About Jordan

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Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East, Northwest of Saudi Arabia, South of Syria, Southwest of Iraq, and East of Israel and the Palestenian National Authority. Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Total: 89,213 sq. km (34, 445 sq. miles)
Land: 88,884 sq. km (34, 318 sq. miles)
Water: 329 sq. km (127 sq. miles
Population: 9,456 Million (2016)

Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with Mediterranean prevailing in the North and West of the country, while the majority of the country is desert. Generally, the country has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, with annual average temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 C (54 to 77 F) and summertime highs reaching the 40 C (105-115 F) in the desert regions. Rainfall averages vary from 50 mm (1.97 inches) annually in the desert to 800 mm (31.5 inches) in the northern hills, some of which falls as snow in some years.

Jordan enjoys a range of geographical features, starting from the Jordan Rift Valley in the West ending at the desert plateau of the East, with a range of small hills running the length of the country in between. Lowest Point: Dead Sea, -408 meters (-1338.6 feet)
Highest Point: Jebel Rum, 1734 meters (5689 feet)

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Jordan’s currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or JD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piastres. It appears in paper notes of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 0.5 JD, 0.25 JD, and 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils. The daily exchange rate is published in local newspapers.

Jordan has been home to many successive civilizations. Each group introduced new elements into the country’s religion, language, and architecture. Except for the Crusader period, Jordan has remained under Arab rule from the 7th century to the beginning of the 16th century, by which time the Turkish Ottoman Empire had expanded to include many Arab Middle Eastern countries.

The population represents a mixture of traditions. To be a Bedouin, or to come from Bedouin stock, is a matter of pride for many Jordanians. Bedouins are known as hospitable people of strong character, with a deep sense of family and tribal pride.

Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental problems, but since assuming the throne in 1999 King Abdullah II has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards.

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Jordan in the past three years has worked closely with the IMF, practiced careful monetary policy, and made significant headway with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan’s membership in the WTO (2000), an association agreement with the EU (2001), and a free trade agreement with US (2000). These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on the foreign investment map. The U.S. led war in Iraq in 2003 negatively impacted Jordan’s economy, given Jordan’s extensive trade relations with Iraq and dependence on Iraq for discounted oil (worth $300-$600 million per year). Several Gulf nations, as well as the United States, have provided temporary aid to overcome those challenges. Other ongoing challenges include fiscal adjustment to reduce the budget deficit, broader investment incentives to promote job-creating ventures, and the encouragement of tourism.

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