Aqaba Governorate

Aqaba Governorate

About Aqaba Governorate

  • Aqaba Governorate is one of the Jordanian governorates. It is located in the far south of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The capital of the region and its main city is the city of Aqaba, which is the only sea port for Jordan as it is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, which forms the eastern branch of the Red Sea.
  • Aqaba Governorate is characterized by its very hot climate in the summer and mild in the winter. It represents a vital nerve for the Jordanian economy, as it contains headquarters and factories for major Jordanian companies, in addition to being an important tourist hub and a starting point for internal and external tourism routes.
  • Aqaba is the only warm and sunny Red Sea resort and port in Jordan, and contains a wonderful undersea world that includes some of the most amazing coral reefs that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • Aqaba Governorate was transformed into a special economic zone in early 2001 as a duty-free, multi-sector development zone with reduced taxes that includes the entire Jordanian coastal area (27 km), Jordanian sea ports, an international airport, and the historic city of Aqaba. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone is regulated by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and is charged with managing, regulating, and providing municipal services within the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.
  • The governorate's population depends heavily on tourism as a major source of income. The port of Aqaba is the only sea port for Jordan. Almost all of Jordan's foreign trade comes through Aqaba.

Geographical location

Aqaba Governorate is located in the far south of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the coast of the Red Sea, at the head of the Gulf named after it. It is about 330 kilometers south of the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Aqaba Governorate consists of Two brigades:
  • Qasabat Aqaba Brigade, Al-Quwairah Brigade

Cities, towns, and villages

Aqaba, Durra, Al-Muzaffar, Taten, Al-Quwairah, Al-Rashidiyah, Rum, Al-Hamimah Al-Jadidah, Dibba Al-Hanout, Al-Shakriyah, Al-Salihiyah, Al-Asaliyya, Ain Al-Hawara, Al-Hamimah, Al-Risha, Al-Qariqra, Rahma, Bir Mathkur, Qatar, Faynan, Grendel, Al-Muqarah, Taba, Al-Disa, Al-Tawisa, Meneshir, Al-Tawil, Al-Gul.


Aqaba has a hot desert climate with mild, sometimes warm winters and hot dry summers. Subzero temperatures can be observed every few years. The record low temperature of −3.9 °C (25.0 °F) was on January 16, 2008.

Tourism in Aqaba

  • Tourism in the city of Aqaba is considered active for various reasons. It is a coastal area located on the Red Sea, and it also has beautiful places that can be visited. Aqaba is an area full of tourists who come to enjoy the wonderful sea and the beautiful atmosphere there.
  • During the national holidays, Jordanians come from the north of the Kingdom, especially from Amman and Irbid, to resorts and sandy beaches, to spend the weekend, and during this period the occupancy rate in hotels reaches 100%. In 2011, Aqaba was chosen as the capital of Arab tourism.
  • The Marine Science Station, located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, hosts a marine life exhibition in which visitors can see different types of coral, fish and other living creatures endemic to the Gulf of Aqaba.
  • The Maritime Military Museum, which was previously prepared by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, is a distinctive tourist landmark in the Gulf of Aqaba, as it contains more than thirty military pieces, including a tank, a cannon, and a troop carrier, in addition to two helicopters. This museum will contribute to encouraging and promoting sport. Diving in Aqaba, which is popular with various countries around the world, works to prolong the tourist’s stay in Aqaba through developing and diversifying the tourism product.
    Al-Ghandour Beach is the closest public place where you can swim in the Gulf of Aqaba. It is near the flagpole of the Arab Revolution, and there are some glass boats and some cafes. It is visited by many residents of Jordan, especially residents of Aqaba.
  • Aqaba has a number of luxury hotels, including in the Tala Bay resort 20 km further to the south, which service those who come for fun on the beaches as well as Scuba diving. Aqaba offers more than thirty primary diving locations, with the majority of them accommodating divers of all skill levels. These diving sites comprise fringing reefs that extend for over 25 kilometers, reaching all the way to the border with Saudi Arabia.
  • It also offers activities which take advantage of its desert location. Its many coffee shops offer mansaf and knafeh, and baqlawa desserts. Another very popular venue is the Turkish Bath (Hamam) built in 306 AD, in which locals and visitors alike come to relax after a hot day.
  • There is also Wadi Rum in Aqaba Governorate, which has a charming sandy and mountainous nature. South of Aqaba is the highest elevation in Jordan ever, represented by Mount Umm al-Dami.
  • Wadi Rum (Arabic: وادي رم Wādī Ramm, also Wādī al-Ramm), known also as the Valley of the Moon (Arabic: وادي القمر Wādī al-Qamar)

