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Boj V2


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Jordan’s business, investment, art and tourism facets are landscaped in the finest publishing model held in your hands. ‘Best of Jordan’ showcases companies of positive contributions to the country at large, and individuals whose entrepreneurial endeavors left inspirational marks on the society. In each chapter, we highlight the figures who interlace to ultimately form the versatile sectors of Jordan.

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Boj V2

  1. 1. FOREWORD International Group Publisher Sven Boermeester Publisher & Managing Group Editor Lisa Durante Publisher Imad Abdel Hadi Welcome to ‘Best of Jordan’ General Manager Ammar Abdel Hadi vol. 2, where the Kingdom’s Project Manager Jamileh Kharouba achievers are brought Account Manager Diala Abu Jaber together to tell their colorful Editor stories to the world. Mirna Khalfawi Senior Writer Sameh Abu Jarur In this unique publication, Jordan’s business, investment, art and tourism Creative Director facets are landscaped in the finest publishing model held in your hands. ‘Best Rami Delshad of Jordan’ showcases companies of positive contributions to the country at large, and individuals whose entrepreneurial endeavors left inspirational marks Design & Layout on the society. In each chapter, we highlight the figures who interlace to AbdelHadi Advertising & Marketing ultimately form the versatile sectors of Jordan. Printing National Press Through vibrant visuals and perceptive editorials, this fresh second volume Contact details demonstrates the innovation of the people who endorse Jordan’s rapid socio- AbdelHadi Advertising & Marketing economic developments with wholehearted passion. The diverse entities we Tel: +962 6 5660780 reveal share the denominator of strengthening the Kingdom’s foundation, as it Fax: +962 6 5660781 inches closer to the heart of the global community by the day. Website As part of ‘Global Village Partnerships’ that build global business networks via qualitative, annual books, the participants of ‘Best of Jordan’ automatically link Published by to world readership that is braced by niche distribution internationally. AbdelHadi Advertising & Marketing Under franchise license from Whether as a corporate gift or an engaging addition to your world business Global Village Partnerships Ltd. references, ‘Best of Jordan’ is an ideal exposé of the country’s dynamic Disclaimer contribution and pulsating presence in the region. In the forthcoming pages, Every effort has been made to ensure the you’ll gain an exciting insight into the momentous aspects which play a key accuracy of the information in the Best of role in driving Jordan to the summits of success. Jordan vol. 2 publication. Neither Best of Jordan nor Global Village Partnerships Ltd. take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Browse Jordan at its best! All rights reserved No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system. 4 Best of Jordan
  2. 2. Team ‘Best of Jordan’ Best of Jordan 5
  5. 5. 8 Best of Jordan
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  7. 7. “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” -Oscar Wilde
  8. 8. Best of Jordan CHAPTER ONE
  9. 9. The Greater Amman Municipality BEST OF JORDAN Metropolitan Growth “A livable city is an organized city with a soul” -GAM’s motto The Greater Amman Municipality’s (GAM) motto, as articulated by HE Mayor Omar Maani, reflects the dreams and aspirations of the 2.2 million inhabitants of the vibrant capital of Amman. It is an embodiment of the upbeat optimism of a city waking up to a new era. It was this same spirit that helped it gain the World Leadership Award in December 2007, and manifest its ambitious plans as identified in the innovative Amman Master Plan. The Award propelled the city into global recognition, and GAM into a predominant role in the realization of that vision. “ ‘A livable city is an organized city with a soul,’ that is the motto that we at Greater Amman Municipality are working to solidify. Our goal is to maintain the city’s heritage, regenerate the urban spaces and create more public spaces for the community to interact outdoors. By achieving that goal, we will have an inclusive city and maintain the soul of Amman. Amman is our special city and capital; there are many projects that we are embarking upon, such as increasing the green space, play grounds, and facilities for families and youth to interact and exchange ideas. The Greater Amman Municipality is also engaged in the culture movement of Amman; we believe our young society have talent that needs to be fostered and encouraged.” HE Mayor Omar Maani 12 Best of Jordan
  10. 10. Faced with expansion in 2007 from 700 square The High Rise Towers district includes four km to 1700 square km, and an expected separate zones. Firstly is Amman’s New Central population growth to reach 6.4 million in 2025, Business District (CBD), which is more commonly Amman’s Master Plan was seen as a critical and referred to as the Abdali development site - necessary milestone. GAM’s role predominately Amman’s upcoming major urban re-generation focuses on the city’s key infrastructures to make project - set to become a national and regional it more livable and more attractive to tourism business hub. Secondly, the Central Parkway, and foreign investment alike. Additionally, GAM comprising of a parkway development with four concentrates on improving the livelihood of its clusters of mid-rise developments nestled in a community through the promotion of industrial, park setting in Abdoun Area. The third district, commercial, and residential growth. This the Amman Northern Gateway, is located in concentration encompasses five distinctive Al-Jubayhah north of Al-Shaheed Ring Road strategies and policies; The High Rise Towers and east of the Queen Rania Road that serves Plans, The Corridors Intensification Strategy, The the University District and Al-Hussein Youth Interim Rural Residential Policy, The Airport Land City. Finally, the Amman Southern Gateway is Use Concepts Plans, and the Interim Industrial adjacently located east of the Airport road, and Land Plans. framed by Wadi Abdoun Corridor Road and Jabal Arafat Road. It is the southern gateway into Amman located at the Airport Road. Best of Jordan 13
  11. 11. BEST OF JORDAN Under the Corridor Intensification Strategy, GAM the character of some of Amman’s major improve the public transit system throughout will encourage a variety of developments to corridors into streets that will ‘define’ the city. the city, based on the belief that sustainable ensure adequate transportation, urban design Zahran Street, a main pillar of these efforts, is growth of Amman can only be achieved with the and other considerations such as creating a being revitalized with green boulevards, lined implementation of a modern transit system. pedestrian and green city. A major part of the with mixed use residential, commercial and Corridor Intensification Strategy is to transform retail developments. The strategy also seeks to 14 Best of Jordan
