Places to see: Middle East


Dubai Museum: Occupying the Al-Fahidi Fort, the city's oldest building on the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek. A lovely collection of antique khanjars (curved daggers) and a complete grave from the Al-Qusais archaeological site are the major attractions of the museum. One can also see multimedia and interactive displays touch on everything from traditional and modern methods of water conservation to a presentation of the city's development.

Grand Mosque: The Grand Mosque in Bur Dubai owns the city's tallest minaret. It is a beautiful example of restoration work and was built in the 1990s in the style of the Grand Mosque, which dated from 1900 but was demolished to make way for another mosque in 1960.

Dubai Creek: Dubai's waterfront is a busy place and a hub of activites. The best way to see the grand trading port is from the water and one can book a cruise or hire an abra (small boat) for an hour or so; one should go to Al-Maktoum Bridge and back.

Ban Yas Square: In the heart of Deira dominated by Deira Tower, Ban Yas Square can get you good bargains on electronics, textile products and consumer products.

Other attractions include:

Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum House
Dubai Zoo
Hot Air Balloon Flights
Things to do:

Spend a day with the family at Dubai most popular water park the WILD WADI
Ski Dubai - An exciting new indoor Ski complex to suit all ages and all levels of skiers
Experience Dune bashing in the Desert Safari following by Barbeque dinner and belly dancing
To see the city by night there is no better way than the traditional Dhow cruise along the creek in which includes a traditional Arabic buffet meal and entertainment.
Have a joy ride on the Wonder Bus an air conditioned coach that takes you around all the major sights of Dubai and then enters the creek to give you a view of the famous landmark buildings along the Dubai creek. It is a very memorable experience.
Take in a day trip to the capital city of Abu Dhabhi, traditional city of Sharjha or Ajman.
Getaway from the city heat and hustle of activities and visit the cooler regions of the Hajjar mountains.
Dubai has a lot more to offer in the surrounding Emirates and even trips right upto Oman. Combine your holiday in Dubai with 3-4 nights at the wonderful beach resorts of Ras AL Khaima,Fujairah or Khorfakkan

Hotels and Apartments: Dubai has a huge choice of hotels ranging from Bruj AL Arab the only 7* hotel in the world to good value for money 3* hotels. The hotels are all built to high specifications and are in line with the necessary health and safety regulations. Most hotels have friendly staff with a high level of service. There is a range many self catering properties from a studio apartment to 2 bedroom properties sleeping up to 6 adults, ideal for families and large groups. There is also a huge choice of villas for rent at very reasonable prices. Most hotels have their own restaurants and many have night clubs and bars. Some hotels are dry hotels so will not serve alcohol or have any in the mini bar of your room. There is a huge choice of hotels along the Jumeirah beach strip and the Sheikh Zayed road. The city hotels in Deira and Bur Dubai are centrally located with easy access round the city.

Shopping: One of Dubai’s greatest visitor attractions. The city draws large numbers of ‘shopping tourists’ from countries within the region and from as far a field as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

As an open port with low import duties, Dubai’s retail prices are reasonable and the variety of products available is virtually unrivalled. Free of tax, many top brand-name products are cheaper in Dubai than in the countries of their origin.

Whatever the visitor’s tastes be it couture from Paris or Milan, hi-tech electronics from Japan, or a piece of silver Bedouin jewellery — he or she will find it at the right price in Dubai.

In addition to the souk districts and shopping malls listed below, there are many top-class department stores and boutiques throughout the city. Dubai has the famous Shopping Festival usually in January for one month where the shops have huge bargains and sales of upto 70%. The World famous Global Village is also hosted during this time for three months. The Global village has a variety of things to offer and has local handicrafts shops from all over the world where you can experience various cultures, traditions and multi cultural food.

Eating out and Entertainment: Dubai caters for global cuisine. There are many restaurants owned by some of the world’s most famous chefs and celebrities. There is a huge selection of fast food restaurants and most shopping malls have a food court that provides quick and reasonably priced meals catering to every ones taste. Most hotels have restaurants and bars.

Dubai comes alive at night with a huge selection of bars and clubs for tourist to enjoy. There are bars and night clubs in most of the 4* and 5* Hotels. You will find clubs that cater to everyone’s needs, whether it’s Hip pop, R&B, Jazz, Arabic or Bollywood.The city is safe and cabs are easily available 24 hrs from most restaurants and clubs.


