Jordan Driving Guide 2021

Jordan is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.

Atnaujinta Balandžio mėn 9, 2021·9 min. Perskaityta
Driving Guide

Overview

If you long to see a kingdom somewhere in the Middle East, you can find a timeless empire in Jordan. Jordan is a land-locked country that is a crossroad of ancient civilizations and cultures, home of the holy river and blessed land, and a place of a modern and vibrant nation. You can see the country’s history and heritage by going to its valleys, mountains, and hills. Jordan is a country of world-class historical sites and breathtaking landscapes.

There are many great sites in Jordan. If you go to Petrash, you’ve already set foot in one of the seven wonders of the world. You can also experience ancient Rome’s glory in Jerash or visit the world’s beautiful desert in Wadi Rum. Jordan also boasts the Dead Sea, which is one of the lowest places on Earth. Above all the experiences, you’ll be welcomed by the kind Jordanian people who will lead you to the history and beauty of their lands.

How Can This Guide Help You?

You must know all the necessary and relevant information when you travel to a foreign country. This guide provides you the essential information you need before traveling to Jordan. The guide includes the country’s current border status and the top destinations you should visit. You do not need to worry about driving in Jordan as this guide includes how to get an International Driver’s Permit, how to rent a car, driving rules, and the country’s driving conditions.

Introduction

Due to the global pandemic’s unprecedented events, countries worldwide issued travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Traveling is not as easy as before since there are many documents you need to submit, and there are many protocols and conditions you need to meet to go to Jordan. You can plan your trip as long as you have the relevant information you need to travel.

Current Border Status and Updates

As of September 10, 2020, Jordan has reopened its borders for travelers and international guests. International flights resumed but with limited commercial routes. Travelers will enter Jordan via Queen Alia International Airport, outside Amman. If you are seeking to book a flight to Jordan, you should contact the airline directly. Three land borders have reopened on October 29, but Jordanian, Palestinian, and Saudi travelers are only allowed.

Also, note that the above information may change from time to time, so it is advisable to check the border status and travel restrictions from Jordan and your home country before traveling. You can check out the International Driver’s Association page to review the travel restrictions in Jordan: https://internationaldriversassociation.com/travel-restrictions/.

Entry and Exit Requirements in Jordan

Jordan’s Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC) released mandatory conditions before traveling to Jordan. Here is the list of things you should take note of before planing and going to the country:

  • Passengers are allowed to enter Jordan without a mandatory quarantine if you’re residing in the following “green countries” with low epidemiological risks: Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand
  • International travelers need to present a negative PRC test result taken at least 72 hours before boarding the flight
  • Travelers need to have valid health insurance that can cover COVID-19 treatment for the whole duration of intended travel to Jordan
  • Complete locator form and passenger health declaration
  • Get a QR code a day before boarding the flight
  • Travelers should install the AMAN tracking application on a mobile device
  • Upon arrival in Jordan, you need to pay 40 JD for a required PCR test

You also need to note that travelers arriving into the country should not be COVID-19 positive. You will not be allowed to enter Jordan if you are COVID-19 positive. If you tested COVID-19 positive during your stay in Jordan, you are required to go to a government hospital or facility for quarantine. After quarantine, you should have a negative PCR test before you can leave the government hospital.

Health Protocols Related to COVID-19 in Jordan

The government is imposing mandatory use of face masks in public transportation, business establishments, and government facilities. Non-compliance with wearing a face mask is subject to a fine of 20 to 50 JD. The government of Jordan continues to implement social distancing rules. For taxis, passengers are required to sit in the back seat. The maximum capacity limits on restaurants, hotels, and vehicles are at 50%.

General Knowledge About Jordan

Before you travel to Jordan or any country you intended to go to, you must know the country’s primary and general information. In this way, you’ll get an idea of what to expect, how you should behave, and how to relate with the local people.

Where Is Jordan Geographically Located?

Jordan is situated in Southwest Asia and is bordered by Saudi Arabia in the northwest, Iraq in the east, Israel in the west, Syria in the south, and the West Bank Region, or what is politically called the Middle East. Much of Jordan is a barren desert. The Arabian Desert mostly covers it, and the northwestern part of the country is part of the Fertile Crescent.

What Is Jordan’s History?

Jordan is separated from Ancient Palestine by the Jordan River, but the region played an important role in biblical history. Within its borders lies the ancient biblical kingdoms of Edom, Gilead, and Moab. The area is also an important trade center in powerful empires from the ancient world, such as the Akkadian and Ottoman empires.

In World War I, the Ottomans sided with the Centrals Powers, and the Arab Revolt started in Jordan. Ottoman Empire significantly weakened until it was defeated and dissolved in 1923. Jordan became a mandate of the British Empire until it became an independent kingdom in 1946, following World War II. Today, it is officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, an independent state with a rich past and a bright future.

What Is Jordan’s Government and Economy?