  12. 12. The stated purpose of the Interim Rural Residential Policy is to protect valuable agricultural lands, support traditional lifestyles, and create a connected natural heritage system. The Interim Rural Residential Policy comes as a response to increasing interest in residential developments, particularly large scale compound and gated community developments in GAM’s urban fringe and rural areas. In order to tackle these challenges, the Amman Master Plan has designated four rural growth areas around which future developments will be clustered. Located around existing villages, these future centers rationalize previous subdivision approvals, facilitate greater community self sufficiency, and allow for greater coordination of infrastructure. The Amman Airport Corridor is the primary spine of the Capital Region – linking it with the Queen Alia Airport as well as the new Amman Development Corridor. The Corridor has been undergoing enormous development pressure to accommodate new residential, commercial, cultural and recreational facilities. The Airport Corridor will provide Amman’s residents with safe, easy access to all parts of the city, while serving as a primary traffic and transit corridor while retaining its green character. Also, it will create new open spaces that will preserve and As the city of Amman embarks on the path to a celebrate agriculture, while protecting Amman’s brighter future with GAM at its helm, it has never limited remaining forests. The principles strongly forgotten its soul. The GAM plans and strategies encourage compact urban growth that will allow have internalized the hopes of its residents, the for the most efficient use of existing services, the diversity of its culture, and the splendor of its promotion of increased transit utilization, and the history. The fulfillment promise that the year 2025 improvement of pedestrian accessibility. holds, will certainly inch us closer to international modernity scales, but most importantly, it shall Finally, Industrial areas will be concentrated crown Amman’s magnificent legacy. in selected areas where growth can be accommodated with appropriate access to housing, transit and other urban amenities, in addition to ensuring that they are efficiently connected through staged servicing and transportation infrastructure. The creation of industrial clusters will provide Amman with the ability to stage infrastructure improvements with considerable cost savings, while complementary productive units will facilitate synergies and generate sustainable competitive advantage that will boost clusters’ performances. Best of Jordan 15
  13. 13. Jordan Investment Board BEST OF JORDAN The Jordan Investment Board (JIB) is a world class agency entrusted with promoting Jordan as a unique destination for foreign direct investment, and sustaining domestic investment to achieve economic prosperity in Jordan. Dr. Maen Nsour, Chief Executive Officer - JTB, reflects on the elements of facilitating investment in Jordan. Jordan has passed a number of laws for How did the designation of JIB as an facilitation of foreign investment, which individual unit accelerate the endorsement would you say have been most significant? of investment in Jordan? The Investment Promotion Laws No. 16 of 1995 Creating the Jordan Investment Board as an and No. 68 of 2003 were created to enhance independent organization since 1995, came investor confidence, and provide tax and custom about as result of the forward Hashemite and duty incentives for foreign and domestic investors governmental vision of making Jordan the conducting projects within qualified sectors in business and investment hub of the region. Jordan. Incentives include income tax breaks for Sustained economic growth through constant 10 years reaching up to 75%, and exemption from domestic and foreign investment aims at custom duties and sales tax on all fixed assets. creating new job opportunities, increasing Furthermore, the law stipulates equal treatment national exports, and transferring knowledge and to Jordanian and non-Jordanian investors, technology. Designating an individual unit enabled freedom of ownership, right to manage, freedom a focused and specialized promotional effort of to remit profits and proceeds abroad, and the investment opportunities in the Kingdom, created prevalence of international legal measures. a facilitating body to increase efficiency of the investment setting up process, by reducing the Qualified sectors in the current Investment timeframe of setting up a business in JIB’s One Promotion Law are: industry, agriculture, hotels, Stop Shop facility, and enacted an Investment hospitals, maritime transport and railways, leisure Promotion Law providing investors with financial and recreational compounds, convention and exemptions. Finally, it ensured investor feedback exhibition centers, transportation & distribution through JIB’s mandate for policy advocacy to of water, gas & oil, call and contact centers, relay investor experience and constantly improve research and development. To meet the the investment climate. growing needs and adapt to international direct Investment trends in 2008, a new Investment Since the establishment of JIB as the focal Promotion Law and Non-Jordanian Investment point for investment in the Kingdom, we have Regulations were drafted to better suit the been committed to providing investors with an country’s economic activities and foreign direct array of impeccable services before, during, and investment trends. The new law includes more after investment, becoming the ‘one window’ sectors and further benefits for investors in order for most investment related needs. Prospective to adapt to changing needs, and enhance the investors can obtain full information and first investment climate in Jordan. hand explanations on investment opportunities; several are anchored with offered pre-feasibility studies, information about legal issues, incentives and tax implications, repatriation of profits, and procedures governing setting up projects in Jordan. When the investor reaches the advanced stage of proceeding with setting up their project, 16 Best of Jordan
