Jordan Country Facts

al-ʾUrdunniyyah
Capital city Amman
Surface 92,300 km²
Population 11,043,000
Road network length 8,000 km
Length of highway network 190 km
First highway 2011
Motorway name ?
Traffic drives Right
License plate code HKJ

Jordan, formally the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a country in western Asia, located in the Middle East, has 11 million inhabitants and is approximately 2.5 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Amman.

Geography

Jordan is located in the Middle East, with a very short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba. The country borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The country measures approximately 390 kilometers from north to south and 355 kilometers from east to west. Large parts of Jordan consist of uninhabited desert, especially in the east and south. The majority of the population lives in the northwest of the country, where the landscape is more hilly. The highest point is the 1,854 meter high Jabal Umm ad Dami in the extreme south of Jordan. The lowest point is the Dead Sea at -408 meters. Only 2% of Jordan’s land area is suitable for agriculture. The coastline is 26 kilometers long around the city of Aqaba, but the country also has a 50 kilometer coastline on the Dead Sea.

Northwest Jordan has a Mediterranean climate, but is very dry for much of the year. The interior and south is even drier and has a desert climate. The average maximum temperature in Amman ranges from 13°C in winter to 33°C in summer. Precipitation falls almost completely in the period November-March. In winter, snow sometimes falls in northern Jordan.

Demographics

At the beginning of the 20th century, Jordan only had a limited population of about 200,000 in 1920. It was not until the 1960s before the 1 million inhabitants were exceeded, after which the population growth accelerated and in 2018 the threshold of 10 million inhabitants was exceeded. The vast majority of the population lives in northwestern Jordan. The country has 10 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, of which the capital Amman with 1,350,000 inhabitants is by far the largest. Zarqa and Irbid are the second and third city. About 84% of the population lives in the cities. About 98% of the population is Arab. About 2 million Palestinians live in Jordan. Arabic is spoken in Jordan, English is relatively widely spoken in the business world.

Economy

The country has a relatively diverse economy, divided into trade, finance, transportation, mining and manufacturing. However, the government plays a fairly large role in the Jordanian economy. The country has to import a large part of its food because there is a shortage of water and the vast majority of the land area is not suitable for agriculture. The country does not have many raw materials, natural gas was discovered in 1987 but its reserves are very small compared to the other countries in the region. The country has the potential to extract shale oil, but the costs are relatively high. Tourism plays a relatively important role, Jordan is one of the most stable and accessible countries in the Middle East and has several tourist attractions.

History

Jordan has been inhabited since prehistoric times and was developed during ancient times. The Nabatean Kingdom existed between 400 BC and 106 AD, when it was annexed by the Roman Empire. This later became part of the Byzantine Empire and the area came under the rule of the Ottomans from the late Middle Ages. After the Arab revolution against the Ottoman rule in 1916, the country was divided by the French and British. The southern part of the region came under British Mandate and was called Transjordan. In 1946 this became an independent country. During the Israel-Arab War of 1947-1948, it took possession of the West Bank and controlled the area as an integral part of Transjordan until it lost it in the 1967 Six Day War. Jordan officially gave up claims to the West Bank in 1988 and became the second Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East, but a lack of raw materials and a shortage of water due to the rapid population growth from the mid-20th century caused the country to develop somewhat slowly economically.

Road Network

Jordan’s main road network.

Jordan’s road network is relatively well developed, with approximately 8,000 kilometers of paved roads, 750 kilometers of which are double-lane roads, of which approximately 190 kilometers have been developed as fully-fledged motorways. In Jordan you drive on the right. The road network consists of a larger network in the northwest around Amman and Irbid, and several transit routes to other parts of the country, especially the route from Aqaba via Amman to the Syrian border. There is less traffic towards Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Jordan is also a supply route for the Palestinian territories.

The main road is Highway 15, which has been extended almost its full length as a double-lane road. This road is 385 kilometers long, and runs from the Syrian border via Amman to Aqaba. Route 35 is also a major highway, passing Amman to Irbid. The other double-lane roads are shorter stretches in the Amman region. The city of Amman has a fairly developed road network, with many grade separated intersections and highway-like sections.

Although Jordan had more than 600 kilometers of dual carriageway, there were few real highways in the country. Amman’s eastern bypass, which opened in 2011, was the first full-fledged highway. In 2018, 120 kilometers of Highway 30 between Al Zarqa and the border with Saudi Arabia was extended to a highway. Later, a western bypass of Irbid as a motorway was also opened.

Highways in Jordan

There is no official highway status in Jordan. Although there are hundreds of kilometers of 2×2 lane roads, in many cases these roads have variable degrees of grade separation. In the capital, Amman, there are two-lane roads that are largely grade separated, but also have substandard features, such as tight connections or conflict-free T-intersections. However, a number of corridors have been developed more fully;

  • Amman Airport Highway: Highway 15 & Highway 35: 30 kilometers
  • Amman Bypass: 40 kilometers
  • Highway 30 between Zarqa and the border with Saudi Arabia: 120 kilometers

Also, the western bypass of Irbid has been constructed as a highway, construction started in 2011 but the highway was not ready in 2018.

Major Roads in Jordan
Highway 5 • Highway 10 • Highway 15 • Highway 20 • Highway 25 • Highway 30 • Highway 35 • Highway 40 • Highway 50 • Highway 55 • Highway 60 • Highway 65

Road numbering

Jordan ‘s road numbering system shares many similarities with Israel ‘s, with north-south routes having odd numbers and east-west routes even numbers. Routes 5, 15, 25, 35 and 65 are major north-south axes, routes 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 are major east-west axes, for example, route 40 is the Amman to Baghdad road. The current road number system was introduced around 1985.

Signage

In Jordan, blue signposts with white letters are used in both Arabic and English, which are also official languages ​​in the country. Road numbers are indicated in a green area with a yellow frame and yellow numbers, very similar to the exit number for Belgium.

 

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