Jordan’s Government system is a constitutional monarchy as declared in its 1952 constitution. The king is the state’s chief, while the prime minister is the head of the government. The king appoints the prime minister, who will then choose its cabinet members. The ultimate authority still resides on the King with the power over the government’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

It was only in 1999 that Jordan introduced economic reforms. A year later, Jordan joined the World Trade Organization and made partial privatization of some state-owned enterprises. Jordan’s economy is relatively small, but it is well-diversified and primarily based on private enterprises. But due to the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Jordan’s economy is disrupted and has limited resources.

What Is Jordan’s Religion and Culture?

If you are seeking spiritual enrichment and cultural knowledge, then Jordan is an ideal place for you. Jordan values its religiously and ethnically diverse population, which is crucial to peace’s stability. The majority of Jordanians are Muslim, more than 92% are Sunni Muslim, 6% are Christians, and 1% are Shia or Sufi. As a predominantly Islamic country, Jordan observes the five fundamental creeds in Islamic traditions.

There is a strong connection of religion to the cultural aspect of the country. That’s why its culture is also based on Islamic elements. Since Jordan’s location is an intersection of 3 continents, such as Africa, Asia, and Europe, its culture has a great mix and characteristics that shaped people. Hospitality is the core aspect of Jordanian culture. People are very warm and friendly. Jordanians also give importance to the family.

What Are Languages Spoken in Jordan?

Arabic is the official language in Jordan. Almost the entire population, including the ethnic minorities, speak Arabic. Urban, rural, and Bedouin Jordanian are the Three varieties of Arabic are expressed in the country. English is widely understood and spoken in Jordan. As a British colony, English is the primary foreign language used in the country and is considered secondary. There is also a small French-speaking population in the country.

What Are Facts About Jordan’s Tourism?

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the total number of visitors reached 5.36 million in 2019. It is a 9 percent increase compared to 4.9 million in 2018. The surge in the number of tourists generated Jordan’s income contribution to $5.8 billion in 2019. The most popular tourist attractions in the country are the preserved historical cities of Petrash and Jerash. The tourism sector is the cornerstone of Jordan’s economy.

But with the unprecedented crisis brought by the global pandemic, Jordan’s tourism industry is under threat. Jordan closed its borders and implemented lockdowns. What was supposed to be a tourist destination became an empty street, with empty hotels and restaurants. In the first quarter of 2020, Jordan’s tourism revenues decreased by 10.17 percent, with a $1.1 billion loss. But the government has reopened its borders to attract tourists.

Why Is Jordan Worth Traveling to?

With a country full of historical heritage, Jordan is considered an “open-air museum.” Many empires have left a mark in the country, and you can find Ottoman palaces, Roman temples, and Crusader fortresses. There are also impressive archeological sites that will bring you back in time. Jordan is a kingdom of glory and beauty, marked with contrast that will definitely leave a place in your heart. It is truly a historical, cultural, and spiritual experience.

International Driver’s Permit in Jordan

Driving in Jordan will be more convenient if you already have the required documents to legally drive in the country. An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is your ticket to explore the roads and go to your most-awaited travel destination in Jordan. It is highly recommended to obtain an International Driving License in Jordan before going to the country to avoid any travel delays. Here are the things you need to know about an IDP in the country:

What is an International Driver’s Permit?

An International Driver’s Permit is a legal requirement you need to have if you want to drive or rent a car in a foreign country. It is an official document regulated by the United Nations that verifies that you are a holder of a driver’s license in your home country. An IDP is recognized in over 150 countries, and it translates your driver’s license information into 12 languages to help authorities overcome language barriers.

Does an IDP Replace A Local Driver’s License?

Although your IDP contains relevant and personal information such as your name, photo, and driver’s information, it does not replace your local driver’s license. An IDP is not a stand-alone document or a substitute for your local driver’s license, but it is only a translation of it. You can only use it for driving identification. International travelers with a local driver’s license and an International Driving License in Jordan are allowed to go to the country for a short term visit of up to six months.

Is a local driver’s license valid in Jordan?

According to the driver’s license requirement in Jordan, you must be at least 18 years old, and you already have your driver’s license valid in your home country to drive in Jordan. But it is highly recommended to have an IDP as some of the car rental companies require an IDP before you can rent a car. Driving in Jordan will be much more comfortable and hassle-free if you both have your IDP and your local driver’s license.

Who Can Apply For an IDP?

If you are already 18 years old with a valid driver’s license for about a year, you can apply for an IDP. Just submit the required documents and be approved to get your IDP. If you want to get your IDP in a few hours, you can have it through the International Driver’s Association for a fast and efficient transaction. Once you already have your IDP, you’re all set to rent a car and go drive in the places in Jordan.

What Are the Requirements to Apply for an IDP in Jordan?

Applying for an International Driving License in Jordan can be quite stressful as you need to submit all the requirements needed and go to the office locations. If you want to have faster processing of your documents, you can apply online through the International Driver’s Association. All you need to do is select an IDP plan, fill out the application form, upload your photos, pay for it, and wait for your approval. You can get your IDP in just 2 hours.

When Can I Apply For an IDP?