Diving, Surfing & Kayaking

With 3,165 km of coastline and clean, unpolluted waters, Oman is one of the best kept secrets in the diving world.

Diving in Oman provides adventure and enjoyment with dramatic wall drop-offs and scenic coral lined fjords, ranging in depth from 6-40 m. Oman enjoys good sea conditions with an average visibility of 20-30 m. Diving is relatively easy. During winter months, the sea temperature drops to 20-25 C° and a 5 mm wetsuit may be necessary. In summer, as the sea temperature rises, a 3 mm wetsuit will suffice. Night dives are popular and divers are often astonished by the amount of phosphorescence found in Oman's night-time waters.

There are several superb dive sites around the Capital Area, including Fahal Island, the Damaniyyat Islands and Cemetery Bay.

Whatever the choice of site, underwater life is abundant; a variety of intact hard and soft corals and a spectacular range of fish can be seen. The trip to the site is often rewarded by the sight of dolphins.

A number of diving agents operate in the Sultanate, and can arrange trips to the numerous diving sites along the shores of the Sultanate.

One of the great places to surf in the Sultanate is Masirah Island. The height of the surf depends on the time of year, but 4-6 feet is normal.

Masirah is also an ideal spot for windsurfing, particularly during the Khareef (monsoon season; June to September). Visitors can camp on the clean, unpolluted beaches and purchase essential provisions from local shops.

The island is reached only by ferry from the village of Shanna on the mainland, a trip taking roughly one hour. Ferry times depend on tides, but there are usually four crossings a day. Once docked, it is a 15-minute drive eastbound to where the surf breaks.

The warm waters of Oman are ideal for this sport and kayaking tours are available around the inlets of Bander Al-Khiran close to Muscat. It is also possible to rent single or double sea kayaks with optional glass bottoms.

Desert Safari

The Omani desert is a large expanse of sand dunes extending 200km from the mountains of the Eastern Hajar down to the Arabian Sea. The best known of these is Sharqiyah Sands (formerly known as the Wahiba Sands) with its dunes rising to an imposing 200m.

Desert adventures in Oman offer many experiences: camel-riding, dune-driving, sand-boarding or just sitting around a campfire under the stars in the traditional Bedouin style. Watching the sun set over a pristine desert landscape is an awe-inspiring experience in itself, but once the sun has drifted below the dunes and the desert skies have darkened, a blanket of stars is revealed, unlike anything most city dwellers have ever seen before.

Camel Racing

The camel is a vital part of the fabric of Omani society. It is part of a highly valued tradition, which accounts for the great importance of camel racing in this part of the world.

Omani people take pride and care in raising their camels and no expense is spared in their diet and training. Camels are carefully bred for racing and undergo intensive training in order to compete at national and international levels. Pedigree camels are given names reflecting their respective abilities and endurance, and partake in long distance races held on specially built race tracks across the Sultanate.

The races are normally held on public holidays and during the annual National Day celebrations. As with horse races, camel races are arranged by Oman Equestrian Federation (OEF). Some regions and wilayats also organise their own local races.

OEF Camel Race Calender

Ash-Sharqiyah - 11 Jan - Al-Qabil 

Al-Batinah - 19 Jan - Al-Musanaah 

Camel Race - 31 Jan - 1 Feb - Jaalan Bani B. Ali

Camel Race - 13 - 14 Feb - Thumrait

Dhofar & Al-Wusta - 23 Feb - Muhut 

Annual Race - 7 - 8 Mar - Sohar

Bird Watching

Oman is internationally known for its birdlife, attracting avid bird watchers and ornithologists from all over the world. According to the Oman Bird Records Committee, more than 460 different bird species have been recorded in Oman, out of which 80 species have been classified as resident, while the rest are migrant and seasonal species.

Oman offers a unique opportunity to watch birds from Europe, Africa and Asia in one spot. During their annual migrations in spring and autumn, millions of birds pass across the length and breath of Oman and an impressive variety can be seen in Muscat Capital Area. These migratory periods coincide with the cooler weather between October and April, the best time to watch birds in the Sultanate of Oman.

Some of the common resident species one expects to see in and around the Capital Area include herons (Striated and Western Reef), Ospreys, Swift Terns, Laughing Doves, Egyptian Vultures, and Indian Rollers.

