Location: 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 Occupied West Bank. Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the port city of Aqaba, located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Geographic co-ordinates: 29 – 34 00 N, 35 – 39 E

Population: 5,460,265 (July 2003 est.)

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)

Capital: Amman (1.9 million / 38% of total population)

Language: Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken .

Currency and Exchange Rates: Jordan’s currency is the Jordanian Dinar, or JD. It is subdivided into 1000 fils, or 100 qirsh or piasters. It appears in paper notes of 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, and 0.5 JD denominations. Coins come in denominations of 1 JD, 0.5 JD, 0.25 JD, and 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils.

The rate of exchange is 1 JD = 1.42 US $.

Public Holidays:
January 1 – New Year
January 30 – King Abdullah’s Birthday
Shawal 1st for 3 Days Eid Al Fitr
The AL Hijeh 1st for 4 Days Eid Al Adha
Muharram 1st Hijra New Year
May 1 – Labor Day
May 25 – Independence Day
12 Rabi’ 1 Prophet’s Birthday
November 14 – King Hussein Remembrance Day
November 16 – El Issra’ Wall-Mi’raj
December 25 – Christmas

Time: Time is GMT + 2 (in winter, +3 in summer), or 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time. Summer time is observed from April through September.

Climate and Geography: Jordan has a combination of Mediterranean and arid desert climates, with Mediterranean climates 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 40s (105-115 F) in the desert regions. Rainfall averages vary from 50mm (1.97 inches) annually in the desert to as much as 800 mm (31.5 inches) in the northern hills, some of which falls as snow.

The Government: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with representative government. The reigning monarch, His Majesty King Abdullah II, is the Head of State, the Chief Executive and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, or Cabinet. The cabinet is responsible before the elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government. Since 1989, all elements of the Jordanian political spectrum have embarked together on a road to greater democracy, liberalization and consensus building. These reforms, which were guided by the late King Hussein, have placed Jordan on an irreversible road to democratization. The result has been greater empowerment and involvement of everyday citizens in Jordan’s civic life, contributing to increased stability and institutionalization which will benefit the country far into the future.

The Economy: Since His Majesty King Abdullah II assumed the throne in 1999, Jordan has embarked on some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. The Jordanian government has worked closely with the IMF, practiced careful monetary policy, and made significant progress with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently in order to guarantee Jordan’s membership in the Word Trade Organization (2000), an association agreement with the European Union (2000), and a Free Trade Agreement with the United States (2000). Jordan has also signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the United States.

Labor force: 1.26 million

GDP: purchasing power parity – $22.8 billion (2002 est.)

Real GDP growth: 3.5% (2002 est.)

Main Exports: Phosphates, potash, fertilizers, chemicals & pharmaceuticals
Main Imports: Crude oil, wheat, sugar, meat, machinery, transport equipment & spare parts

Useful Links:
Ministry of Planning – www.mop.gov.jo
Ministry of Finance – www.mof.gov.jo
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities – www.mota.gov.jo
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology – www.moict.gov.jo
National Information Center – www.nis.gov.jo
Department of Statistics – www.dos.gov.jo
Royal Jordanian Geographic Center – www.RJCG.gov.jo
Central Bank of Jordan – www.cbj.gov.jo
The Community Knowledge Center – www.ckc-undp.org.jo

For more on Jordan at ITKT