There is no specific date and time as to when you can apply for an IDP. But if you plan to travel to Jordan, you should apply for the IDP before your set travel date. Once you already secure your airplane ticket, you can have your IDP. In this way, you don’t need to rush and complete the documents required when you already arrive in Jordan. But if you need an IDP on short notice, you can apply online and get it after a few hours.

Do You Need an IDP to Drive in Jordan?

An IDP is not needed if you want to drive in Jordan. Still, it is highly recommended to get an IDP as it is a powerful tool that will translate your local driver’s license into an internationally recognized permit. It is an advantage, especially for travelers who want to drive in foreign countries. An IDP is regulated by the United Nations, and it is recognized in over 150 countries in the world. Your money would not be put to waste if you apply for an IDP.

How Long is an IDP Valid?

An IDP is valid for one year from the date of issue stated in the 1949 United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic. However, in the 1968 model, an IDP is valid for up to three years. Keep in mind that the validity of your IDP cannot exceed the validity of your local driver’s license, which means that your IDP is valid as long as your local driver’s license is not yet expired. So be sure you keep track of the expiration date of your driver’s license.

When Will I Use IDP?

An IDP is a useful document you can use to drive in foreign places as it translates your local driver’s license into several languages, including English. You can use your IDP in over 150 countries that recognize it as a legal driving document. Travel tours are great, but the best way to explore Jordan is to drive to all the places you want to go to. By driving in Jordan, you don’t need to depend on local transportation, and you don’t need to worry about commuting.

Is Driving in Jordan With a UK License Valid and Permitted?

If you do not have an IDP yet, the tendency is to worry whether you should get one or not. If you already have your UK Driver’s License, you can drive in Jordan. Driving in Jordan with a UK License is permitted as long as you intend to stay for at least 12 months and not beyond that period. Although an IDP is not required in Jordan, it is highly recommended as it is an official travel document that can serve as your identification.

Is An Indian Driving License Valid in Jordan?

If your home country is India and you already got your Indian Driving License, it is still valid in Jordan. You do not need to worry about an IDP. There is no special requirement needed for Indian citizens. As long as you have a valid local driver’s license, you are all set to go and drive in Jordan. Driving in Jordan with a foreign license is permitted as long as you are at least 18 years old and already have your local driver’s license.

Do You Need a Driving Test in Jordan Needed to Get an International Driving License?

If you’re not familiar with an IDP, you may worry about whether you need a driving test before getting an IDP, just like what you do to have your local driver’s license. Well, you do not need a driving test in Jordan to be able to get an IDP. All you need to do is submit the required documents, pay the application fee, and just wait for approval. So do not worry about the driving license test questions in Jordan.

An International Driving License in Jordan is an important document, just like your passport. Having an IDP has many advantages, especially if you want to have a convenient, flexible, and comfortable driving experience in Jordan. Your IDP can serve as your proof of identity that you are a legal driver so that you can easily rent a car and claim insurance. Just take note that an IDP does not diminish your obligation to follow traffic and road rules in Jordan.

Renting A Car in Jordan

Public transportation in Jordan usually connects only the major cities. Driving in Jordan is truly an advantage to freely go to many destinations in the country. To save you from the stress of commuting, you can take the fun of driving around the cities and meeting the locals. Take the challenge to freely explore Jordan’s historical sites and tourist spots. Renting a car and driving in Jordan is definitely an excellent choice to explore the ancient cities and vast desert.

What Are the Car Rental Companies in Jordan?

Many car rental companies offer convenient pick-up locations, including Jordan’s capital city, which is Amman. Whether you are looking for a car rental on a budget or you want to rent a luxury car, you will never be short of choice. Do some research on the car rental companies to find the right fit for you and your budget. Here are some of the rental companies:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Global Rent-A-Car
  • Hertz
  • Sixth
  • Thrifty Car Rental

Where to Rent a Car in Jordan?

There are different well-known international companies and Jordanian companies that provide car rental services in the country. These car rental companies offer different pick-up and drop-off locations from which you can choose. You can also find a wide range of car models available for short- and long-term car hire options. The top 5 places in which you can rent a car in Jordan are:

  • Amman Airport
  • Amman Al Bayader
  • Amman Kempinski Hotel
  • Aqaba Al Qudess Street
  • Aqaba King Hussein Inter Airport

You can rent a car in person, or you can just find a car rental near you only by searching for Jordan’s car rental location map. It is convenient and more comfortable to search online for the car rental companies’ nearest location. In this way, you can also check and compare prices, read reviews about the car rental services, and find the best rate.

What Documents Are Needed to Rent a Car in Jordan?

The two documents required to rent a car in Jordan are just your passport and your local driver’s license. You can also bring your International Driving License to Jordan for additional identification. A credit card is also needed so you can pay for the car deposit. It’s so easy to rent a car since you don’t need to present certain documents. All you need to do is find a rental agency, make a reservation, arrange for pick up, and understand the policies.

What Vehicle Types Can You Rent in Jordan?