Common migrant and seasonal species include Cattle Egret, Little Stint, Greater Flamingos, Caspian Gulls, Spotted Flycatchers, Grey Heron, Dunlins, Sandwich Terns, Red and Green shanks, Ruff and White Wagtails.

Bird-watching Sites

In the Capital Area, good locations for bird-watching are within easy reach of all the major hotels. Some of these hotels, such as the gardens of the Muscat InterContinental and Al-Bustan Palace hotels, are in fact good starting points for spotting birds.

Qurum Natural Park with its rich variety of resident birds in their natural habitat is another easily accessible location. However, Al-Ansab Lagoon is undoubtedly the best place for bird watching, not only in the Muscat area but probably in the entire Sultanate.

Outside the Capital Area, birding locations abound from Musandam in the north to Dhofar in the south.

In Musandam eagles are to be found in large numbers. In Al-Wusta region the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary provides an excellent opportunity to watch desert species, notably the Spotted Sand Grouse, Golden Eagle and Houbara Bustard.

Masirah Island in A'Sharqiyah region is the home of thousands of birds especially in winter. Species too be seen here include flamingoes, seagulls, terns and herons.

With its diverse terrain, monsoon rains and lush vegetation, the Governorate of Dhofar is a paradise for birds, particularly African species.

Most sites are an hour’s drive from Salalah, with Al-Mugsayl and Rawri beaches being the most popular. Many resident species can also be seen in and around the springs of Ain Razat and Ain Hamran.

Bird-watching Tours

Some tour operators arrange bird-watching tours. Muscat Diving and Adventure Centre offers bird-watching tours under the guidance of Hanna & Jens Eriksen, co-authors of "Bird-watching guide to Oman" and world-renowned bird photographers.


Places to See:

Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a fascinating city of contrasts – a unique blend of old and new, ideally situated on a hilly area between the desert and the fertile Jordan Valley.

In the commercial heart of the city, ultra-modern buildings, hotels, smart restaurants, art galleries and boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops and tiny artisans' workshops. Everywhere there is evidence of the city’s much older past.

Due to the city’s modern-day prosperity and temperate climate, almost half of Jordan’s population is concentrated in the Amman area. The residential suburbs consist of mainly tree-lined street and avenues flanked by elegant, almost uniformly white houses, in accordance with a municipal law, which states that all buildings must be faced with local stone.

The downtown area is much older and more traditional with smaller businesses producing and selling everything from fabulous jewellery to everyday household items.

The people of Amman are multi-cultural, multi-denominational, well educated and extremely hospitable. They welcome visitors and take pride in showing them around their fascinating and vibrant city.

Azraq & Shawmari
Jordan Valley & The Dead Sea

Without doubt, the world’s most amazing place, the Jordan Rift Valley is a dramatic, beautiful landscape, which at the Dead Sea, is over 400 metres (1,312 ft.) below sea level. The lowest point on the face of the earth, this vast, stretch of water receives a number of incoming rivers, including the River Jordan. Once the waters reach the Dead Sea they are land-locked and have nowhere to go, so they evaporate, leaving behind a dense, rich, cocktail of salts and minerals that supply industry, agriculture and medicine with some of its finest products.

The Dead Sea is flanked by mountains to the east and the rolling hills of Jerusalem to the west, giving it an almost other-worldly beauty. Although sparsely populated and serenely quiet now, the area is believed to have been home to five Biblical cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Adman, Zebouin and Zoar.

One of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the world, the Jordanian east coast of the Dead Sea has evolved into a major hub of both religious and health & wellness tourism in the region. A series of good roads, excellent hotels with spa and fitness facilities, as well as archaeological and spiritual discoveries make this region as enticing to today’s international visitors as it was to kings, emperors, traders, prophets and pilgrims in antiquity.

The leading attraction at the Dead Sea is the warm, soothing, super salty water itself – some ten times saltier than sea water, and rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others. The unusually warm, incredibly buoyant and mineral-rich waters have attracted visitors since ancient times, including King Herod the Great and the beautiful Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. All of whom have luxuriated in the Dead Sea’s rich, black, stimulating mud and floated effortlessly on their backs while soaking up the water's healthy minerals along with the gently diffused rays of the Jordanian sun.


