Although a small country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has played a significant role in the struggle for power in the Middle East, partly because of its strategic location at the crossroads of what Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land.
The death of King Hussein in 1999 signified the start of a new period of political, social and economic reform. His son King Abdullah has instituted a number of measures: a free trade agreement with the USA, the creation of a low tax Special Economic Zone centered in Aqaba, privatization of many government-run businesses and joining the World Trade Organization.
Unlike many of its neighbors Jordan does not have oil and its economy depends largely on services and tourism. Visitors are attracted to Jordan Tours by its historical and cultural attractions. It is possible to visit the remains of cities, old before Christ was born, trek along ancient trails and roads mentioned in the Old Testament and through a landscape that has changed little in the last 2,000 years.
It is possible to follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia from his headquarters fort at Azraq through the deserts to Wadi Rum where David Lean’s epic movie was filmed. There, travelers can trek with camels and live in tents with the local Bedouin.
Aqaba, the Jordanian royal family’s favorite holiday resort, offers some of the finest diving in the world in the Red Sea. The less energetic can simply laze on the beach or visit historical sites such as the recently discovered oldest purpose-built church in the world.