Driving a rental car in Jordan will give you flexible access to the country’s tourist destinations, such as Petra, Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum. The most popular rental vehicle is the economy size, but you can also rent a full-size SUV and a luxury car, depending on your budget. Here are the types of vehicle you can rent:

  • Economy Car - This type of car is the most popular since foreign travelers can get in at a lower price and a good deal. You can drive this car at an affordable price. This excellent fuel economy car is fit for one driver and four passengers, with two luggage spaces available.
  • SUV Car - If you are traveling with your family, then this spacious car is for you. An SUV can accommodate seven passengers and two luggage spaces. You can also use this for your outdoor adventure since it has smooth drivability that matches your trip to mountains and hills. Those who want to go off the desert will certainly need a car with an excellent navigation system.
  • Van - If you are traveling by a large group and both the economy car and the SUV car is not too packed for you, you can rent a van. Driving this type of rental car in Jordan is perfect for your group adventure as it can accommodate nine to twelve passengers that are perfect for your group adventure.
  • Luxury Car - If you have the budget to rent high-valued and high-priced cars, you can definitely rent luxury cars such as the Mercedes Jaguar, BMW Series, or Audi. It’s time to flaunt what you’ve got.

What Are the Age Requirements?

Renting a car and driving in Jordan is allowed if you are at least 25 years old, and you must have a valid driver’s license for about a year. Age requirements may vary by car hire category. Although the minimum driving age in Jordan is 18 years old, you need to be at least 25 years old to be qualified to rent a car. The maximum age for renting a car in Jordan is 70 years.

How Much is the Car Rental Fee in Jordan?

The cost of a car rental depends on the car company and the type of car you choose. On average, a rental car costs 25-30 JD ($35-40) per day for a new model with insurance and air conditioning. Car rental from International companies is much more expensive than those which are locally based options. Arrange car hire ahead of time to have everything organized and to have a high chance to get a good deal and lower prices.

How Much is the Car Insurance Fee in Jordan?

You need to get car insurance to protect you against loss resulting from accidents. The cost of insurance may vary depending on the type of car, model, variant, personal accident cover, fire, theft, collision, third party liability coverage for passengers, and many more. These changing variables affect the cost of your car insurance and protection. You can research about the car insurance companies and compare quotes to save money.

What Are the Types of Car Insurance in Jordan?

You have many car insurance options to choose from in Jordan. You can avail car insurance depending on your need and your budget. It is vital to take note that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Car driving in Jordan will be much safer if you have car insurance to protect you from any unforeseen event. Here is the list of car insurance types:

  • Compulsory Insurance - it covers the liability of a driver, which causes damages such as bodily injury and material damage to a third party. This type of insurance is compulsory in Jordan’s law. Every vehicle owner is obliged to get mandatory insurance.
  • Complimentary Insurance - this type of insurance protects a part of a vehicle that is not covered in the compulsory insurance policy. Any damage or loss in any of the vehicle parts in cases of fire, burglary, theft, vandalism, and falling objects are covered by this insurance.
  • Comprehensive Insurance - Insurance companies directly issue this insurance, and it combines both compulsory and complimentary insurances.

What Are the Documents Required to Get A Car Insurance?

Car insurance is needed to be financially protected against any car damage, loss, theft, accidents, or any unforeseen events. The documents required are a valid passport and your local driving license valid at least for a year. Renting a car is easy in Jordan as these are just the documents you need to submit to get approval.

What Are the Advantages of Having Car Insurance in Jordan?

Getting car insurance will definitely give you peace of mind, especially when traveling and driving in a foreign country. Driving a rental car in Jordan with insurance offers financial protection against any damage, loss, or accidents and offers personal accident cover for a predetermined amount. You could be financially responsible for any damage due to an accident, fire, and theft without coverage. Car insurance is a good investment if you go car driving in Jordan.

The Road Rules in Jordan

As a tourist, driving in Jordan may seem a daunting task, especially if it is your first time going to a foreign land. Things will be easy if you know the traffic and road rules in the country. If you are armed with the relevant information, driving in Jordan will be smooth and safe.

What Are the Important Driving Rules in Jordan?

Be sure to know the essential driving rules in Jordan before exploring the beautiful places in the country. Here is the list of the vital driving rules you need to take note of:

  • The use of a mobile phone is prohibited when driving
  • Drunk driving is prohibited
  • The minimum age for driving in Jordan is 18 years old
  • Children must sit in the back seats
  • Driving in Jordan is on the right side, not the left side of the road
  • Local third-party insurance is mandatory
  • The speed limit in urban areas is 60 kph, 80 kph in rural areas, and 120 kph on highways
  • Drivers must carry their International Driver’s Permit, local driver’s license, passport, and insurance documents at all times

What Is the Law on Drunk Driving in Jordan?

Jordan is predominantly an Islamic country, and drunk driving in the country is strictly prohibited. There is a zero-tolerance policy on drink driving, and no amount of alcohol should be found in the blood. Authorities used a breathalyzer to measure the blood alcohol content from a breath sample. If you are found guilty of drunk driving, you should pay a fine or face a driving ban. Penalties can be severe, mostly when you are involved in an accident because of drunk driving.

