Jordan Risk Report
Security travel advice for Jordan
Threat level: Medium-High
Travel anywhere within a 5km radius of the Syrian border is highly advised against due to the present conflict in Syria. You should avoid all but essential travel when possible. It is also highly recommended that you avoid all but essential travel to areas within 5km of the Iraq border too, again due to the conflict in the country.
There is a high security risk and threat of terrorism in Jordan. In 2012 the government announced that it had intervened in a terrorist plot which appeared to be targeting western interests in the capital city. Visitors should ensure they are on high alert at all times during their stay and be particularly mindful of suspicious behaviour.
Recent Security Events
On the 18th of December 2016, armed men killed 10 people outside of the popular tourist attraction Kerak Castle in the city of Al-Karak. Although nobody has yet claimed responsibility for this attack, it is thought that it may be related to the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. One of the persons killed in this attack was a Canadian National.
One week following this attack four police officers were killed during a raid on the suspected shooters compound. This raises new concerns about the rise of Islamic militants in Jordan.
In June 2016, Jordan closed it northern and eastern borders making them ‘closed military zones’. This was in response to a suicide bomb that killed 6 soldiers in an area located near Syria and Iraq – the closure took immediate effect and remains closed.
Jordan borders both Syria and Iraq and as such violent extremist groups associated with those countries such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra pose a serious threat to the country. Jordan took an active part in attempts to eliminate ISIS resulting in ISIS released a statement that threatened to retaliate to the American led campaign against it which heightened the threat of terrorist attacks and terrorist-related behaviour. In their statement they encouraged attacks against citizens of countries involved.
There are regularly political demonstrations within Jordan although since 2011 the scale and seriousness of this has significantly reduced. You should avoid any large gatherings as they could turn violent quickly.
Jordan is a member of the United Nations, World Health Organisation and International Monetary Fund amongst other specialised agencies. It has bilateral relations with 17 countries, many of them western countries including United Kingdom and United States of America. Relations have strengthened in recent years through Jordan’s participation in peace making attempts across the Middle East as well as enforcing UN sanctions placed on Iraq.
You need to have an international driving permit to drive in Jordan. You should also take out third party travel insurance for your vehicle in the country. It is advised that you do not drive outside of the Amman metropolitan area at night time as the rural roads are barely lit and fellow road users may drive careless and erratically.
Drivers often do not follow road regulations and drive aggressively. You should drive with caution and remain alert throughout your journey. The rainy season can lead to flooded and even snow-coated roads which may prove difficult to pass. You should not try and drive if advised not to.
Religion: Islam (Sunni Islam)
Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Time now in Amman:
Most tourists will require a valid passport as well as a visa in order to enter Jordan. A single entry visa can be issued on arrival to the country which entitles you to 1 months stay in Jordan. BE aware that there are certain crossings that do not issue entry visas and this includes the Wadi Araba/South Border crossing (Aqaba/Eilat) and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (the other crossing on the Jordan/Israel border).
If you are planning to combine travel to Jordan with other countries such as Israel, it is recommended that you apply for a multiple entry visa from your local Jordanian Embassy prior to travel.
It is advised that visitors to Jordan are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations.
Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Jordan, if you have been in a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Outside of the capital, Amman, medical facilities are basic and often understaffed. Emergency medical treatment is usually only available in Amman and Aqaba, therefore you should purchase medical insurance that will cover you for transport to these places or medical evacuation if necessary. Ambulances can be slow to arrive and staff can often be lacking in adequate skills.
Many hospitals are owned and run privately meaning that you may be required to pay before treatment occurs. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink plenty of water during your stay in Jordan as the temperature in summer months is extremely high, often leading to severe dehydration.
U.S. Embassy Amman
Telephone: +962 (6) 590 6000
Telephone Emergency After-Hours: +962 (6) 590 6500
British Embassy Amman
(PO Box 87) Abdoun,
Telephone: +962 (6) 590 9200
Other useful info
Medical emergency: 199
Fire emergency: 199