew to around 1,000,000
inhabitants in 1990, primarily as a result of immigration, but also
due to the high birthrate in the city.
Amman had been abandoned
for centuries until hundreds of
Circassians settled it in the 19th
century. Today, about 40,000
Circassians live in
Amman and its
Amman became a major hub along the Hejaz Railway
in 1914, many Muslim and Christian merchant families from al-Salt
immigrated to the city. A large proportion of Amman's inhabitants
have Palestinian roots (urban or rural origin), and the two main
demographic groups in the city today are Arabs of Palestinian or
Jordanian descent. Other ethnic groups comprise about 2% of the
population. There are no official statistics about the proportion of
people of Palestinian or Jordanian descent.
New arrivals consisting of Jordanians from the north and south of the
country and immigrants from Palestine had increased the city's
population from 30,000 in 1930 to 60,000 in 1947. About 10,000
Palestinians, mostly from Safad,
Haifa and Acre, migrated to the city
for economic opportunities before the 1948 war. Many of the
immigrants from al-Salt from that time were originally from
Nablus. The 1948 war caused an exodus of urban Muslim and
Christian Palestinian refugees, mostly from Jaffa,
Ramla and Lydda, to
Amman, whose population swelled to 110,000. With Jordan's
capture of the West
Bank during the war, many
Palestinians from that
area steadily migrated to
Amman between 1950 and 1966, before another
mass wave of Palestinian refugees from the West
Bank moved to the city
during the 1967 War. By 1970, the population had swelled to an
estimated 550,000. A further 200,000
Palestinians arrived after
their expulsion from
Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War. Several large
Palestinian refugee camps exist around the centre of Amman.
Amman lacks a deep-rooted native population, the city does not
have a distinct
Arabic dialect, although recently such a dialect
utilizing the various Jordanian and Palestinian dialects, has been
forming. The children of immigrants in the city are also
increasingly referring to themselves as "Ammani", unlike much of the
first-generation inhabitants who identify more with their respective
places of origin.
Amman has a mostly
Sunni Muslim population, and the city contains
numerous mosques. Among the main mosques is the large King
Abdullah I Mosque, built between 1982 and 1989. It is capped by a blue
mosaic dome beneath which 3,000 Muslims may offer prayer. The Abu
Darweesh Mosque, noted for its checkered black-and-white pattern, has
an architectural style that is unique to Jordan. The mosque is
situated on Jabal Ashrafieh, the highest point in the city. The
mosque's interior is marked by light-coloured walls and Persian
carpets. It was built by a Circassian resident of
Amman.[self-published source] During the 2004
conference, edicts from various clergy-members afforded the following
schools of thought as garnering collective recognition: Hanafi,
Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi'i, Ja'fari, Zahiri, Zaydi, Ibadi,
Muwahhidism and Salafism.
Amman also has
Large numbers of Christians from throughout Jordan, particularly from
al-Salt, have moved to Amman. Nearby
Fuheis is a predominantly
Christian town located to the northwest of the city. A small
Armenian Catholic community of around 70 families is present in the
city. Ecclesiastical courts for matters of personal status are
also located in Amman. A total of 16 historic churches are located in
Umm ar-Rasas ruins in
Al-Jeezah district; the site is believed to have
initially served as Roman fortified military camps which gradually
became a town around the 5th century AD. It has not been completely
excavated. It was influenced by several civilizations including the
Romans, Byzantines and Muslims. The site contains some well-preserved
mosaic floors, particularly the mosaic floor of the Church of Saint
A panoramic view of east
Amman from atop the
Amman Citadel overlooking
the Roman amphitheater.
Downtown Amman, the city centre area (known in
Arabic as Al-Balad),
has been dwarfed by the sprawling urban area that surrounds it.
Despite the changes, much remains of its old character.
Jabal Amman is
a well-known touristic attraction in old Amman, where the city's
greatest souks, fine museums, ancient constructions, monuments, and
cultural sites are found.
Jabal Amman also contains the famous Rainbow
Street and the cultural
Souk Jara market.