The giant red mountains and vast mausoleums of a departed race have nothing in common with modern civilisation, and ask nothing of it except to be appreciated at their true value - as one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man.

Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed.

Often described as the eighth wonder of the ancient world, it is without doubt Jordan’s most valuable treasure and greatest tourist attraction. It is a vast, unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled here more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome.

Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1 kilometre in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80 metres high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (Treasury).

and 43m high, carved out of the sheer, dusky pink, rock-face and dwarfing everything around it. It was carved in the early 1st century as the tomb of an important Nabataean king and represents the engineering genius of these ancient people.

Wadi Rum

With its wealth of other attractions, Jordan’s splendid Red Sea resort is often overlooked by modern-day visitors. But apart from being a delightful place for discerning holidaymakers, this is actually a great base from which to explore various places of interest in southern Jordan.

Aqaba is a fun place. It is a microcosm of all the good things Jordan has to offer, including a fascinating history with some outstanding sites, excellent hotels and activities, superb visitor facilities, good shopping, and welcoming, friendly people, who enjoy nothing more than making sure their visitors have a good time.

But perhaps Aqaba’s greatest asset is the Red Sea itself. Here you can experience some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. The temperate climate and gentle water currents have created a perfect environment for the growth of corals and a teeming plethora of marine life. Here you can swim with friendly sea turtles and dolphins as they dart amongst the schools of multicoloured fish. Night dives reveal the nocturnal sea creatures, crabs, lobsters and shrimp, as they search for a midnight snack.

There are several dive centres in Aqaba. All offer well-maintained diving equipment, professional instructors, and transport by boat to a variety of dive sites.

For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, all the deep sea wonders can be viewed through a glass-bottomed boat or by submarine, or you can just relax under the sun on the resort’s sandy beaches. Plus, of course, there are plenty of other water-sport activities available, as well as an extensive and interesting Marine Park.

From as far back as five and half thousand years ago Aqaba has played an important role in the economy of the region. It was a prime junction for land and sea routes from Asia, Africa and Europe, a role it still plays today. Because of this vital function, there are many historic sites to be explored within the area, including what is believed to be the oldest purpose-built church in the world.

Aqaba International Airport is situated just a 20-minute drive from the town centre and services regular flights from Amman as well as from several European cities. From the town centre, the borders of Israel, Egypt’s Sinai and Saudi Arabia are no more than a 30-minute drive.

Salt & Fuheis


The Jordan Valley is a great place for thrill-seekers of all ages and abilities. The hills, valleys and waterways that lead down to the Dead Sea, provide a natural playground for a multitude of outdoor activities, from leisurely walks to exhilarating horseback rides and challenging climbs. Almost all activities take place under Jordan’s strict code of nature conservation which visitors are expected to respect.

Hiking in Wadi Mujib

Grab a lifejacket and take the plunge. The river is your only path as you trek uphill from the Dead Sea through the narrow, 50 metre high, walls of the Wadi. Your guide will take you through a series of cascading waterfalls, each more challenging than the one before.

The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) offers many different adventures in the Mujib, its most extensive trek is known as the ‘Lost Trail to the Dead Sea’, a full day expedition that descends from the rugged highlands above Mujib, down to the Dead Sea. Not for the fainthearted!

For those who appreciate Mother Nature and the thrill of the outdoors, a hike through the Wadi system may prove to be a challenging exercise rejuvenating the body as well as the mind.

Hammamat Zarqa Ma'in Hot Springs

Luxuriate in the hot thermal springs at Hammamat Zarqa Ma’in and Al-Himma and take time out to visit some of the historic architecture of the area.
Close by are two sites linked by tradition to Herod the Great. One is the palace at Makawer (machaerus), where Salome traditionally danced, and where John the Baptist was beheaded. King Herod was said to have bathed in its medicinal waters of the springs and people have come here for thermal treatments or simply to enjoy a hot soak, since the days of Rome.

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon

An international ‘fun run’ that takes place every April and raises money for The Society for the Care of Neurological Patients. Starts in Amman and runs 42 kilometres (26 miles) to the Dead Sea. Fortunately, mostly downhill!


Although most of what can be seen at Petra today was built by the Nabataeans, the area is known to have been inhabited from as early as 7,000 to 6,500 BC. Evidence of an early settlement from this period can still be seen today at Little Petra, just north of the main Petra site.