  14. 14. they may obtain necessary registration and licenses at JIB’s One Stop Shop (OSS), which offers streamlined procedures as our JIB after- care department ensures investor satisfaction. Therefore, independence enabled flexibility of action plans and activities in order to reach the target of elevating Jordan’s image, and enhancing its investment environment, coupled with the comprehensive provision of crucial investor services. Projects benefiting from the investment promotion law in 2007 alone amounted to $3 billion USD, not to mention the wide array of image building and awareness activities conducted by the organization. JIB (Jordan) has major worldwide market series of rigorous reforms. The WTO membership had negotiated, after Canada, Mexico and Israel, access. Which affiliations are considered as guarantees quality and access of Jordanian and the first with an Arab country. According your most prominent? products to more than 152 countries. Whereas, to the Department of Statistics, exports to the access to the Arab, US and European markets is US increased by 1761% from 2000 to 2007. A series of economic reforms between 1989 and enabled by signed Free Trade Agreements which Additionally, Jordan signed the Qualifying 2004 enabled Jordan to leverage on good-will aim at promoting economic relations, developing Industrial Zones (QIZ) Agreement with the US long enjoyed with our neighbors in the Middle East partnerships between those countries, and in 1996. These zones provide duty and quota and other countries, and to enter a wide range of diminishing trade barriers to enhance economic free access to the U.S. market for products bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Our and technological development. First, the Greater manufactured in Jordan. Currently, there are trade agreements give us access to more than Arab Free Trade Agreement (1998) allows free 13 Qualified Industrial Zones in Jordan (three of one billion customers. Strong and increasing access to 17 Arab countries including the largest which are governmental). The third agreement exports capitalizing on trade agreements, Arab markets: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, allows access to the European market through resulted in a value increase of Jordanian goods UAE, Oman, Bahrain Qatar, Morocco, Palestine, signing the Jordan-EU Association Agreement sold abroad by 186% from 1996 to 2006. Kuwait, Tunis, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. in 1997, which entered into force in 2002. Second, the Jordan-US Free Trade Agreement Regarding access with the Asian market, Jordan Jordan has been a member of the World Trade (FTA) signed in 2000 with the US, which was signed a free trade agreement with Singapore Organization (WTO) since the year 2000, after a the fourth Free Trade Agreement that the US in 2004. Jordan is currently negotiating trade Best of Jordan 17
  15. 15. BEST OF JORDAN agreements with both Turkey and Canada. Moreover, Jordan has signed protection and promotion of investments agreements with 35 countries, aiming to promote economic cooperation, activate the flow of private capital and transfer of technology, and further stimulate economic development. Such agreements create and maintain a stable investments framework, essential for maximizing the utilization of economic resources and improving overall living standards. Jordan also signed another avoidance of double taxation with 30 countries. What strategies does JIB implement in meeting common investment challenges? As part of our mission to enhance the investment environment and experience in Jordan, JIB embarked on several initiatives that have been already implemented such as the OSS, active outward promotion, and the Investment Map, whereas several others are underway. JIB aims to overcome challenges by studying the situation, developing solutions through holistic strategies, and most importantly implementing action plans will launch public and private sector initiatives stemming from their examination, and finally and support strategic programs in target areas. monitoring their success. The study resulted in seven complementary pillars which are: Investment Policy, Investment Currently, there are several challenges JIB Promotion and Facilitation, Trade Policies, is addressing. For one, Jordan is faced with Competitiveness Policies, Tax Policy, the challenge of enhancing the international Human Resources Development, and Public competitiveness of Jordan’s investment Administration. We are currently in the fourth and environment in order to transform Jordan into final stage of developing the implementation plan a global business and investment hub, driving with actionable remedies. in foreign and domestic direct investments. Thus, JIB has worked on drafting a National Second, JIB developed an Internal Strategy (IS) Investment Strategy (NIS), building on previous to meet growing investor needs, and ensure initiatives such as the National Agenda to guide a matching internal organizational model to the country’s investment efforts in promoting match them. Sub strategies were born, such investments within priority sectors, and as investor service process automation and streamlining the government’s efforts towards internal processes, development of follow-up mutual goals and targets. NIS’s development will and investor care services, development of allow Jordan to compete effectively in the global matchmaking and partnerships, the elevation market place, and will essentially serve as a of both research and development capabilities, strategic planning tool to guide the government, and transforming JIB into a learning organization. investors and entrepreneurial talent. As a high This will entail organizational restructuring and of level strategy that sets out Jordan’s national course, organizational reform. policies, objectives, and investments’ target, it 18 Best of Jordan
  16. 16. BEST OF JORDAN What sort of activities do you employ Which are the most competitive investment internationally in promoting Jordan as an sectors at the moment? ideal investment destination? Several sectors in Jordan hold unique, competitive JIB’s mission of positioning Jordan as a favorable advantages regionally and globally, while investment environment with lucrative investment other sectors present opportunities with great opportunities is realized through several activities growth potential. An initiative JIB conducted, such as, conducting ‘Investment Climate’ was analyzing Jordan’s economy followed with Seminars, targeted out-border promotion, sectoral examination. Later, the ‘Investment and participating in international economic Map’ was born producing 150 project concepts, and investment forums. Additionally, we have 75 of which have pre-feasibility studies. Fifteen prepared a creative, modern advertising sectors where identified with a unique set of campaign to spread awareness through audio- differentiators to attract FDI, comprehensive visual channels, and highlight Jordan’s offered and systematic evaluation of such sectors as opportunities. JIB’s specialized promotional team Information