Jordan Travel Notes

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Australian Embassy in Jordan

41 Kayed Al Armouti Street
Abdoun Al Jonoubi
Amman, JORDAN
Telephone: +962 6 580 7000
Facsimile: +962 6 580 7001
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.jordan.embassy.gov.au

The working week is Sunday to Thursday, in accordance with local practice.

Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers.
www.smartraveller.gov.au

Time Zones

Jordan is on GMT/UTC+2 and therefore 9 hours behind Australia. During Jordan’s Daylight Saving Time, Jordan is 7 hours behind Australia. Jordan starts Daylight Saving Time on Friday April 1, 2016 and ends Friday October 28, 2016.

To obtain the current local time and date in cities and countries in all time zones.
www.worldtimeserver.com

Entry and exit

You may be refused entry to some Arab and Muslim nations if your passport contains evidence of travel to Israel, including entry and exit stamps issued at border crossings in Jordan, or if your luggage has stickers indicating you have been to Israel.

Voltages and Plugs

Jordan uses 230 volts. Plugs vary but the most common are the two-round-pronged European type. There are some with two small and one large round holes and also a flat T-shaped version.
www.korjo.com/Adaptor-Guide

Currency

The currency of Jordan is the Jordanian Dinar. These are represented by the letters JD and are often referred to as “jaydees”. A dinar is officially divided into 1000 ‘fils’, but in fact just about everybody in Jordan speaks and thinks in ‘piasters’ which is the equivalent of 10 fils. In other words, the dinar is also divided into 100 piasters. The fils is the unit most commonly used and you will usually see prices written as 4,750 (which is 4 JD and 750 fils)

Coins come in denominations of 1⁄2, 1, 21⁄2, 5 and 10 piastres. 1⁄4, 1⁄2 and 1 dinar coins are also in circulation. Banknotes are available in the following denominations: 1 (lime and green), 5 (brick orange), 10 (blue), 20 (green) and 50 (pink and brown) dinars.

To obtain the most up-to-date exchange rate you may wish to visit
www.xe.com/currencyconverter

Credit Cards and ATM machines

ATMs can be found in most of the larger towns and all throughout Amman. There are no ATMs in Wadi RumATMs sometimes run dry on weekends and holidays in smaller towns. 

Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger shops, including American Express, Visa, Diners Club, and MasterCard. Please note that many smaller shops still prefer cash payment in the Jordanian currency, and it’s essential for shopping in the local souks.

Please note that using a credit card in a growing number of foreign countries usually requires a new “chip-and-pin” credit card with an embedded microchip and an associated PIN number (the PIN is specific to each credit card). If you have questions about using your credit card in a foreign country, please contact your bank prior to departure from Australia. Check with your credit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Cash

Currency can be exchanged at major banks, exchange booths and at most hotels. Street money-changers are best avoided. Exchange rates are set daily by the Jordanian Central Bank.

Travelers Cheques are NO longer accepted.

Telephone & Communication

Mobile telephones

Mobile phones in Jordan use the GSM system (900/1800). Two main service providers are Zain and Orange, both of which offer a full range of plans and prepaid SIM cards (ID required to purchase). 3G is available throughout Jordan.

Orange and Zain have booths in the airport upon arrival, but they charge higher price on SIM cards than in normal branches in the city. City Mall and Mecca Mall both have Zain and Orange branches You will need your passport to get a SIM card.

Internet
Almost every town in Jordan has at least one public internet centre, but wi-fi is becoming increasingly standard in hotels of most budgets, as well as many cafes and restaurants. To keep connected on the move with your laptop, mobile providers Zain and Orange both offer USB modems, allowing you to get online for less than JD20.

If you have Web access while traveling, you might consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) such as Skype or Vonage, which allows you to make free international calls between online computers and phones, and cheap international calls if you’re calling a normal phone number. Most cybercafes throughout the country will be using these programs already, complete with headset, microphone, and webcam.
www.skype.com    www.vonage.com

Business Hours in Jordan

Friday is the weekly holiday. Banks, government offices and most businesses are closed on Saturdays as well. Many businesses, including airline offices, travel agencies and some shops also close on Thursday afternoon, although department stores and supermarkets remain open. A few businesses and shops close for some of Sunday as well.

