Any non-Arab visitor to Jordan, whether entering for business or as a tourist, needs an entry visa. The fee required for a visa, as well as the length of stay which is granted, depends on the visitors nationality.
Although entrance visas are obtainable at the airport for visitors arriving by airplane, those arriving by land must get a visa prior to arrival. These are obtainable from any Jordanian diplomatic mission abroad, where they generally take a day to receive. Visas cannot be obtained at Jordan's land border crossings.
Visas obtained in Jordanian consulates are valid for 3-4 months from the date of issue, and can be issued for multiple entries. Tourist visas allow a stay of up to one month initially. However, this period can easily be extended for up to another two months. After that date you must exit and re-enter the country, or undergo immigration procedures. If your visa has not been renewed properly by the time you leave Jordan you will have to pay a fine at the border. If you plan to stay for more than two weeks in Jordan, you will need to register at the nearest police station.
Inoculations are not required unless you are traveling from an infected location. If you come from a country where diseases such as cholera and yellow fever are prevalent, you will have to show a certificate of inoculation at your point of entry into Jordan. Although not required, it is not a bad idea to have preventative shots for polio, tetanus and typhoid.
Jordan is one of the cleanest and safest countries, but it is nonetheless advisable to take some precautions until your digestive system adjusts. Hotels rated four-star and up have their own filtering systems, and their tap water is safe to drink. In other places, bottled water is recommended. All fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly, and salads and cold meats which have been sitting out for a long time should be avoided, especially during summer months. All Jordanian dairy products are pasteurized and safe.
Medical services are well developed throughout Jordan, with a medical center or clinic in every town and village. There are hospitals in Amman, Aqaba, Maan, Karak, Madaba, Zarqa, Irbid and Ramtha. In the larger towns and cities many of the doctors have been trained overseas and speak English. Antibiotics and other drugs normally sold on prescription in the West are often available over-the-counter in Jordan. You should carry prescriptions of any medicaments you may need, making sure you have the generic name as your specific brand may not be available. If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair and a copy of the prescription as well.
There are three departure taxes from Jordan: four Jordanian Dinars (JD) across land borders (JD 8 for Jordanians), JD 6 from Aqaba by sea, and JD 15 when leaving by airplane (JD 25 for Jordanians).
Customs regulations exempt from duty most items carried by tourists, including cameras, radios, hair-dryers, video equipment, etc. So far as duty allowances are concerned, you may carry up to 200 cigarettes or 200 grams of tobacco, and either one liter of spirits or two liters of wine. Modest gifts and other effects are exempt from customs duty.
Cars and electrical appliances, from household goods to personal computers and video cameras, are subject to duty which may be very high. If you intend to take taxable goods with you when you leave you should ask the customs officials to enter details of these goods in your passport to avoid paying tax. Upon exit you will be asked to show that your goods were tax exempted.
There are no regulations about bringing pets into Jordan, and the most you may be asked for is a certificate of health for the animal.
Jordan is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Savings Time occurs between April and October.
Holidays in Jordan are either religious (Islamic or Christian) or celebrations of important events in Jordanian or Arab history. Non-Islamic holidays are fixed, while Islamic holidays vary according to the lunar Muslim calendar.
As the lunar Hijra calendar is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, each year Islamic holidays fall approximately 11 days earlier than in the previous year. The precise dates are known only shortly before they fall, however, as they depend on the sighting of the moon.
|Table of Islamic Holidays
for 1419 - 1420 AH, 1999 A
|Eid al-Fitr||Shawal 1, 1419||January 18, 1999|
|Eid al-Adha||Thul Hijja 10, 1419||March 27, 1999|
|Hijra New Year||Muharram 1, 1420||April 17, 1999|
|Al-Mawlid al-Nabawi Al-Sharif||Rab'i al-Awal 12, 1420||June 25, 1999|
|Al-Isra' wa'al Mi'raj||Rajab 27, 1420||November 5, 1999|
Friday is the weekly holiday when government offices, banks and most offices are closed. Most businesses and banks have a half-day on Thursday, and some businesses and banks take Sunday as a half-day or a complete holiday.