and Communication Technology and foreign offices in Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and (ICT), Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, Tourism, China, and an active team in the US enable the Infrastructure, Energy and Utilities, Chemicals execution of these activities. and Allied Products, Mining and Processing, Agriculture and many others. During Investment climate seminars, potential investors learn about not only the climate, Jordan’s sectoral advantages and opportunities but also of the advantageous sectors Jordan are supported by the favorable macro-economic offers; sectoral presentations are carried by environment from a growing GDP at 6% , tripled representatives from Jordanian public and private total factor productivity reaching 3%, a low sectors. These seminars are followed with one- inflation rate in single digits at 6.25% (2006), to-one matchmaking meetings, where potential a diminishing public debt, increasing exports investors examine partnership opportunities. and foreign reserves; the availability of resources Such seminars have resulted in interesting especially the young, talented and educated partnerships and relationship building throughout workforce; availability of space and enabling the years. They also managed to reinforce platforms such as business parks and industrial Jordan’s positive image. estates; the modern infrastructure and extensive communication network; and the accessibility to An innovative promotional activity has targeted healthy banking and financial services, as well as outward promotion, entailing extensive country a growing stock market. Further encouragement studies. Based on Jordan’s economical needs is provided with attractive tax and custom and sectoral strengths, countries were analyzed incentives, and streamlined government resulting in priority sectors along with the procedures and commitment. identification of potential companies, followed with targeted missions to their respective countries. Through planning and follow-up, these missions have shown considerable heightened interest. Presence in strategic countries such as Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and the US, coupled with close collaboration with Jordan’s embassies worldwide, endorses a continuous market presence situated closer to potential investors, thus strengthening relationships. Best of Jordan 19
  17. 17. His Majesty King Abdullah II BEST OF JORDAN “My priority is a better life for all Jordanians. My vision for the new Jordan is one of a national rejuvenation and global integration. A great people with a positive drive… Motivated to perform their best…And have the energy to excel. I believe in my people. Jordanians, who built achievements of the past, can and will work for a better future. A future that is based on true capabilities, and economic opportunities. “ His Majesty King Abdullah II Born in Amman on January 30, 1962, King His Majesty King Abdullah has become an Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein is the 43rd generation inspirational and liberating force on all levels. direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad Embracing globalization, King Abdullah has (Peace Be Upon Him). His Majesty assumed committed himself to building on the late King’s his constitutional powers as monarch of the legacy to further institutionalize democratic Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on February 7, and political pluralism in Jordan. His Majesty 1999, the day his father, the late King Hussein, has exerted extensive efforts in ensuring passed away. sustainable levels of economic growth and social development aimed at improving the standard of living of all Jordanians. Additionally, His Majesty tirelessly works to modernize Jordan’s information technology and educational systems. King Abdullah also actively championed Jordan’s ascension to the World Trade Organization achieved in April 2000, and ratified agreements for the establishment of a free trade area with the United States of America, the European Union, the European Free Trade Association countries, and sixteen Arab countries. King Abdullah has also been involved in the drive for national administrative reform, as well as governmental transparency and accountability. Working on the advancement of civil liberties, the King has earned Jordan recognition as one of the most progressive countries in the Middle East. Moreover, King Abdullah has been involved in enacting legislation essential to guaranteeing women a full role in the Kingdom’s socio- economic and political life. 20 Best of Jordan
  18. 18. Improving Living Standards King Abdullah has made improving the living standards of Jordanians a top priority, and under his leadership, significant steps have been taken to revitalize the economy in order to achieve that goal. His initiatives and directives have helped increase foreign investment and boost collaboration between the public and private sectors, all in an effort to elevate citizens’ lifestyles. His Majesty King Abdullah prioritizes developing the country’s governorates, and establishing projects designed to improve living standards and the quality and availability of public services. The special development zones – in Aqaba, Mafraq, Irbid and Maan – all reflect the kingdom’s efforts to distribute development and its benefits throughout Jordan, especially outside the capital. The zones capitalize on each of their competitive edges to attract investments in the industrial, logistics, services and technical fields. The development zones are expected to attract major investments that would enhance the country’s exports and provide thousands of jobs. The Mafraq Special Development Zone for example, has been conceived as a nine- square-kilometre estate, mapped to serve as a transport, logistics and industrial hub serving not only Jordan, but also neighbors like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq. The establishments of these zones in the north and south, aim to help residents in economically deprived areas boost their income, as well as attract foreign investment. Decent Housing for Decent Living Launched in February 2008, the Decent Housing for Decent Living is a nationwide initiative; a housing mega-project which involves the construction of some 120,000 housing units over a five-year period. At King Abdullah’s request, the initiative seeks to provide housing for hundreds of thousands of low and limited-income Jordanians, civil servants, Jordan Armed Forces personnel, and civil and military retirees. Decent Housing for Decent Living offers an opportunity to own a decent housing unit at an affordable price, with installments ranging around the same value of rent. More than 150,000 applications have been received by citizens wishing to buy a unit under the initiative. The Royal initiative includes the creation of housing units for low- and limited-income citizens, and seeks to develop comprehensive residential areas. Moreover, the Best of Jordan 21
