Safety of traveling to Jordan May 2013?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 15, 2012 11:33 PM Last Post By: zannabaker
Nov 27, 2012 7:35 PM
Safety of traveling to Jordan May 2013?Hey all -
I'm trying not to get psyched out by media, but I also don't want to make a naive travel decision. Any sense of how safe it is to travel in Amman and Petra at this point? I recently read an article in The Economist about Syrian opposition forces coming across the border into Jordan and two car bomb plots being discovered targeting civilians and Westerners. Any idea how serious I should be taking this or any other personal safety considerations? (I'm an American woman who would be traveling with my male partner.)
Nov 28, 2012 1:23 AM
1There was a plot which was discovered before it got off the ground about targeting several malls in Amman and Westerners--was suppose to happen November 9. I'm American and have lived in Amman for 8 years and have never had any problems with safety or security. Tourism contributes a hefty portion to Jordan's GDP, so especially in these tough economic times, the government is extremely anxious to protect it. If you want to follow what's happening in Jordan, you can follow The Jordan Times or Ammon News in English online. Also you can check on travellers information and/or warnings on the American embassy Amman website; I've gotten several warnings from the embassy giving locations of popular demonstrations in the past few weeks (areas to avoid)--demonstrations were economic-related as the subsidies on fuel were just lifted. Jordan prides itself on its hospitality and its being one of the safest countries in the world, but you would be negligent if you didn't keep your eye on the news--just like any country you'd travel to in the world.
Nov 28, 2012 4:32 PM
2Thanks for your response, Amy! It's useful to hear about experience "on the ground." I'll definitely check out the papers you mention, and look forward to visiting Jordan in the spring.
Nov 28, 2012 10:55 PM
Nov 29, 2012 11:30 PM
4Grace sums it up well. I've never heard of tourists coming to harm in Jordan in anything other than accidents (falls at Petra etc), and I've always felt completely safe there. Middle East being the Middle East, it's worth keeping an eye on the news just in case, but there's absolutely no reason at present to be concerned.
Dec 2, 2012 2:27 AM
5Arab spring and all that - sometimes there's unrest in a place. Unlikely in Jordan, but then I would have said Syria was the last place anything would happen - and just look.
But I'd go ahead and plan a trip. If there are any demonstrations, for example, around the time you're going they will be in Amman. In which case you simply avoid the capital and stay in Madaba, to and from the airport. Very unlikely there would be any problems in Wadi Musa (Petra) or Wadi Rum.
People aren't going to target tourists and tourism as so many depend on it for their livelihood.
Dec 2, 2012 3:01 AM
6Hi go2 long time no see you on forum
At the height of unrest the road to Petra was blocked,At Madaba big violant clashes between riot police and prtoesters burning fires who did a lot of damage to properties indlucing internet cafes attacked frequented by tourists.
No where is imune and unpredectible
I think and hope the worst is over as far as the crisis caused by price increase.
Dec 2, 2012 1:34 PM
Dec 15, 2012 11:33 PM
8I have been living, studying Arabic and working in Amman for 2 1/2 months at a well established and reliable language school which, whilst taking precautions into account, during the height of the unrest a few weeks ago still proceeded to take its students on a cultural excursions outside of Amman and to the North. The director here would not for one minute have put the students at risk if he felt there was severe threat. Jordan prides itself as being a 'safe haven' in the midst of the all the unrest. Having read the BBC news reports about the unrest and the previous bomb threat, I have realised the extent that the media can lead to scaremongering. Family have also contacted me willing me to return home due to these reports. Security levels are particularly strong here, so whilst any place in the world is likely to be at risk from violence and uprisings (and it is wise to keep your eye on the media) be aware that it can be slightly blown out of proportion by the western media. As amazeyngrace suggests, look at Jordan Times - although it is worth mentioning that the media is severely monitored here.
I have felt safer here than I have done living in London (I saw more violence in the London riots in summer 2011 than I have done here). In Amman, an protests tend to happen outside governmental buildings and in Downtown on Friday afternoons, however these are predominantly peaceful. It is sensible to keep you eyes and ears open, but as things stand, I would hope that there is no need to worry.
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