Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba’s economy is mainly based on tourism, and the port industry sector as it’s Jordan’s only coastal city.
Unfortunately, since the Syrian War and ISIS, Jordan is struggling to attract enough tourists to it’s premises, which was probably most conspicuous to us here, in Aqaba.
When we went to the beach a few miles below the city, we were shocked to find a totally deserted and neglected shore, as far as the eye can see. The beach was seemingly built out a couple of years ago.
We have walked along the empty beach for quite a while, before spotting a green patch with palm trees in the distance, a “mirage in the desert”. As we got closer we found out it was a gigantic private beach resort.
With our European outfit, it didn’t take long to convince the security guard who hardly spoke any English to let us in. Not as if I would ever want to spend a fortune to stay in a similar resort, but this does raise some concerns about the security of these places.
As we stepped into this fortress surrounded with walls, we found ourselves stepping on lush, green lawn, where tall, trimmed palm trees and hundreds of luxury apartments rose as far as the eye could see. But we hardly saw any guests.
Aqaba is famous for it’s coral reefs, and is believed to be one of the best diving spots in the world, so we were eager to find a good snorkeling spot here. Of course the resort had a perfect coral reef, so we quickly rented a pair of snorkeling gear and didn’t come out of the water until the end of the day, before catching a taxi and returning to our hotel in Aqaba.
At the time of writing, there was not much to see in Aqaba, it was packed with empty hotels, a few public parks, and a plethora of restaurants, some of them which serve great fresh seafood, and the traditional Jordanian cuisine. The Mosque of Ali Bin Abi Talib in the center of the city is probably the only architectural sight worth mentioning. Hopefully war in the region will end soon, and tourists will return in the future, relieving the government and the citizens of Aqaba who made big efforts to turn this part of the country into a sought after tourist destination.


We went check the beach south of Aqaba, and was shocked to find out that it was absolutely deserted

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