Abdali Project as of 2015[update]
Residential buildings are limited to four stories above street level
and if possible another four stories below, according to the Greater
Amman Municipality regulations. The buildings are covered with thick
white limestone or sandstone. The buildings usually have
balconies on each floor, with the exception of the ground floor, which
has a front and back yard. Some buildings make use of Mangalore tiles
on the roofs or on the roof of covered porches. Hotels, towers and
commercial buildings are either covered by stone, plastic or
High-rise construction and towers
See also: List of tallest buildings in Amman
Jordan Gate Towers as seen from the west
Zahran district in west
Amman is the location of the
Towers, the first high-rise towers in the city. It is a high-class
commercial and residential project currently under construction, close
to the 6th Circle. The towers are one of the best known skyscrapers in
the city. The southern tower will host a Hilton Hotel, while the
northern tower will host offices. The towers are separated by a podium
that is planned to become a mall. It also contains bars, swimming
pools and conference halls. The developers are Bahrain's Gulf Finance
Kuwait Investment and Finance Company (KIFC). The project
is expected to be opened by 2018.
Abdali Urban Regeneration Project
Abdali Urban Regeneration Project in Abdali district will host a mall,
a boulevard along with several hotels, commercial and residential
towers. Valued at more than US $5 billion, the Abdali project will
create a new visible centre for
Amman and act as the major business
district for the city. The first phase contains about ten towers,
five of which are under construction to be completed by 2016. Abdali
is being developed as a smart city centre that enables the deliverance
of state-of-the-art technologies to every home, office and outlet,
while offering district energy solutions and central gas systems to
guarantee a safe and friendly environment in addition to the large
savings in energy cost. Across 30,000 square meters of land, a
central dynamic park is the main feature of phase II which will serve
as a focal theme for mainly residential, office, hotel and retail
developments over 800,000 square meters.
The towers in the first phase include Rotana Hotel Amman, W Hotel
Amman, The Heights Tower, Clemenceau Medical Center tower, Abdali mall
Abdali Gateway tower, K tower, Vertex Tower, Capital tower,
Saraya headquarters tower and Hamad tower.
See also: Category:Museums in Amman
View of The
Jordan Museum located near the downtown.
The largest museum in
Jordan is The
Jordan Museum. It contains much of
the valuable archaeological findings in the country, including
some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the
Neolithic limestone statues of 'Ain
Ghazal, and a copy of the Mesha Stele. Other museums include the
Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts,
Jordan Archaeological Museum,
The Children's Museum Jordan, The Martyrs' Memorial and Museum, the
Royal Automobile Museum, the Prophet Mohammad Museum, the Museum of
Parliamentary Life, the
Jordan Folklore Museum, and museums at the
University of Jordan.
Amman is considered one of the most liberal and westernized cities in
the Arab world. The city has become one of the most popular
destinations for Western expatriates 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 changed from its shawerma
stands and falafel joints to embrace many popular western restaurants
and fast-food outlets such as
Asian fusion restaurants, French bistros
and Italian trattorias. The city has become famous for its fine dining
scene among Western expatriates and
Persian Gulf tourists.
Souk Jara is one of the most famous outdoor markets managed by the
Jabal Amman Residents Association (JARA)
Large shopping malls were built during the 2000s in Amman, including
the Mecca Mall, Abdoun Mall, City Mall, Al-Baraka Mall, Taj Mall, Zara
Shopping Center, Avenue Mall, and
Abdali Mall in Al Abdali (under
Wakalat Street ("Agencies Street") is Amman's
first pedestrian-only street and carries a lot of name-label clothes.
Sweifieh area is considered to be the main shopping district of
Nightclubs, music bars and shisha lounges are present across Amman,
changing the city's old image as the conservative capital of the
kingdom. This burgeoning new nightlife scene is shaped by Jordan's
young population. In addition to the wide range of drinking and
dancing venues on the social circuit of the city's affluent crowd,
Amman hosts cultural entertainment events, including the annual Amman
Souk Jara is a Jordanian annual weekly flea market
event that occurs every Friday throughout the summer. Abdoun
Circle is a major centre of the city's nightlife where clubs maintain
a strict "couples only" policy.
