Aqaba

Aqaba is a Jordanian port city on the Red Sea's Gulf of Aqaba. Inhabited since 4000 B.C., it's home to the Islamic-era Aqaba Fort. Its beach resorts are popular for windsurfing and other water sports, and the area is a top destination for scuba divers, with notable dive sites including the Yamanieh coral reef in the Aqaba Marine Park, south of the city.

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Aqaba Castle

The Aqaba Castle, Mamluk Castle or Aqaba Fort, located in Aqaba, Jordan, is a fortress originally built by Crusaders in the 12th century, and named Helim. Ayla was recaptured by Saladin in 1187 and the fortress was destroyed, until it was rebuilt in the early 16th century under the Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh Al-Ghuri. In July 1916, the fortress was the location to a victory of the Arab Revolt, when this heavily defended Turkish stronghold fell to an Arab camel charge. Lawrence of Arabia rode triumphantly from here to Cairo to report the good news to General Allenby. The port of Aqaba became a major supply base for the advancing Arab Revolt. The fort is located next to the Aqaba Flagpole, which carries the flag of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans. Adjacent to the fort is the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, which was once the Sharif Hussein's residence. Wikipedia

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Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque

The mosque is named in honor of Al-Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, who stood against the oppressive Ottoman Empire during the course of Worl War I. Its pristine white exterior is unmissable, along with the intricate glass windows and soaring minarets. The mosque also boasts one of the largest domes in Jordan and is central to Aqaba’s Muslim citizens. Visitors are welcome to stroll around the ornate interior outside of prayer times, as long as you stay silent and respectful.

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Aqaba Bird Observatory

Aqaba is a stopover for many migratory birds heading north each spring. The observatory hosts over 390 species of birds that either reside in or migrate to Jordan from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The observatory is an exceptionally diverse habitat made up of shallow and deep waters, plants, trees, and green flats, all harmoniously integrated with each other to create this vibrant bird hub. The observatory is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is also an important site for researchers. It is open all year but the best times to visit are Spring and Autumn.

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Aqaba Marine Park

Aqaba is famous the world over for its diverse marine ecosystem, home to over 240 coral species and 1,000 fish species living alongside all sorts of critters, turtles, and stingrays. Located just 15 kilometers from downtown Aqaba, the Aqaba Marine Park is one of the best things to experience in Aqaba.

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Souk by the Sea

Souk by the Sea is a nighttime street market held every Friday in downtown Aqaba. It was established by World Associates, a non-profit organization offering support, education, and leadership training to citizens of Jordan, and aims to create opportunities for local artisans and producers to showcase their products, thereby running their own small businesses. From hand-made sand bottles, bags and jewelry, to cross-stitch and clothing, visitors at the market can pick up authentic Jordanian products while supporting a worthwhile cause. Visitors to the Souk can expect helpful and friendly service, good prices, and none of the usual tourist traps. Food stalls line the market and live entertainment is provided by local musicians. The Souk by the Sea is a festive night out in its own right and well worth a visit.

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Ayla

The ancient town of Ayla was constructed around 650 AD and was the first Islamic city built outside of the Arabian peninsula. It stands today as a testament to early Islamic architecture. Located in the center of Aqaba, the city was inhabited primarily during the 7th-11th centuries before being destroyed by natural disasters and attacks. Lying untouched for centuries, the remains of Ayla were discovered in 1986 during an excavation by the University of Chicago. Today the site displays ancient marketplaces, city gates, tribal quarters, and a mosque. There are detailed signs all around the site for easy independent exploration.

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Al-Ghandour Beach

The only public beach inside the city is Al-Hafayer Beach or Al-Ghandoor Beach

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Aqaba South Beach

South Beach is a 12km-long stretch of beaches and shallow bays sheltered by vibrant coral reefs. Some of the best snorkelling and dive sites in Aqaba begin just a few metres offshore!

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ROYAL DIVING BEACH CLUB

The most southern private beach in Aqaba, approximately 2km from Arab Divers is maybe one of the most beautiful spots. A wide, clean beach offers deeper water for swimmers and pristine coral reefs (Coral Garden), easily accessible for snorkelers and divers. You’ll find deep and shallow swimming pools, restrooms with showers, a small bar and restaurant here. There is renovation ongoing and access can be restricted.

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Diving in Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, Jordan

Choose from over 20 Aqaba dive sites, all within just minutes of Arab Divers and all accessible either from shore or by boat, depending on your preference. You’ll find something for every level here, whether you’re a recreational or technical diver. Marine life is healthy and there’s something to see at every depth.

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aqaba class boat

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