• Site type: Cultural
  • Time to visit: Flexible

The town of Aqaba is Jordan’s only port and its only coastline, with borders to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This unique geostrategic position has been used by the Jordanian government to stimulate international trade. In 2001, the city was given a huge free trade zone ASEZ, Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

It was designed as a hub to connect with global economic systems. International Gulf investors such as Saraya and Ayla Development worked in partnership with new local public actors for the planning of the town and the free trade zone. When it was created, this new economic zone was the State’s solution to address the economic crisis that had hit port activities in the region during the 1990s.

Aqaba 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 snorkeling 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.

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.

Aqaba International Airport is situated 20 minutes from the town center and services regular flights from Amman as well as from several European cities.