Sweifieh is considered to be the
unofficial red-light district of
Amman as it holds most of the city's
nightclubs, bars, strip-clubs, massage parlors, and other adult
Jabal Amman and Jabal al-Weibdeh are home
to many pubs and bars as well, making the area popular among bar
Alcohol is widely available in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and
supermarkets. There are numerous nightclubs and bars across
the city, especially in West Amman. As of 2011[update], there were 77
registered nightclubs in
Jordan (excluding bars and pubs),
overwhelmingly located in the capital city. In 2009, there were
222 registered liquor stores in Amman.
See also: Jordanian cuisine
Danielle Pergament of
The New York Times
The New York Times described Ammani cuisine as a
product of several cuisines in the region, writing that it combines
"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."
However, the city's streetfood scene makes the Ammani cuisine
A panoramic view of
Amman International Stadium
Amman International Stadium in the Sport City
Amman-based football clubs Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly, both former
league champions, share one of the most popular rivalries in the local
Amman hosted the 2016
FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup
Irbid and Zarqa.
2007 Asian Athletics Championships
2007 Asian Athletics Championships and more than one edition of
IAAF World Cross Country Championships
IAAF World Cross Country Championships were held in the city.
Amman also hosts the
Jordan Rally, which form part of the
Rally Championship, becoming one of the largest sporting events ever
held in Jordan.
Amman is home to a growing number of foreign sports such as
skateboarding and rugby; the latter has two teams based in the city:
Amman Citadel Rugby Club and Nomads Rugby Club. In 2014, German
Make Life Skate Life completed construction of
the 7Hills Skatepark, a 650 square meter concrete skatepark located at
Samir Rifai park in Downtown Amman.
Media and music
The majority of Jordan's radio stations are based in Amman. The first
radio station to originate in the city was Hunna
Amman in 1959; it
mainly broadcast traditional
Bedouin music. In 2000,
became the first de facto private radio station to be established in
the country, despite private ownership of radio stations being illegal
at the time. After private ownership was legalized in 2002,
several more radio stations were created. There were eight registered
radio stations broadcasting from
Amman by 2007. Most English
language stations play pop music targeted towards young
Most Jordanian newspapers and news stations are situated in Amman.
Daily newspapers published in
Amman include Alghad,
Jordan Times, and Al Ra'i, the most
circulated newspaper in the country. In 2011, Al Ra'i was ranked
the 5th most popular newspaper in the
Arab world by Forbes Middle-East
report. Al-Arab Al-Yawm is the only daily pan-Arab newspaper in
Jordan. The two most popular Jordanian TV channels,
Ro'ya TV and JRTV,
are based in Amman.
Celebrations of Amman's centennial in 2009
Aside from mainstream
Arabic pop, there is a growing independent music
scene in the city which includes many bands that have sizable
audiences across the Arab world. Local Ammani bands along with other
bands in the
Middle East gather in the Roman Theatre during the
Al-Balad Music Festival held annually in August. Music genres of the
local bands are diverse, ranging from heavy metal to
Arabic rock, jazz
and rap. Performers include JadaL, Torabyeh, Bilocate, Akher Zapheer,
Autostrad and El Morabba3.
Many events take place in Amman, including
Redbull sponsored events,
soundclash and soapbox race, the second part of
Al-Balad Music Festival,
Amman Marathon, Made in
Amman Book Festival and New Think Festival. The New Think
Festival is a yearly weekend event that is part of NewThink, a
non-profit initiative that aims to inspire youth to think about the
world in an innovative way. The festival is one of the many events
throughout the year to get youth involved. In 2015 the festival hosted
40 different organizations at
King Hussein Business Park in
inspired their audience to be visionary and think differently about
the world through presentations and workshops. The variety of
organizations included business, environmental, medical and
With the exception of a functioning railway system,
Amman has a
railway station as part of the Hejaz Railway.
Amman has a developed
public and private transportation system. There are two international
airports in Amman.
