Moving to Jordan
The full name of this almost landlocked desert nation is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, reflecting its status as a constitutional monarchy under the rule of King Abdullah II of the Hashemite family. Borders with Iraq, Syria, Israel and Saudi Arabia and a port at Aqaba on the Red Sea cement Jordan’s position as an important power broker within the middle east region and explain the military patronage it receives from the United States, the UK and France.
Due to its strategically important location Jordan has always attracted the attention of empires. The Persians, Macedonian Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongols and Ottomans all attempted at various times to exert their influence over the region before the modern Kingdom of Jordan was established following the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. At this time Jordan annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem which were reclaimed by Israel in the Six Day War of June 1967.
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The turbulence of the region lasts to this day – the recent invasion of Iraq and continuing civil war in Syria as well as the fallout of the Arab Spring revolutions of 2010-11 have all given Jordan cause for concern and led to economic shockwaves. The population of around 6.5 million work in a fairly diversified economy that is nevertheless constrained by shortages of natural resources and water.
Tourism is one pillar of the economy – you can visit sites of historic and religious interest, from the ancient city of Petra to the excavated remains of biblical Bethabara, explore the incredible geological formations of the desert by camel, scuba dive in the Dead Sea, or even take advantage of Jordan’s excellent medical facilities – but that too has been adversely affected by recent regional unrest.
The capital Amman is home to many Western expatriates due to the preponderance of multinationals – DHL, HSBC and Citibank are just three global companies which use it as a regional headquarters – attracted by its widely-held status as the best place in the Middle East to do business.