  19. 19. BEST OF JORDAN 22 Best of Jordan
  20. 20. surrounding areas of the units will be provided in serving their country and making a difference with playgrounds, public facilities, gardens and in the lives of fellow Jordanians. Following King multipurpose facilities, ensuring convenience Abdullah’s directives, the Higher Council of and full facilities. The housing units which will Youth is implementing youth programs. All in all, range from 100-square meters to 160-square the We Are All Jordan Commission has formed meters in area, will be offered at affordable 12 working groups, one in each governorate, prices; the government will provide plots of land to plan and implement different projects to and infrastructure free of charge, which means empower Jordanian youth, while benefiting local significantly lowered cost. Out of the planned communities. 120,000 housing units, 75,000 will be located in the main cities and 25,000 in districts across A Kingdom of Peace the country. No down payment is required of new home-buyers, and the monthly installment shall Since King Abdullah assumed the responsibility of not exceed one-third of a beneficiary’s salary. leadership in 1999, he has picked up his father’s mantle as a leader committed to establishing a ‘We are All Jordan’ Youth Commission positive, strong role for Jordan within the Arab region and the world. His Majesty has been King Abdullah is devoted to supporting Jordan’s an ardent champion of peace initiatives to end youth and to tapping their energy and creativity the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and civil unrest to advance Jordan’s development. Under elsewhere in the region. Most notably, he has the mandate of His Majesty King Abdullah been an outspoken advocate of the Arab Peace II, the We Are All Jordan Youth Commission Initiative, which seeks comprehensive regional was established in 2006 to activate youth peace between Israel and all Arab states. The participation in the social, cultural, economic initiative was unanimously endorsed by the Arab and political spheres. King Abdullah believes that states and the Palestinians at the 2002 Arab such an initiative would eventually help pilot the Summit in Beirut, Lebanon. rise of a young leadership, capable of excelling Best of Jordan 23
  21. 21. Her Majesty Queen Rania BEST OF JORDAN A sublime role model for successful Arab and Muslim women worldwide, Her Majesty continues to gain remarkable identification for her devotion in meeting the challenges of the century. Hand in hand with King Abdullah’s march towards world peace, both their majesties represent Jordan’s peaceful position as a haven of fidelity and synchronization, enabling a mixture of ethnicities and religions to mold into a single vessel. Since becoming Queen in 1999, Her Majesty the welfare and development of all Jordanian Queen Rania’s commitment has transpired citizens, especially women and children. through myriad initiatives and projects. As first lady, Queen Rania’s activities focus on issues of Born in Kuwait to a notable Jordanian family of national concern, such as the implementation Palestinian origin, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al- of education, child protection and women Abdullah (formerly Rania Al-Yasin), completed empowerment among significant others. In her her high school education in Kuwait, and then leading quest to position Jordan as a sustained obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business and modern society, her Majesty’s humane Administration from the American University in enterprises all share an underlying mission Cairo. Upon graduation, Queen Rania returned to towards an interconnected global community. Jordan and careered in banking and Information With Her Majesty’s determined steps in inducing Technology. His Majesty King Abdullah bin Al- national progress, Jordan has witnessed Hussein (then Prince) and Queen Rania wed in prominent advancement with issues relating to 1993, and now have four children: HRH Prince 24 Best of Jordan
  22. 22. Hussein, HRH Princess Iman; HRH Princess with various independent means of subsistence. Salma and HRH Prince Hashem. The Women’s Access to Entrepreneurship Development and Training (WAEDAT) Program, Her Majesty has channeled her focus into several launched in June 2005, gave an opportunity core issues, such as the development of income- for women to excel through creating their own generating projects via practiced advancements business, illustrating Jordan’s stride of developing in microfinance for improvement of local community awareness and well being. Also as families’ quality of life, and the incorporation of part of her contributive directive to improving the Information Technology into the educational quality of life of Jordanian families, Queen Rania system. Additionally, the Queen has profoundly serves as the head of the National Council for involved herself in promoting national tourism Family Affairs (NCFA), which aims at ensuring and preserving Jordan’s heritage. the right policy environment to support the development of family protection and unity. Her Majesty is universally distinguished for the eloquent voice of the initiatives she champions Youtube on behalf of every one of us. The Queen’s efforts have brought to life numerous establishments Internationally, Queen Rania is renowned for such as the National Team for Early Development, her world peace aspiration, activating her the National Team for Family Safety, and “Dar leading role to inspire the recognition and Al Aman” Child Safety Centre (the first of its implementation of cultural understanding and kind in the Middle East), caring for abused and awareness, and religious tolerance and co- neglected children. The Jordan River Foundation existence. Consequently in March 2008, Queen is another example of achievement which Rania launched her very own youtube channel, represents thousands of women across the dedicated to breaking down stereotypes about kingdom who managed to empower their lives the Arab and Muslim worlds, and to bridging the East-West divide. Best of Jordan 25
