Jerash Festival 2012

2012 Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts, which will begin on July 4, will feature music and dance performances by prominent artists from Jordan, the Arab region and beyond.

Jordanian singers, including Diana Karazoun and Yousef Arafat, will participate in the festival, which includes a diverse line-up of cultural and art activities, Aqel Biltaji, head of the Jerash Festival Higher Committee, said at a press conference.

Arab artists including Lebanese singers Melhem Zein, Wael Jassar and Fares Karam, Shereen Abdul Wahhab and Tamer Hosni from Egypt, and Iraqi singer Hatem Al Iraqi will also perform at the festival, which will run through July 14.

The festival will also include poetry recitals, seminars, plastic arts exhibitions, performances and workshops in Jerash and at the Royal Cultural Centre in the capital.

As part of the festival, Ramadan Nights will be held at the Royal Cultural Centre from July 23 until July 29.


Yes, Jordan is safe!

International tourism to Jordan has seen a marked and steady increase over the past few years. After all, Jordan ‘has it all’ when it comes to tourism sites and infrastructure; Petra was designated a new 7th wonder of the world and the Dead Sea is a finalist for the 7 wonders of the natural world competition. Although Jordan has seen some demonstrations demanding reform recently, these have been peaceful. Moreover, the people of Jordan have realised that there was no better person to oversee this reform than King Abdullah himself. All the recent demonstrations by those who were previously considered opposition groups have featured posters of our King! There is really no reason why you should not visit Jordan, as life is completely normal and we are having a brisk tourist season.

Jordan, is this MICE's best kept secret?

Picture this- a country that is within a 4 hour flight from most of mainland Europe, with nothing short of spectacular scenery, friendly people, excellent infrastructure and awe inspiring sites, such a Petra, the new 7th world wonder. This is a country that is full of mystique, one which has kept true to its heritage while embracing a relaxed, moderate policy and a cosmopolitan feel. You would think that a boutique country such as this would be a top MICE destination, but the fact remains that it is till one of the world’s last undiscovered gems. Jordan has it all, and the good news is that there has never been a better time to visit. Jordan is very well represented by most of the international hotel chains, which are virtually all there, such as the Four Seasons, Kempinski, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Mövenpick amongst others. Many of these hotels have excellent meeting and conference facilities. Moreover, some were built in the traditional style, which makes them even more interesting, though what makes these properties most enticing is the fact that many are located next to some striking natural and man made wonders. For example there’s the US$ 280 million Ishtar Kempinski resort at the Dead Sea, which is about to open within its grounds the largest Spa in the Levant (the Dead Sea in itself is the world’s largest natural spa, rich in minerals and 400 meters below sea level!) Another seaside destination is Aqaba on the Red Sea, with its 330 days of sunshine a year and its pristine corals. Aqaba has a much more exclusive feel than the Egyptian Red Sea and is located only 140 km from Petra, the 7th world wonder, and 60 km from Wadi Rum, the most picturesque desert in the world. Jordan also boasts Roman sites, such as the best preserved Graeco-Roman city in the world, Jerash, where you can still experience life as it was 2000 years ago thanks to the Roman Army and Chariot Experience (RACE); a Roman show that can be organised exclusively for incentives (the choreography of the fighting scenes and uniforms are all historically correct- the organisers used the same firm who advised the Hollywood blockbuster, Gladiator). What makes this destination even more suitable is its stability, the genuine friendliness of its people, and the fact that its currency is pegged to the US dollar, which makes it excellent value for money. Tourism to Jordan has increased by over 120% over the past two years, but it is not yet a mainstream destination. Come and experience this true hidden gem before the secret gets out!

The Aqaba Bird Observatory

Aqaba is located at the south of Jordan, and being a junction area between three continents; Asia, Africa and Europe, makes it a meeting point for the birds migratory pathways where millions of migrating birds cross over the country and Aqaba twice a year. (ABO) or the Aqaba Bird Observatory was founded in 2008 and is Jordan's first observatory for birds. ABO provides a "refueling" station for the rare birds and even some endangered species in the form of forest habitats or wetland habitats where visitors may enjoy bird watching.