What Is the Law About Overtaking?

Overtaking occurs mostly on straight road sections than in road curves. Dangerous overtaking maneuvers happen when a vehicle is overtaking in a short time, and when the opposing vehicle is at a relatively high speed. In Jordan’s law, you should not overtake on the left side of the road. Your driving license will be seized if you surpass in the wrong direction.

What Are the Seat Belt Laws in Jordan?

Wearing a seatbelt is an effective way to reduce the severe risk of fatality in car crashes. You must put your safety first while driving in Jordan. All front-seat passengers are required by the law to wear seat belts. Failure to do so will result in a spot fine of 15 JD. According to Jordan’s Traffic Law, children under the age of 10 must sit in the back seats. Always make sure you are wearing a seat belt for your added protection while driving.

What Is the Legal Driving Age in Jordan?

By the time you reach 18 years old, that’s the time you are allowed to legally drive in Jordan. You must also have a valid driving license in your country of residence for at least one year before you can drive in Jordan. Driving licenses are issued only to those people under legal age. You will be penalized if you drive when you are below the minimum age requirement and do not have a driver’s license.

What Is the Speed Limit in Jordan?

It is very tempting to drive fast when there’s less traffic on roads, especially in rural areas and highways. But you must prioritize your safety when driving in Jordan and take note of the speed limits in different regions of the country. It is essential to watch the signages or use the GPS. Police use speed monitoring trailers to detect drivers who are driving beyond the set speed limit. Here’s the urban, rural, and highway speed limit in Jordan:

  • Urban speed limit - 60 kilometers/hour
  • Rural speed limit - 80 kilometers/hour
  • Motorway and highway speed limit - 120 kilometers/hour

What Side of the Road Will You Drive on Jordan?

You may wonder whether driving in Jordan is on the left or right side of the road. In the UK and most former British colonies, such as India, people drive on the left road’s side. Driving in Jordan is on the right side, not on the road’s the left side, just like in most European countries and in the US.

What Are the Traffic Signs in Jordan?

Traffic signs are devices placed along or beside a road, highway, or path to guide, warn, and regulate traffic flow. You will see many traffic signs as you go driving in Jordan. Some traffic signs have words or symbols or both. In Jordan, directional signs are written in Arabic and English, so you do not have to worry about the road signs. The brown and blue signs sometimes indicate a tourist site. The following are the traffic signs:

  • Regulatory sign - this traffic sign in white squares or rectangles with black or red lettering. This sign gives commands or sets limits to control traffic. The essential regulatory signs are the “Yield sign” and “Stop sign.”
  • Speed sign - this sign is circular with a red border, which shows the maximum speed allowed on the road.
  • Warning sign - this alerts you on the changing condition of roads and the hazards along the way. Be sure to slow down your driving in Jordan or even stop when you see a warning sign.
  • International sign - information is conveyed in symbols which can be understood by drivers from different countries. As this sign is expressed in symbols rather than words, this sign can be understood without learning several languages.

What Is the Right of Way in Jordan?

Pedestrians always have the right of way. You must also know that when you are driving in Jordan, animals such as goats and sheep have the right of way all the time. A flock of animals may take your patience away since you need to let them pass the road, but you need to wait until they cross the street.

What Are the Driving Distances in Jordan?

Before you plan your trip to different tourist spots in Jordan, you need to take a look at the driving distances in Jordan so you will be able to drive in places near each other. By doing so, you will be able to save time.

  • Amman to Aqaba - 334 km (The route between these popular destinations has many interesting detours and it will take you approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes)
  • Amman to Madaba - 32 km (From Amman, you can reach the historic town of Madaba in less than 40 minutes)
  • Madaba to Karak - 88 km (1 hour and 30 minutes)
  • Balqa to Jarash - 54 km (1 hour and 10 minutes)

What Are the Parking Signs and Restrictions?

There is minimal paid parking in Jordan, but that does not mean that you should park your car anywhere you want to go. If you are blocking an entrance or exit way, or you’re dangerously blocking the driveway, your vehicle will likely be towed away. There are also no parking meters, but you should be aware of the local parking signs and restrictions. Only the capital city, Amman, has public car parks.

When Do You Use Car Horns?

If you are driving in Jordan, you can use a horn to warn other people and other vehicles of your presence, especially when approaching a bend in the road. Unlike in Western countries, the horn is usually used on Jordan's road. You will hear cars honking most of the time, especially when there are traffic jams. Only use your car horns to alert other people and other road users.

Even if it is tempting to drive fast, you need to follow driving rules in Jordan. You must follow driving rules to avoid accidents and to maintain peace and order on the roads. Neglecting and not following these rules may result in loss, accidents, and other unforeseen events. Always be a responsible driver who knows and follows driving rules in Jordan to secure your life and the life of other people.

Driving Etiquette in Jordan

You never know what will happen to you while driving in Jordan. Better be prepared and know the driving etiquette in unforeseen events during your trip. When driving in Jordan, always have your driver’s license and passport for your identification so you will not experience any travel delays.