Queen Alia International Airport
The main airport serving
Amman is Queen Alia International Airport,
situated about 30 km (18.64 mi) south of Amman. Much smaller
Amman Civil Airport, a one-terminal airport that serves primarily
domestic and nearby international routes and the army. Queen Alia
International Airport is the major international airport in
the hub for Royal Jordanian, the flag carrier. Its expansion was
recently done and modified, including the decommissioning of the old
terminals and the commissioning of new terminals costing $700M, to
handle over 16 million passengers annually. It is now considered
a state-of-the-art airport and was rewarded 'the best airport in the
Middle East' for 2014 and 2015 and 'the best improvement in the Middle
East' for 2014 by Airport Service Quality Survey, the world's leading
airport passenger satisfaction benchmark program.
See also: List of roads in Amman
Amman has an extensive road network, although the mountainous terrain
of the area has prevented the connection of some main roads, which are
instead connected by bridges and tunnels. The
Abdoun Bridge spans Wadi
Abdoun and connects the 4th Circle to Abdoun Circle. It is considered
one of Amman's many landmarks and is the first curved suspended bridge
to be built in the country.
Abdoun Bridge, considered one of Amman's landmarks
There are eight circles, or roundabouts, that span and connect west
Amman. Successive waves of immigrants to the city has led to the rapid
construction of new neighborhoods, but Amman's capacity for new or
widened roads remains limited despite the influx. This has resulted in
increasing traffic jams, particularly during summer when there are
large numbers of tourists and Jordanian expatriates visiting. The
municipality began construction on a bus rapid transit (BRT) system as
a solution in 2015. In 2015, a ring road encompassing the city
was constructed, which aims to connect the northern and southern parts
of the city in order for traffic to be diverted outside
Amman and to
improve the environmental conditions in the city.
Bus and taxi
Public transport buses in Amman
The city has frequent bus connections to other cities in Jordan, as
well as to major cities in neighboring countries; the latter are also
served by service taxis. Internal transport is served by a number of
bus routes and taxis. Service taxis, which most often operate on fixed
routes, are readily available and inexpensive. The two main bus and
taxi stations are Abdali (near the King Abdullah Mosque, the
Parliament and Palace of Justice) and the Raghadan Central Bus Station
near the Roman theatre in the city centre. Popular Jordanian bus
company services include JETT and Al-Mahatta. Taxis are the most
common way to get around in
Amman due their high availability and
Bus rapid transit
Amman Bus Rapid Transit
Currently under construction are dedicated lanes for bus services
which will operate as part of the new urban rapid transit network (bus
rapid transit). The system includes high-quality stations and stops;
express buses that can carry more than 120 passengers and will run on
a three-minute frequency during peak hours along Amman's busiest
corridors; terminals and park-n-ride facilities; and an integrated
fare collection system allowing passengers to pay the fare at stations
before embarking on the bus. The BRT is planned to run along
three major corridors. The first one connects
Sweileh with Mahatta via
Sport City, with a major underground station at the University of
Jordan. The second corridor connects Sport City with
Downtown Amman at
Ras El-Ain. The third corridor connects Customs Square with
Al-Isra University in Amman
Amman is a major regional centre of education. The
Amman region hosts
Jordan's highest concentration of education centers. There are 20
universities in Amman. The University of
Jordan is the largest public
university in the city. There are 448 private schools in the city
attended by 90,000 students, including
Amman National School, Modern American School,
International School of Choueifat, American Community School in Amman
and National Orthodox School.
See also: List of universities in Jordan
Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan
Amman Arab University
Applied Science University
Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences
Arab Open University
Jordan Academy for Maritime Studies
Jordan Academy of Music
Jordan Institute of Banking Studies
Jordan Media Institute
Middle East University
Princess Sumaya University for Technology
Queen Noor Civil Aviation Technical College
World Islamic Sciences and Education University
University of Jordan
Twin towns and sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Jordan
Amman is twinned with:
Saudi Arabia (1988)
São Paulo, Brazil, (1997)
South Africa (2002)
United States (2004)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2005)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006)
United States (2010)
United States (2015)
Le Royal Hotel
Near East portal
Disi Water Conveyance Project
List of tallest buildings in Amman
Category:People from Amman
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