  23. 23. BEST OF JORDAN An International Presence Regionally and internationally, Queen Rania has campaigned for a greater understanding between cultures in high profile forums such as the Jeddah Economic Forum, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Skoll Foundation in the UK. Queen Rania is on the Board of Directors of several international organizations such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the United Nations Foundation (UNF), International Youth Foundation (IYF), the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), and the GAVI Fund. Moreover, Her Majesty is UNICEF’s first Eminent Advocate for Children, World Health Organization Patron for Violence Prevention in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, and The Global Ambassador of Women for Women International. Madrasati Launched in April 2008, Madrasati brings together public, private and non-profit partners in an exciting, new grassroots initiative to renovate public schools in urgent need of repair. Led by Her Majesty, Madrasati enriches learning environments, and enhance opportunities for children in 500 schools across Jordan. The initiative aims at ensuring that each school has an appropriate infrastructure, a child centered environment, and access to quality learning and teaching tools. In achieving its goals, the Madrasati Initiative is implemented under the umbrella of the Jordan River Foundation and other partners; the Ministry of Education, the Jordan Education Initiative, the Royal Health Awareness Society, the Jordan Education Society, the Children’s Museum, the Greater Amman Municipality, the Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, UNICEF, INJAZ, and Ruwwad. 26 Best of Jordan
  24. 24. KAFA Another of Her Majesty’s prominent initiatives is KAFA, which stemmed from “The National Traffic Awareness Campaign” in 2005. KAFA aims to cooperate with all relevant institutions, public, private, and civil society to accomplish the program’s goal of increasing traffic awareness and fostering a culture of traffic safety that influences behavioral change, and motivates high individuals’ responsibility on the roads. Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s Award for Excellence in Education The Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education was launched by Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania in October 2005, in observance of World Teachers’ Day. Aimed at accomplishing educational excellence by measuring, advancing, and honoring merit and achievement in teaching, the award’s mission is to set and communicate national standards of excellence, reward individuals and institutions accordingly, and develop inspirational success stories into national role models. With a charismatic and compassionate approach which only a natural born leader could possess, Queen Rania has captured the world with her genuine, empathetic character. Besides her noble title as the queen of Jordan, Her Majesty is the comrade, the mother, the friend, and the true Arab woman representing the compassion and pride of the Arab and Muslim world. Best of Jordan 27
  25. 25. Jordan BEST OF JORDAN Land of Contrasts The ancient land east of the River of Jordan, home to some of history’s more memorable moments, is now the staging ground for one of the Middle East’s fastest growing countries and economies, Jordan. Aptly named for the river that crosses its eastern border, Jordan has traditionally been at the center of ancient trade routes. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a scenic land of contrasts in harmonious existence; between the ancient and the modern, the desert and the hills, the local and the international. Remnants of the past dot Jordan’s serene deserts and lush hills, but its ambitious future is what truly characterizes its soul. The Capital: Amman If there is one word to describe the capital of Jordan, Amman, it would be eclectic. The construction boom in Amman can be heard everywhere, competing with the sounds of hectic traffic in its mains streets, circles, and through bridges. Previously called Philadelphia, Amman was one of the most significant cities of the Decapolis, a series of Roman cities of an Empire waking up to its glory days. Once a hilltop site of castles and ancient amphitheatres, the city is now more distinguished by the scene of cranes and frenzied building projects, and a melting pot of the ancient and the modern. In many corners Trade Agreement (AFTA), Euro-Mediterranean of today’s ever-changing urban framework, Association Agreements with Jordan, United stories from the past still stand tall, offering a States-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, and the mesmeric glimpse into the Kingdom’s history. QIZ agreements. A bustling hub of investment, hospitality, and Natural Resources culture, Amman consistently exceeds the expectations of its visitors. From five-star hotels Jordan’s natural resource base revolves around and restaurants, to impressive art galleries and phosphates, potash, and fertilizer derivatives. museums, what the city offers never seizes With production totaling 6.4 million tons in 2005, to astonish. The capital city has seen the Jordan was the world’s third largest producer of introduction of first class brands and chains raw phosphates. In addition to these two major from around the world while still managing to as water and oil, sustaining waves of refugees, minerals, smaller quantities of unrefined salt, maintain its small-city coziness and authenticity. and being in a tough regional neighborhood, copper ore, gypsum, manganese ore, and the The spacious suburbs and modern shopping in Jordan has managed to build a vibrant and mineral precursors to the production of ceramics numerous malls contrast with the buzz of old commercially viable economy. Jordan has (glass sand, clays, and feldspar) are also mined, souks in the downtown area; where one can also remained a metaphorical oasis of stability, making up the country’s principal sources of hard shop for gold, silver and handmade jewelry in despite its regional location on the sidelines of currency earnings. Downtown’s Gold Souk, or spices and hand- bordering conflicts. woven rugs in neighboring streets. In Abdoun and Sweifieh, one can find restaurants, cafes, Jordanians: The Backbone of the Economy Trade and swanky boutiques that originate from as far away as California and Italy. While in the The Jordanian government has referred cobblestoned Rainbow Street, home grown With a heritage as a merchant middleman since constantly to Jordan’s manpower and human establishments dominate the neighborhoods the Nabatean Kingdom of Petra, and an idyllic resources as the nation’s most valuable resource. with authentic Ammany flair. Amman is a micro- situation at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and This is because the economy depends heavily on ism of the whole of Jordan; speeding to its future Africa, Jordan is supremely located as a trading the professional service sector, and remittance while clinging with one hand to its genuine past. transit point for major mercantile activities. income from expatriates. Jordan receives billions International trade has been a big part of Jordan’s of dollars of invisible or unearned income in the economic success. This has been mainly due form of inflows of foreign aid and funds transfers The Economy to two reasons; outstanding trade agreements from expatriates. and strategic location. Jordan has exceptional In many ways, the story of Jordan’s economy has trade agreements with most of the countries in The Government of Jordan has placed a lot of been a story of success against improbable odds. the World; some unique to this small country. emphasis on education, and invests 13 percent Overcoming a lack of important resources such Jordan enjoys the benefits of the Arab Free of its public expenditure budget on basic and 28 Best of Jordan