Government departments are open from 08:00 to 14:00 daily except Friday. Banks are open from 08:30 to 13:00, and some have recently introduced afternoon hours from 16:00 to 18:00. Small shops are open long hours, from around 09:00 until 20:00 or 21:00, often closing for a couple of hours in the mid-afternoon. Most Muslim shop owners close early or do not open on Friday, and Christians follow similar rules on Sunday. However, the markets and street stalls downtown remain open all week long, and Friday is their busiest day of the week. During Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, business hours are shorter. Museums are generally open every day except Tuesday, but opening hours sometimes vary.
Jordans electricity supply is 220 volts/50 cycles AC. Sockets are generally of the two-pronged European variety, while a variety of other sockets and plugsespecially the 13 amp square three-pinned plugare in use. To be safe, bring a multi-purpose adapter. American equipment requires both an adaptor and a transformer. Most varieties of adaptors and transformers are readily available in electrical shops throughout Jordan. Electrical current in Jordan is reliable and uninterrupted.
Many of the better hotels and restaurants will add a gratuity of about 10% to your bill. However, smaller establishments usually expect you to leave a tip in line with the service you received. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped, but it is customary to pay the nearest round figure to the price on the meter. It may be difficult to get change for a large bill, so carry plenty of small denominations and coins for taxis.
Jordan operates on the metric system. Length is counted in meters, distances in kilometers, weight in kilograms and volume in liters. You may come across the measurement for land: the dunum. One dunum is equivalent to approximately 1000 square meters (10,760 square feet).
The Jordanian currency is the Dinar, or JD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piasters. It appears in paper notes of 20, 10, 5, 1, and 0.5 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 1 JD, 500 fils, 250 fils, 100 fils, 50 fils, 25 fils, 10 and 5 fils. The daily exchange rate is published in local newspapers.
You can change foreign cash or travelers checks at any bank in Jordan. Only travelers checks will be charged a commission. There are also authorized moneychangers in Amman, Aqaba and Irbid, and you will usually get a slightly better rate of exchange at moneychangers than at banks. Hotels of three stars or above will also change money but at a less favorable rate.
Foreigners are permitted to open accounts at Jordanian banks in either Jordanian Dinars or in foreign currencies. Currency exchange operates under the guidelines and regulations of the Central Bank of Jordan. The Central Bank also sets the minimum and maximum interest rates for financial institutions to follow.
Credit cards are accepted at most large hotels, restaurants, car rental companies and tourist shops. The most widely accepted cards are American Express, Visa, Diners Club and Mastercard. You can also use your cards to draw cash (up to 500 JDs) at any bank linked with your credit card network. The automatic cash machines outside some banks in Amman can only be used by Jordanian bank account holders, and you should not attempt to use them.
|To Convert||Multiply by|
|miles to kilometers||1.61|
|kilometers to mile||0.62|
|acres to hectares||0.40|
|hectares to acres||2.47|
|pounds to kilograms||0.45|
|kilograms to pounds||2.21|
|Celcius to Fahrenheit||1.8; then add 32|
|Fahrenheit to Celcius||subtract 32; then multiply by 5/9|
The Jordanian Currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or JD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piasters. It appears in paper notes of 20, 10, 5, 1, and 0.5 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 1 JD, 500 fils, 250 fils, 100 fils, 50 fils, 10 and 5 fils. The daily exchange rate is published in local newspapers. The following exchange rates are as of October 1998.
|1 US$||= 0.71 JD||
One Jordanian Dinar
|1 £||= 1.20 JD|
|1 DM||= 0.40 JD|
|1 FF||= 0.12 JD|
|100 Yen||= 0.59 JD|
|1000 IL||= 0.42 JD|
|1 ECU||= 0.83 JD|
|Region Covered||Local time||Wavelength||Frequency|
The Far East
& East Europe and
|North Africa & Central America||13:00-15:00||19.53m||15355 KHz|
|South America & Brazil||03:00-04:05||19.43m||15435 KHz|
|North America & Western Europe||03:00-04:05
|Western Europe||20:00-24:00||30.50m||9830 KHz|