Banks: 08.30-15.00
Government Offices: 08.00-15.00
Shops: Flexible but typically 09.30-13.30 & 15.30-18.00

Personal Safety

We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Jordan due to the threat of terrorist attack. You should pay attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources for information about possible new security risks.

Demonstrations have been taking place throughout Jordan since 2011, including in Amman. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations in Jordan as they may turn violent. You should take particular care near mosques after Friday prayers.

There has been an increase in petty crime in Jordan. Robbery with violence, including bag-snatching, burglaries and assaults against foreigners in tourist destinations (including by unlicensed guides) have been reported. Unattended bags have been stolen in hotels and from vehicles.

  • We strongly recommend the use of a money belt to keep your cash, cards and travel documents safe. This should be kept under your clothes at all times. This is a precaution that should be taken anywhere due to the difficulties that can be experienced in trying to replace stolen items.
  • Take photocopies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, airline tickets, insurance) and keep one copy securely in your luggage and leave another copy at home.
  • It is generally helpful to take a business card from the hotel you are staying at. This can assist hugely if you get lost. If you also have a key card for your hotel, make sure you keep these two cards separate or you run the risk of allowing a thief access to your room
  • Take extra care in crowded places and try not to ‘advertise’ the fact that you may be carrying valuables by having something like an expensive camera over your shoulder. Put it in your bag or under your coat. And men, try to avoid keeping your wallet in your hip pocket.
What to Pack

Clothing (general)

Jordan is primarily a Muslim country, although the freedom of all religions is protected. Muslim women’s clothing often covers their arms, legs and hair. Western women are not subject to these customs, but very revealing clothing is never appropriate and conservative dress is advisable for both men and women in the old part of Amman (Downtown), and outside the cities. Shoulders and knees and everything in between should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops isn’t appropriate (for men or women).

Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and provides protection from the sun.  Aim for knee-length dresses or loose trousers, and cover your shoulders and upper arms. On public beaches at the Dead Sea and in Aqaba, wear a swimsuit (and preferably a T-shirt and shorts) when swimming. One-piece swimsuits are preferred.

The time of the year you visit will dictate the type of clothing it is appropriate to bring. It would always be advisable to take a rain coat or a water proof windbreaker. For daytime activities, we suggest a wardrobe that is versatile, casual and comfortable. It is recommended that “layered” clothing might offer the best comfort in a variety of conditions. Always expect the weather to be changeable.

Beyond the normal wardrobe we suggest

  • comfortable walking shoes (very important)
  • sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat (very important)
  • folding umbrella and/or light raincoat
  • ladies should have a scarf with them at all times in case it is required to cover shoulders or head when entering religious sites
  • prescription medicines for the full duration of your time away and a written copy of your prescriptions including what they are for, provided by your doctor
  • extra prescription eyeglasses (if required)
Etiquette

No attempt should be made to photograph anything remotely connected with the armed forces or in the vicinity of defence installations. Many people do not like being photographed. Always ask before photographing someone, they may try to obtain money from you.

Clothing (Churches, Mosques and Monasteries)
Although ‘foreigners’ do not have to adhere to a strict dress rules, women should wear a head covering (ie a scarf) in active churches. Men must remember to remove their hats in religious buildings. In churches it is polite to stand around the edges of the building, rather than in the centre. It is acceptable for foreigners to light candles.

Water

Water is a precious resource in Jordan and visitors are encouraged not to waste it. Hotels rated 3 stars and up have their own water filtering systems and their water is considered safe to drink. Elsewhere, bottled water is inexpensive and readily available.

Useful websites

Jordan Tourism Board
www.visitjordan.com

Climate

We suggest that prior to departure you check the weather forecast for the most up-to-date information.
www.worldweatheronline.com

Average minimum/maximum Temperatures (˚C)

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Amman 4/12 4/13 7/17 11/23 15/28 18/31 20/32 20/33 18/31 15/27 10/20 6/15
Madaba 2/13 3/14 6/18 9/24 13/29 15/32 17/33 17/33 15/31 12/28 7/21 4/15
Petra 2/13 3/15 6/19 10/25 14/29 17/33 19/34 19/35 16/32 13/28 8/21 3/16
Al`Aqabah 10/21 11/22 14/26 18/31 22/36 25/39 27/40 27/40 25/37 22/33 16/28 11/23