Jordan Travel Information

Photo Jordan has had a separate existence for almost seventy years, from the time of the creation in 1921 of the Emirate of Transjordan under Abdullah of the Hashimite (also seen as Hashemite) family, the grandfather of King Hussein.
Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. The Persian Gulf crisis, which began in August 1990, aggravated Jordan's already serious economic problems, forcing the government to shelve the IMF program, stop most debt payments, and suspend rescheduling negotiations. Aid from Gulf Arab states, worker remittances, and trade contracted; and refugees flooded the country, producing serious balance-of-payments problems, stunting GDP growth, and straining government resources. The economy rebounded in 1992, largely due to the influx of capital repatriated by workers returning from the Gulf. After averaging 9% in 1992-95, GDP growth averaged only 2% during 1996-99. In an attempt to spur growth, King ABDALLAH has undertaken limited economic reform, including partial privatization of some state owned enterprises and Jordan's entry in January 2000 into the World Trade Organization (WTrO). Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental ongoing economic problems.
Jordan is a constitutional monarchy based on the constitution promulgated on January 8, 1952. Executive authority is vested in the king and his council of ministers. The king signs and executes all laws. His veto power may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He appoints and may dismiss all judges by decree, approves amendments to the constitution, declares war, and commands the armed forces. Cabinet decisions, court judgments, and the national currency are issued in his name. The king, who may dismiss other cabinet members at the prime minister's request, appoints the council of ministers, led by a prime minister. The cabinet is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies on matters of general policy and can be forced to resign by a two-thirds vote of "no confidence" by that body.
Islam is the state religion of Jordan. The Government of Jordan does not interfere with public worship by the country's Christian minority; however, although the majority of Christians are allowed to practice freely, some activities, such as proselytizing or encouraging conversion to the Christian faith (both considered legally incompatible with Islam) are prohibited. It is illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity.

Important: Travel to Jordan may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Jordan visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Capital city: Amman
Area: 89,342 sq km
Population: 6,508,887
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Languages: Arabic
Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%
Government: constitutional monarchy
Chief of State: King ABDALLAH II
Head of Government: Prime Minister Abdullah NSOUR
GDP: 36.94 billion
GDP per captia: 5,900
Annual growth rate: 2.6%
Inflation: 4.4%
Agriculture: citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits
Major industries: clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
Natural resources: phosphates, potash, shale oil
Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel
Trade Partners - exports: US 15.4%, Iraq 15%, India 12.9%, Saudi Arabia 9.4%, Lebanon 4.4%
Trade Partners - imports: Saudi Arabia 22.1%, China 9.8%, US 6.4%, Italy 5.1%, Germany 4.5%