Aqaba is known as Jordan’s window to the sea, as it is the countries only seaport. Aqaba is a contrast to the rose coloured deserts to the North, and is home to pristine sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs.
Aqaba has been an important settlement since before 4,000BC due to its strategic location on the trading routes between Asia, Africa and Europe. The city was populated by the Edomites in its early days, followed by the Arab Nabetaeans who populate the area extensively. Aqaba has been known by many names, such as Berenice by the Greeks and Aila and Aelana by the Romans. The city then came under the hands of the Islamic Caliphate and then passed to such dynasties as the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Mumluks and the Ottomans.
The resort town of Aqaba is well known for its beaches and luxury hotels, and caters for all types of tourist, whether you are looking to relax in one the Turkish baths which date back to around 306AD, or if you prefer a little more action, windsurfing and scuba diving are readily available throughout the resort. The reef in Aqaba is thriving and has an untold variety of coral and fish. Many fish such as Clownfish, Picasso triggerfish, Goby, Sea Anemone, Parrotfish, Pipefish and many more can be seen darting through the reef.
The resort is also home to many good quality restaurants and coffee shops offering local dishes such as Mansaf, Knafeh and Baqlawa desserts. Aqaba is set to be transformed over the coming years, as it has been chosen as the site of a new waterfront building project. These new developments will feature manmade water structures, high-rise residential and commercial buildings, and many more tourist services.