  26. 26. The Dawn of the Investment Climate The booming investment activity in Jordan has been one of the key drivers of propelling economic growth in Jordan. The country’s regulatory environment provides good overall freedom to start, operate, and close a business. In the past decade, Jordan has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. Jordan has relative strengths in terms of very low corruption, strong property rights, and low tax rates on individual and corporate income. Foreign Direct Investment in the country has risen drastically, thanks to new liberalizing policies enacted by the government. Since Jordan’s graduation from its most recent IMF program in 2002, Amman has continued to follow IMF guidelines; practicing careful monetary policy, making substantial headway with privatization, and opening the trade regime. These measures have improved productivity, and have made Jordan more attractive for foreign investment. With all these initiatives, the number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has seen a steady rise. The new investment spending has helped push GDP in the last few years, raising the standard of living for most Jordanians. Tourism The Golden Triangle of Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba form the south’s most valuable tourist resources to Jordan, while the North of the kingdom enjoys the Greco-Roman Decapolis sites and the biblical sites. Tourism numbers have been consistently rising in recent years, mainly due to Petra’s vote as one of the world’s new seven wonders in 2007, and the increased number of tourist facilities and infrastructures in the country. Since 2004, the country has seen the development of mega-tourist projects in Amman, Dead Sea, Aqaba, and Petra. This pattern is expected to continue in the next few years as Jordan receives more exposure and gains rapid ground around the globe. Jordan ranks as 58th in the world in terms of economic freedom according secondary education. The country boasts a high commercial banks, two Islamic banks, five to the Heritage Foundation. education rate at 90% of both males and females investment banks, and eight foreign banks. Three of the population - one of the highest in middle major Middle Eastern banks entered the market income countries. Post-secondary education, in 2004, offering more variety of financial services. Tourism accounts for approximately technical training, and job development training The Arab Bank dominates the sector, accounting 11% of Jordan’s total GDP are also well-funded and play a key role in for about 60 percent of total assets. The maintaining Jordan’s competitiveness in the government does not own commercial banks, global economy. but does own five specialized credit institutions Jordan holds the highest female literacy focused on agricultural credit, housing, rural and rates in the region, with 82 percent Jordan’s Financial Sector urban development, and industry. The insurance literacy rates among all segments of the sector is small but open to foreign competition. female population Jordan’s financial sector is dominated by banking Capital markets are fairly robust by regional and is fairly well developed. In the last few years, standards. The Amman Stock Exchange has the government has brought supervision and been rising exponentially in the last few years, regulation into line with international standards. and as of 2008, market capitalization reached 23 As of June 2006, there were nine domestic billion Dinars. Best of Jordan 29
  27. 27. Fast Facts Jordan BEST OF JORDAN A stable kingdom with a proud past and an optimistic eye to the future, Jordan’s strategic location at the nexus of Africa, Asia, and Europe has contoured its significant regional and economic power. Jordan is widely renowned for its authentic hospitality, a tradition cultivated from the inherent generosity of its people. While the miscellany of the Kingdom cannot be contained in a few pages, the following are some basic pointers. Area: 92,300 Km Capital City: Amman Time Zone: Summer (Riyadh +3 GMT), Winter (+2 GMT) Population: 6,198,677 Current per capita GDP: $4,906 GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2007 est.) Inflation: 14.8% (2008 est.) Official Languages: Arabic English Religion: Sunni Islam 92% Christians 6% Other 2% Ethnic groups: Arab 98% Circassian 1% Armenian 1% Currency: Jordanian Dinar JD (1$=0.709 JD ) Country Dialing Code: (+962) Internet Domain: .jo Electric Current: 220 AC volts, 50 cycles, requiring rounded two-prong wall plugs Geography: Mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River Climate: Mostly hot and dry in the summer; rainy season in west (November to April) 30 Best of Jordan
  28. 28. Major Trade Agreements: WTO Membership (2000), Arab Free Trade Agreement (AFTA, 2008), Free Trade Accord with the US (2001), Association Agreement with the EU (2001), Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ, 1996). Accessibility: Visitors with a valid passport may obtain a visa at any Jordanian embassy, consulate, or legation abroad. A visa can also be obtained at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport or at any other Elevation extremes: Telecommunications: border crossing except King Hussein Bridge and the ferryboat from Egypt. Lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m Jordan has a highly advanced Highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m telecommunications network with internet Postal Services: coverage gaining ground rapidly, and growing Banks and Foreign Exchange: Wi-Fi networks and services. Mobile and Besides post offices, most 4 and 5-star hotels cellular technology is prevalent throughout offer postal services. There are also a number of Jordan has an abundance of international banks, the country with four main service providers international courier services including Aramex, and credit cards (American Express, Visa, Diners and approximately 100% penetration of local DHL, FedEx, TNT International and UPS. Post Club, and MasterCard) can be used at most population. office opening hours are: Summer: Sat-Thurs sizable retail outlets, hotels, and entertainment 07:00-19:00, Fri 07:00-13:00. Winter: Sat-Thurs venues. Foreign exchange services are wide- Medical Facilities: 07:00-17:00, Fri 07:00-13:00 spread and can be accessed in any part of the country. Jordan has some of the most advanced medical facilities in the region, and medical tourism is quickly becoming a lucrative industry. The country’s natural setting and highly skilled workforce creates ideal grounds for a therapeutic experience. Best of Jordan 31