By the Iron Age (1,200 to 539 BC), Petra was inhabited by the Edomites. They settled mainly on the hills around Petra rather than the actual site chosen by the Nabataeans. Although the Edomites were not proficient at stone masonry, they excelled at making pottery and it seems they passed this craft on to the Nabataeans.

The Nabataeans were a nomadic Arab people from Arabia who began to arrive and slowly settle in Petra at the end of the 6th century BC. It seems their arrival at Petra was unplanned, as their original intent was to migrate to southern Palestine. No doubt they found this place attractive with its plentiful supply of water, defensive canyon walls and the friendly Edomites, with whom it seems they had a peaceful coexistence.

By the 2nd century BC, Petra had become a huge city encompassing around 10 kms, and was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom.

Primarily, the Nabataeans were farmers. They cultivated vines and olive trees and bred camels, sheep, goats and horses. They were skilled at water management and built a complex network of channels and cisterns to bring water from a plentiful source at Ain Musa several kilometres away, to the centre of the city. But their main wealth came from the fact that Petra was an important hub for the lucrative trade routes that linked China in the east with Rome in the west. Caravans laden with incense, silks and spices and other exotic goods, would rest at Petra, which offered a plentiful supply of water and protection from marauders. In return for their hospitality, the Nabataeans imposed a tax on all goods which passed through the city and grew wealthy from the proceeds.

The Nabataeans were a literate people who spoke a dialect of Aramaic, the language of biblical times, and samples of their beautiful calligraphy can be seen carved into the rock face at Petra.

Apart from their outstanding architectural achievements, the Nabataeans were famous for their skills at making pottery, believed to have been handed down to them from the Edomites. A recently excavated kiln discovered at Wadi Musa, indicates that Petra was a regional centre for pottery production up until the late 3rd century AD, after which it fell into decline.

In 64 BC, the Romans arrived and established a Roman province in Syria. They formed the Decapolis League of ten city states, which forestalled any further expansion by the Nabataeans. In 106 AD, they annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, making it part of the Roman Province of Arabia. Petra flourished under Roman rule and many Roman-style amendments were made to the city, including the enlargement of the Theatre, paving of the Colonnaded Street, and a triumphal arch was built over the Siq. When the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, visited the site in 131 AD, he named it after himself, Hadriane Petra.

The Romans took control of the lucrative trade routes and diverted them away from Petra. It was the beginning of the end for the Nabataeans, whose wealth and power gradually fell into decline.

Evidence of the Nabataeans at Petra was dwindling and when Christianity spread across the Byzantine Empire, Petra became the seat of a bishopric and a monument was converted to a church, which is the Urn Tomb . Recent excavations have exposed three churches, one of them is paved with color mosaics and new ones were built.

In 661 AD the Muslim Umayyad dynasty established its capital in Damascus, Syria and Petra found itself isolated from the seat of power. This, combined with a series of strong earthquakes, marked the end of this once mighty city.

In the 12th century AD, the crusaders built an outpost at Petra, for their large castle at Shobak, 30 kilometres away.

Although there is some evidence that the place was, once again, used as a stopping place for caravans in the 13th to 15th centuries, it was eventually abandoned and became a place inhabited – and fiercely guarded - by the local Bedouin. This once magnificent city was forgotten entirely by the western world until the Swiss traveller, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised as an Arab, rediscovered it on the 22nd August, 1812.


The Petra Nabataean Museum

This museum was opened in 1994, with three main exhibitions halls.

The first hall introduces the history of Petra and the Nabataeans, and the geology of the Petra region, as well as special examples representing Neolithic food processing, Edomite pottery, Nabataean sculpture, and hydraulic engineering.

The second hall is dedicated to specific excavations, starting with the Neolithic village at Beida, then the Iron Age settlement at Tawilan, the Nabataean and Late Roman houses on az-Zanter, the Zurrabah pottery kilns dated to the late first century BC thought to the sixth century AD, the Nabataen Temple of the Winged Lions, the Qasr al-Bint Temple in the city center and finally the Petra Church Project. A special exhibit representing earthquakes, Nabataean trade and Petra in the medieval period can also be seen in this hall.