What If A Car Breaks Down in Jordan?

If your car breaks down, it’s essential to prioritize your safety while driving in Jordan. If your vehicle is functional enough to maneuver, steer it out of the traffic and park it on the side, which is also visible to others. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other road users about your disabled vehicle. You need to call your car rental company so that the representative can advise you further on what to do, or you can also call the emergency hotlines.

Stay with your vehicle with your seat belt fastened until the help arrives at you. If you are traveling with children, make sure you lock all the car doors to prevent them from leaving the car. Stay calm and reassure them that help will be arriving. Next time, check and maintain your vehicle to avoid breakdowns.

What If A Policeman Stops You?

It may be scary and stressful if a police officer stops you while driving in Jordan. When this happens to you, do not be frightened if you did not violate any law. Stay calm and open your window. Pullover into a safe spot and make sure you are not obstructing the traffic flow. Usually, you should turn off your engine. Keep your hand visible to the police officer and, upon request, provide the necessary documents to show your identification.

It is also best to be reminded that you have legal rights and responsibilities when a policeman stops you while driving. Do not argue with the police officer since they just have the duty to maintain peace and order. Talk respectfully and politely. The police may only check your valid documents for identification. As long as you are driving in Jordan with a foreign license, passport, and you did not violate any driving rules; you’re good to go.

What If You Ask for Driving Directions?

Driving in Jordan as a tourist may be demanding at first, especially if you are in unfamiliar places. If you think you are lost on your way to your destination, you can ask the locals, and they can give you the driving directions. It is not hard to ask for driving directions since people can also understand English. You can communicate with Jordanian people to ask for recommendations to a specific place or direct you to your hotel or apartment.

What If There Are Checkpoints?

In your travel journey, you may be stopped once in a while for checkpoints. It may be somehow alarming if you see uniformed men standing with rifles. Do not be afraid or nervous. Just stay calm and present your valid documents for identification. Just approach the police officer at an average speed and open your window. Most of the time, just check your driver’s license and your passport for security purposes.

There will be several times that you will be stopped by the police. Checkpoints and police controls are common, especially near the borders. Remain calm as it is just part of the job of a policeman in checkpoints. Most of the time, the policeman will greet you with a warm and cheerful face and will say, “Welcome to Jordan.” You can continue driving to Jordan after passing the checkpoints

What Do You Need to Do in Emergency situations?

Nobody wants to be involved in accidents, emergency situations, and other unforeseen events. But it’s better to know what you need to do in case emergencies arise. If you are involved in an accident, call the police to attend the scene and report the situation.

The general emergency number in Jordan is 911. If you call it, you will be directed to an appropriate emergency service. Call this number in case of emergency:

  • Police - 911
  • Fire - 911
  • Ambulance - 911

Driving Situations and Conditions in Jordan

Driving conditions may vary from country to country. You may ask if it is safe driving in Jordan. Well, the primary goal and concern of the government and traffic engineers is road safety. But even though there are many efforts to improve road and security, Jordan is considered one of the world’s top countries with many traffic accidents involving fatalities and injuries.

How Frequent Are Vehicle Accidents in Jordan?

The increasing number of vehicles over the past five years contribute to traffic accidents in Jordan. According to the annual traffic accidents report in 2019, over 161,511 accidents occurred in Jordan, leaving 643 people dead. The most common type of road accidents is a traffic collision. People aged between 21 to 38 constitute approximately half of the number of drivers involved in road accidents.

What Are the Driving Conditions in Jordan?

When driving in rural and urban areas, you should be aware of drivers that do not give signals when changing lanes. You should also be mindful of the unmarked speed bumps and the animals crossing. The driving conditions in Jordan vary from place to place. One of the popular tourist destinations, the Desert Highway outside Aqaba, is quite dangerous due to its narrow and steep road. It is also crowded with trucks and heavy vehicles.

What Are the Road Situations in Jordan?

Watch out for the potholes and random speed humps on the roads and the ever-changing road conditions in different areas in Jordan. Also, be careful of the animals on the street, children playing, and the large trucks and busses. Be patient if you see a flock of sheep on the road, and it may take a while for them to clear the way. It is advisable to avoid driving at night, especially in metropolitan areas, due to poor road conditions and local drivers’ poor behaviors. Prioritize your safety when driving in Jordan.

Jordanian roads are particularly hazardous during the rainy season, from December to March. Driving in the capital city, Amman, is dangerous during summer, which has a surge of visitors from other regions and other countries. During Muslim Holidays, the highways are jam-packed with vehicles as Jordanian expatriates visit their families.

What Are the Traffic Conditions in Jordan?

Amman is the capital and the biggest city in Jordan. Expect heavy traffic, especially during the rush hour when people are going and returning to work. You can hear honks everywhere. Be extra careful when driving in Amman since the streets in the city center are narrow. Roads are hazardous in the summer months, from June to September and the rainy season, from December to March, so put your safety first when driving in Jordan.

Are Jordanians Safe Drivers?