  29. 29. “I may live in America, but in Jordan, I am always welcomed home.” -Peter Greenberg, Today Show, NBC News
  30. 30. Hospitality & Dining CHAPTER TWO
  31. 31. ATICO - Fakhreldin Group H O S P I TA L I T Y & D I N I N G A Continuing Story of Success in Hospitality Established in 1992, ATICO Fakhreldin Group specializes in investing and operating in the hospitality sector in Jordan and the Middle East. An icon of quality and innovation, ATICO has secured a position as the leading hospitality management group in Jordan. It started its first project with AlQasr Metropole Hotel, a four star boutique hotel, and expanded to include Fakhreldin Restaurant, Ren Chai, Yoshi, Vinaigrette Salad & Sushi Bar, Nai Club & Lounge, Trattoria Casa Della Pasta, The Courtyard, Wild Jordan Café, Amigo, Bistro One, Fakhreldin & Co. and Kebab Express. The company has also expanded outside the Kingdom, starting with Taboula Restaurant in Cairo. AlQasr Metropole Hotel A charming four star boutique hotel, AlQasr Metropole enjoys breathtaking views of Amman. Located in the most prestigious and commercial area in the capital, the hotel’s 66 rooms offer an abundance of modern amenities for all travelers’ necessities. With the highest standards of excellence, and a devoted team of attentive staff, AlQasr Metropole is famed for being the ideal destination for business and pleasure. Trattoria Casa Della Pasta In a relaxed ambience, this popular Italian pasta house offers a selection of the finest home-made pastas, genuine Italian dishes, and a wide range of wines. It has also become known for its famous fish market, with a considerable assortment of fresh fish and shellfish delivered daily from the Arabian Gulf. AlQasr Metropole Hotel Vinaigrette Salad and Sushi Bar Nai Vinaigrette Salad and Sushi Bar Nai On the 7th floor of the AlQasr Metropole, Nai remains Amman’s most popular and longest running night spot, maintaining its strong appeal for Vinaigrette’s glass walls offer remarkable over seven years. Renowned for its original music and style, it’s set amid distinctive modern décor panoramic views of East and West Amman. with oriental touches, creating a sophisticated, glamorous mood. Nai serves a fusion menu including Specializing in a wide variety of cuisines, you Lebanese mezza, international favorites and Japanese specials prepared by award winning chefs. may ‘Create your own salad’, enjoy international This venue is very popular with the elite of the Jordanian society and with visiting celebrities. platters or savor Japanese delicacies whilst listening to Jazz music. The Sushi bar, Amman’s first, displays an impressive variety of sushi, sashimi, maki and temaki freshly prepared by skilled resident sushi chefs. 34 Best of Jordan
  32. 32. The Courtyard The Courtyard is a laid back, casual summer garden with white leather couches and private lounges around a grass lawn set-up. In winter, a heated tent is installed making it the perfect venue for concerts, events and private parties. The Courtyard serves heartwarming dishes such as fresh oven baked pizza, burgers and shawerma, as well as chilled drinks and the ever popular sheesha. The Courtyard Fakhr El Din Restaurant Popular amongst royalty, government officials and celebrities visiting Amman, Fakhr El Din Restaurant has been Jordan’s leading Lebanese restaurant for over 10 years. Set in an old charming house that was renovated to preserve its original heritage and style, Fakhr El Din specializes in genuine Lebanese cuisine with exceptional service. The vast menu includes various oriental mezza, succulent meats, fresh fish and several delicious desserts of exceptional standard. Fakhr El Din Restaurant Wild Jordan Café The Wild Jordan Café has a scenic location with magnificent views of old Amman and the Citadel. Located in the center run by the RSCN which aims to generate income for the communities of the six nature reserves it oversees, Wild Jordan Café offers fresh, healthy, low fat and organic dishes inspired by these reserves. The Café also contributes part of its revenues to support the local communities. Bistro One This cozy Mediterranean bistro style restaurant is located in one of Amman’s charming old neighborhoods, offering an intimate dining experience. The menu is creatively delicious, offering fantastic cuts of steak, fondues, seafood salads, fine wines and great cocktails, or more simply a coffee and croissant al fresco on the summer veranda. Wild Jordan Café Bistro One Best of Jordan 35
  33. 33. H O S P I TA L I T Y & D I N I N G Amigo Pub Amigo is a laid-back pub that attracts an alternative crowd, and is a great place to share drinks with friends, enjoy a game of pool and listen to original rock music or hits of the 80’s and 90’s. Live music nights are not to be missed. Ren Chai A beautiful and contemporary fine dining Chinese restaurant, Ren Chai creates an atmosphere that emphasizes elements of nature in a modern style. If offers a range of Cantonese and Szechuan delicacies, such as lobster and shark fin soup as well as your favorite dishes. In the summer, dine in the tranquil open air garden. Ren Chai Amigo Pub Yoshi The newest & most exciting concept, Yoshi, offers a contemporary yet casual Asian all day dining experience serving light Dim Sum, delicate sushi items prepared live at the Sushi Bar, authentic Tepanyaki, and ‘the best’ Asian platters to share. Enjoy a huge range of exclusive Asian teas by Tchaba as well as unique cocktails and a great wine list. With a beautiful interior comprised of wood paneled walls, banquet seating, fine art as well as brass and bamboo fittings Yoshi is a relaxing place to have a business lunch, afternoon Japanese tea on the terrace or just to meet friends at the bar for some light bites. Yoshi Fakhreldin & Co. ATICO’s deli at Cozmo Superstore offers freshly prepared, high quality food products from all of its outlets. Mezza from Fakhr El Din, Sushi from Vinaigrette, hot items from Ren Chai, smoothies from Wild Jordan Café and many other items are delicately packed and ready to go. Kebab Express Freshly prepared Lebanese appetizers, healthy sandwiches and delicious grills are served in a fast food setting where all menu items have been carefully selected from Fakhr El Din Restaurant’s popular items. Kebab Express currently operates two outlets with many more to follow in ATICO’s plan of expansion. Fakhreldin & Co. Kebab Express 36 Best of Jordan