The third hall deals with various artifacts, such as jewellery, lamps, bronze statuettes, terracotta figurines, pottery, and coins, with special emphasis on the manufacturing processes.

Petra Archaeological Museum

The old archaeological museum at Petra is located in an ancient Nabataean cave on the slope of al-Habis. The museum was opened in 1963 and it is composed of one main hall and two side rooms. The collection represent finds from excavations in the Petra region, dating from the Edomite, Nabataean, Roman and Byzantine periods, with special emphasis on architectural decorative elements and stone sculpture. The exhibits in this museum are presently in the process of rearrangement after the opening of the Petra Nabataean Museum.


This is a nature-lovers paradise; a unique ecosystem where rare plants and herbs, long known by the Bedouin for their curative powers, can be discovered.

At first glance there does not appear to be a great deal of wildlife but more observant visitors will soon discover there is more to Wadi Rum than sand and rocks. Hyrax, hares, jerboas and gerbils appear, as if from nowhere, as the sun goes down. This is also the time for the desert hunters, the foxes and Arabian sand cats, to make their appearance. Their footprints can often be seen in the sand in the early morning around the Bedouin campsites – evidence, no doubt, of their night time scavenging.

The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) represented by the management of Wadi Rum Protected Area is determined to protect this precious area with its unique flora and fauna and is making great efforts to minimize the environmental impact of modern-day tourism on the site. They have enlisted the help of the local Bedouin tribes by giving them new opportunities to benefit from its protection by sharing entrance fees, supporting and encouraging local tourism and by creating alternative sources of income through Bedouin crafts and souvenirs.


Greatly prized as Jordan's window to the sea, Aqaba brings a refreshing release from the rose-coloured desert to the north. Its sandy beaches and coral reefs are the most pristine on the Red Sea, and Jordanians hope to preserve them through careful planning. With several first-rate hotels, restaurants and shops, Aqaba caters to a tourist crowd that is tranquil and relaxed, seeking its pleasures more by day than by night.

Indigo-coloured deep water lies just off shore in Aqaba, bringing kaleidoscopic marine life within easy reach. Exploring means a leisurely drive to a private spot and a short swim out to the reef. Unusual vertical currents and sea breezes make diving cool and pleasant, even in the heat of the summer.

Although Aqaba is famous for it's water sports and adventure activites, there are a host of more leisurely activities that can be enjoyed by visitors who wish to relax, rejuvenate or just get away from the pressures of city life. For those who prefer their marine life at arm's length, glass-bottomed boats are a fun way to enjoy the marvels of the Red Sea.

Boat trips are a great way to spend a relaxing day, and there are many to choose from. Daily excursions tour Aqaba's coastline, stopping periodically to allow guests to take a dip in the warm waters or slip on a mask and snorkel and take in some of the colourful sea life. Overnight trips can also be arranged on board the larger sailing boats and include full-board accommodation and watersports activities.

Aqaba basks in balmy weather nine months of the year, in winter, spring and autumn. Summer is hot, but you can pace your activities and adapt to the climate, slowing down in midday, and reviving in the cool of the evening.

After a long day of relaxing on Aqaba's sandy shores, there is no better way to refresh than by visiting one of the luxurious spas found in many of Aqaba's leading hotels. The spas combine Eastern and Western techniques and offer luxurious body treatments, rejuvenating facials, cleansing scrubs and body wraps, using world renowned Dead Sea products.


One of Jordan’s main priorities is to ensure the local people benefit from the country’s burgeoning tourist industry. With this in mind, they are encouraged to produce ecologically-friendly traditional items that are attractive to visitors.

As with all major tourist sites within Jordan, Aqaba not only offers a great selection of hand-crafted souvenirs, such as the traditional Bedouin jewellery, sand bottles, etc., but also excellent modern and traditional jewellery in gold and silver, at exceptionally good prices.

The Queen Noor Hussein Foundation, which supports local craftspeople, supplies several outlets in Aqaba with a stunning selection of handmade clothing, carpets, cushion covers, wall-hangings, pottery and glassware.

Aqaba also has many modern boutiques where you can find the very latest in imported jewellery, watches, clothing, accessories and leather goods. Stroll through Aqaba’s largest retail and entertainment complex, the Aqaba Gateway, or take advantage of Aqaba’s Free Zone and shop in style without having to pay any duties on the goods you purchase from certain shops.
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