Even if you drive carefully and safely, it is necessary to know how the local drivers and other road users go. Jordanians are risky maneuvers, so you need to be extra careful on the road. The local drivers do not give a signal to other road users when changing lanes. They can also be aggressive, especially when driving on highways. Always be cautious when going and still be a responsible driver to prevent any road accidents.

Is It Safe Driving in Jordan?

In general, driving in Jordan is safe. You just need to pay attention to animals crossing the road, speeding drivers, speed bumps, and even multiple cars in one lane. Just be extra careful because most of the time, locals do not use light signals or other indicators when changing lanes or changing directions. As long as you are a responsible driver and follow driving rules, it is safe driving in Jordan.

Is Jordan Using KpH or MpH?

There are two units of measurements used to set speed limits, namely MpH (miles per hour) and KpH (kilometers per hour). There are speed limits implemented in every country globally to ensure road users’ safety. In Jordan, KpH is used as the measurement for the speed limit. The government set the speed limits based on the type of road and the vehicles using the road.

Driving in Jordan as a tourist may be challenging, especially if you do not know all these road situations and Jordan’s driving conditions. It is a must that you follow all the driving rules to prevent any accidents.

Things to Do in Jordan

Driving in Jordan is one way to explore the country. You can travel the country for a few days, a week, or even a month, but it seems like this period is never enough to know and explore the countryside.

Is It Possible to Apply for Residency in Jordan As a Driver?

If you want to work in Jordan as a driver, you can request the issuance of residence with the intent to work. You’ll be working closely with your employer and the Jordan Ministry of Interior. First, secure your job as a driver, then your employer will get a work permit approval from the Ministry of Interior. Once done, submit all the required documents and pay a fee to get your employer file. The Embassy of Consulate of Jordan will give you your visa.

Can I Drive As a Tourist in Jordan?

Driving is the perfect way to explore Jordan. You can submit the required documents and rent a car. Tourist driving in Jordan is permitted as long as you have your passport and your local driver’s license. The International Driving License in Jordan will also serve as your additional identification. So what are you waiting for? Travel and explore Jordan’s kingdom.

Can I Apply As a Driver in Jordan?

You don’t need to worry about the driving test & the driving license test questions in Jordan. Of course, you need to have a vehicle that meets the car standards in Jordan. You can apply as a driver in the country as long as you completed the following required documents:

  • Proof of age (minimum age required is 21)
  • Driver profile photo
  • Valid Jordanian Driver’s License
  • Judicial Clearance document
  • Valid Vehicle Registration document

Can I Work As a Travel Guide in Jordan?

Many cultures are established in Jordan, most notably the Islamic, Greek, and Roman civilizations, contributing to its history and diversity. Before you become a travel guide in Jordan, you must have sufficient and excellent knowledge about the country and its culture.

In the tour guide program of Ammon Applied University College, the program entry requirements for the applicants are the following:

  • A Jordanian nationality and a national number
  • Must hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in any major from an accredited college
  • Should be 20 years old and above
  • Physically and mentally fit, supported by a health certificate
  • A clean criminal record
  • Any exceptions that don’t fulfill the requirement should be approved by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
  • Pass a written and oral language exam
  • Must pass an exam conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The Top Road Trip Destinations in Jordan

Jordan can be traversed through road trips as the country is interconnected. There are laid-out structures of roads, and most of the locations have short driving distances with each other so that you can go to the archaeological ruins, ancient towns, desert, and even the Dead Sea. Plan your trip ahead so you can visit all these tourist destinations in the country.

Amman

The capital city of Amman is a great start for your trip. The history, arts, and business genuinely thrive in this place. There are ancient Citadels, Roman temples, Byzantine churches, and even an Archaeological Museum where you can see ruins everywhere you go. There are many first-rate restaurants, hotels, galleries, and shops in Amman.

Driving Directions:

  • From Queen Alia International Airport, get on Airport Road / Route 15.
  • Continue straight onto Airport Road / Route 35.
  • Turn left onto Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq Street.
  • Turn right onto Abdoun Corridor.
  • Turn right to merge onto Pr. Hashim Street.
  • Turn right toward Zahran Street.
  • Merge onto Al-Kulliyah Al-Elmeyah Al-Islameyah Street.
  • At the roundabout, exit and stay on Al-Kulliyah Al-Elmeyah Al-Islamiyah Street.
  • Keep left to continue on Zahran Street to reach Amman.

Madaba

Known as the “city of mosaics,” Umayyad and Byzantine mosaics can be found in Madaba. One of the houses with the famous mosaic floor depicting a map of Palestine and the Nile Delta can be found in St. George’s Church houses.

Driving Directions:

  • Head west on Zahran Street and toward Tawfiq Abu Al-Huda Street.
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit toward Abdoun.
  • Take the exit toward the Airport / Dead Sea.
  • Take the ramp onto Airport Road / Route 35.
  • Take the ramp onto Madaba Highway / Route 35.
  • Drive to K. Talal Street heading to Madaba.