Jordanian cuisine

Popular foods in Jordan:
  • Mansaf (المنسف): Jordan is distinguished by its Mansaf food, which is not complete without “Jameed Al Karaki”. Mansaf is a dish made of rice, syrup, meat, and local ghee. The drink is liquefied jameed and is originally made of milk.
  • Makmoura: It is a well-known dish in the villages of northern Jordan.
  • Kibbeh or kebab: It is one of the dishes that is prepared in all regions, as its spread extended from the villages north of Irbid, such as the villages of Bani Kenana.
  • Al-Mutabbaq (Mutabbaq): It is known as one of the good dishes in the villages of Al-Taybeh and Al-Wasatiya Districts, and it is smaller than Al-Makmoura.
  • Maqluba/Magluba (مقلوبة): A casserole made of layers of rice, vegetables and meat. After cooking, the pot is flipped upside-down onto the plate when served, hence the name maqluba which translates literally as "upside-down".
  • Musakhan (مسخّن): Dish composed of roasted chicken baked with onions, sumac, allspice, saffron, and fried pine nuts served over taboon bread. It is also known as muhammar (Arabic: محمر).
  • Maftul (مفتول): Large couscous-like balls, garbanzo beans and chicken pieces cooked in chicken broth.
  • aldafin Freekeh (فريكة)
  • Al-Jajil (Kaakil or Shaashil), all Jordanian governorates share the same popular dishes, due to the similarity between the regions and are considered one of the popular dishes.
  • Shishbarak (ششبرك): Also known as Joshpara. A sort of dumpling or jiaozi dish. After being stuffed with ground beef and spices, thin wheat dough parcels are cooked with jameed then served hot. Another name for this dish is shishbarak.
  • Galayet bandora (قلاية بندورة): Tomatoes sauteed and stewed with onions, olive oil, salt, and hot peppers, it can be served with rice but is more commonly eaten with bread in Jordan,It is indispensable for all classes of people in all governorates.
  • Falafel (فلافل): Balls of fried chickpea flour and Middle Eastern spice. Dipped in every mezze, especially hummus. The Jordanian falafel balls tend to come in smaller sizes.
  • Hummus, Ful medames (حمص وفول مدمس): These are foods usually served for breakfast, especially on Fridays. They are also served as appetizers for lunch and dinner.

The Aqaba region is distinguished by several special dishes, in addition to the dishes known in Jordanian cuisine in general, including:
  • Sayadeyah: a combination of rice, fish and spices, a dish common among Arab coastal cities.
  • Kishnah is fish, tomatoes and onions cooked together.
  • Bukhari: is made up of rice, meat, hummus beans, ghee and spices popular with wedding ceremonies.
  • Aqabawi desserts include Al-Hooh: which consists of layers of pastry stuffed with nuts or dates that are then fried in ghee and dipped in sugar syrup. Dates and ghee, consisting of fresh dates dipped in ghee, is a simple dessert also commonly presented to guests.


  • Baklava (بقلاوة)—a dessert made with thin layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey or syrup.
  • Knafeh (كُنافة)—a cheese pastry of shredded phyllo soaked in sugar-based syrup.
  • Qatayef (قطايف)—a sweet dumpling stuffed with cream and pistachios. Consumed during Ramadan.
  • Warbat (وربات)—a pastry of thin layers of phyllo pastry filled with custard. Often eaten during the month of Ramadan.

Area and population

  • Population of Aqaba Governorate: (222,800)
  • Governorate area:- (6,905 km2) (2,666 mi²)