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1 May 2014

Enjoy our guide to Jordan's capital city

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East, Emirates has been flying to Amman for 29 years, but there is still no shortage of things to see and do in Jordan’s capital city. Tourists come from far and wide to experience Jordan’s world-renowned attractions such as Petra and the Dead Sea, but the capital has just as much to offer, from archaeological sites to the vast array of culinary delights offered at its many restaurants, which reflect the city’s large multicultural population.

Roman Theatre
Just a few minutes walk from downtown Amman, the restored Roman Theatre is one of the most spectacular remnants of the Roman city. The theatre, built during the reign of Emperor Antonius Pius (138 to 161AD), is cut into the hillside and seats approximately 6,000 people. Restored in the mid-20th century, the Roman Theatre is deservedly one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The theatre is still used for performances today. 

The Royal Automobile Museum
Whether you’re a car fanatic or not, The Royal Automobile Museum is well worth a visit. Built by order of King Abdullah II to honour his car-loving father, the late King Hussein, it is packed with numerous gleaming vehicles from the 1920s to the present day. The vehicles exhibited, as well as the museum’s library, image archives and video footage tell the story of Jordan’s development through the history of its transport.

Jordan Archaeological Museum
Built in 1951, Jordan Archaeological Museum (JAM) is located on Citadel Hill near one of the city’s most important historic sites, the Amman Citadel. The museum’s collection comprises artefacts from archaeological sites across Jordan, ranging from the Palaeolithic era to the present day. The museum’s list of treasures includes the plaster Ain Ghazal statues, which, dating from around 6,000BC, are among the oldest in existence; JAM was formerly home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are now housed in the new Jordan Museum.

Darat Al Funun
Run by the Khalid Shoman Foundation, Darat Al Funun contemporary art complex is located beside the ruins of a sixth century Byzantine church on the hillside overlooking downtown Amman. The complex includes an art gallery displaying work by both local artists and those from across the Middle Eastern, an art library, and workshops and studios for visiting sculptors and painters. Darat Al Funun hosts regular exhibitions, talks, workshops and film screenings. daratalfunun.org 

POPULATION: 1.055 million
CURRENCY: Jordanian dinar
HISTORICAL FACT: Amman, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, was originally built on seven hills, or jabals, each of which made up a single neighbourhood
INSPIRATIONAL CITIZEN: Prominent 20th-century Jordanian author and historian Suleiman Mousa, known for his groundbreaking work, TE Lawrence: An Arab View, which was published in several languages.
DID YOU KNOW? You can follow Jordan’s Queen Rania on Twitter at twitter.com/QueenRania. The profile reads: “A mum and a wife with a really cool day job...”
WHAT TO EAT: Ful, or fool, a popular breakfast dish usually made from fava beans, oil, lemon juice, pepper, cumin, parsley and onion, and scooped up with fresh bread



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