Mount Nebo

The mountain where Moses was allowed to see the Holy land but cannot enter it is Mount Nebo. Since the first days of Christianity, Mount Nebo has been a holy place for pilgrimage. You can have a great view of places over Jordan, the Dead Sea, and even Israel in the mountain. The best place to go to Mount Nebo is in the early morning or late in the evening. And if the weather is clear, you can see Jerusalem.

Driving Directions:

  • From Madaba, head northwest toward Al-Yarmouk Street.
  • Turn left toward Palestine Street.
  • Turn right onto Palestine Street.
  • Continue onto Al-Quds Street.
  • Turn right and reach Mount Nebo.

The Dead Sea

For thousands of years, people went to the Dead Sea in search of curative secrets. The content of minerals and salts in the Dead Sea water can be used for therapeutic purposes as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Due to low humidity and high atmospheric pressure, the air is exceptionally oxygenated here.

Driving Directions:

  • From Mount Nebo, head southwest toward Al-Quds Street.
  • Continue on Al-Quds Street. to Swemeh.
  • Turn right onto Jordan Valley Highway / Route 65.
  • Make a U-turn and reach your destination to the Dead Sea beach.

Jerash

This biblical land of Gilead is located in the north of Amman. This city lies in a fertile valley and home to over 25,000 people. This city is well preserved as you can find theatres and temples built hundreds of years ago. Some churches were built with mosaic floors, and some of the temples are transformed into churches.

Driving Directions:

  • Take Abu Bakr As-Seddik Street to Route 35.
  • Follow Route 35 to Airport Road in Amman.
  • Continue straight onto Airport Road.
  • Continue onto Abdallah Ghosheh Street.
  • Turn left onto Mecca Street.
  • Make a slight right toward King Abdullah II Street.
  • Drive from Route 35 to Jerash.

Ajloun

In northern Jordan, you can find the city of Ajloun, the home to Ajlan Castle. This fortress is located on a high peak overlooking the town, a strategic location for controlling iron mines. Today, travelers can access the fort through the iron footbridge.

Driving Directions:

  • Head southwest.
  • Slight left onto Route 20.
  • Turn right to stay on Route 20.
  • Turn right (signs for `Ayn Janna).
  • Turn left onto Al-Hayy Al-Janubi Street.
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Abdallah Ben Al-Hussein Street to reach Aljoun.

Kerak

Located between Jerusalem and Shobak, Kerak was chosen by the Crusaders as their location due to its advantageous location. Kerak is situated on a hilltop 1,000 meters above the sea and is surrounded by a valley on its three sides. Al-Karak, known as “Kerak” in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, is a city known for its Crusader castle.

Driving Directions:

  • From Queen Alia International Airport, head east on Airport Road
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Airport Road.
  • Keep left at the fork and merge onto Desert Highway / Route 15 / Route 45M.
  • Merge onto DesertHighway / Route 15 / Route 45M.
  • Take the exit toward Al Karak / Al Karak Castle.
  • Continue onto Al-Karak Highway / Route 50.
  • Follow Al-Karak Highway / Route 50 to K. Hussein Street in Kerak.

Petra

As renowned as the World Heritage site and known as “the red rose city half as old as time,” over 800 monuments can be found in Petra. From 800 BC to 100 AD, the Nabataean Arabs built Petra. As of today, Petra is the number one tourist attraction in Jordan.

Driving Directions:

  • From Ma’an, head north on Al-Mudawwara Highway / Route 45M.
  • Turn left onto Maan Shobak Road.
  • Turn left onto Route 826.
  • Sharp left onto Kings Highway / Route 35.
  • Continue onto Tourism Street and reach your destination.

Wadi Rum

The immensity and the stunning landscape shapes of Wadi Rum creates a magical atmosphere. Known as the “Valley of the Moon,” Wadi Rum, is the location of the film “Lawrence of Arabia.” It is a desert worth exploring.

Driving Directions:e3

  • From Wadi Musa, continue to Kings Highway / Route 35.
  • Turn right onto Kings Highway / Route 35.
  • Turn right onto Desert Highway / Route 15 / Route 47M.
  • Make a U-turn.
  • Follow Wadi Rum Road to your destination.

Aqaba

Apart from its several ancient sites and long history, Aqaba is known for its all year round crystal clear water. It has the most stunning coral reef in the Red Sea. With an extensive excavation on the sea, it is likely to be the biblical port, Solomon.

Driving Directions:

  • From Wadi Rum, follow Wadi Rum Road to Highway / Route 15 / Route 47M.
  • Turn right onto Desert Highway / Route 15 / Route 47M.
  • Make a U-turn at ‫Desert Highway‬‎.
  • Keep left to continue on Aqaba Highway / Route 80.
  • Continue onto Al-Hussein Bin Ali Street.
  • Follow Al-Hussien Bin Ali Street to your destination.

What a great wonder Jordan is! Truly this Arab Kingdom is worth traveling to. Nothing will prepare you for how spectacular the country is and how it is deeply rooted in history. Driving in Jordan with a driver’s license is one of the best ways to explore the country.

References:

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