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Amman is the capital and largest city of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost 6.5 million by 2025 due to constant and rapid immigration. The recent economic growth experienced in Amman is unmatched byany other Arab city except those located in the Gulf. Amman is also the administrative seat of the homonymous government. Amman is also ranked a Gamma global city on the World city index.

Amman was named one of the MENA's best cities according to economic, labor, environmental, and social-cultural factors. Amman is among the most popular locations for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai.Furthermore, it is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region. It is a major tourist destination in the region and the capital is especially popular among Gulf tourists. Amman is considered one of the richest and most Western-oriented cities in the Middle East.

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Archaeology

During its long history, Amman has been inhabited by several civilizations. The first culture on record is during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period, around 7250 BC, when archaeological discoveries in 'Ain Ghazal, located in eastern Amman, show evidence of not only a settled life but also the growth of artistic work, which suggests that a well-developed culture inhabited the area at that time. A megalithic menhir has also been found in Amman at Wadi Saqra.

Amman is situated in a hilly area of north-western Jordan. The city was originally built on seven hills, but it now spans over an area of nineteen hills (each known as a Jabal, Tál, Mount or Mountain). The main areas of Amman gain their names from the hills and mountains on whose slopes they lie. The city's elevation changes from mountain to mountain. They range from 700 to 1100 m (2300–3600 feet).

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Climate

Amman has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with long, hot and dry Summer sand wet and cool winters with a Mediterranean (dry-Summer) rainfall pattern. It also has an influence of the continental climate because of its inland location and highland climate because of its high elevation. Amman's location and altitude has a profound effect on its climate. Spring is brief, mild and lasts a little less than a month, from April to May, with rain during the morning and the afternoons. High temperatures are around 15 °C (59 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F) and lows are sometimes less than 10 °C (50 °F) and several times even go near 0 °C(32 °F) causing several freezes. The temperatures vary though due to the differences in elevation across Amman.

Amman has moderate summers starting from mid June to mid September. Summer's high temperatures range from 25 °C (77 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F), usually with low humidity and frequent cool breezes. Most summers are rain-free with cloudless skies during the noon period and a brief shower or fog during the night-time.The summer's pleasant temperatures can be disturbed by heat-waves that suddenly raise the city's temperatures to around 35 °C (95 °F) and in some rare but recorded cases to as high as 41 °C (106 °F) such as during the summer of 1999.

Winter usually starts in late November or early December and continues to late April.Temperatures are usually near or below 10 °C (50 °F), with snow usually falling a few times each year. Due to its high altitude above sea level, winter in Amman is usually one of the coldest in any major city in the Levant or south-east of Europe and the surrounding countries; winters are usually foggy with at least 120 days of heavy fog per year. Snowy winter storms occur several times around the city.Due to the difference in elevation, snow may accumulate in the western parts of Amman (an average altitude of 1000 m above sea level) when at the same time it would be raining in the city centre (776 meter elevation). It can snow anywhere between November and until the end of March- more frequently in vast parts o fthe city which occupy higher elevations (900 – 1100 meters). On average at least one severe snow storm every few years will accumulate up to 15 or 20inches of snow (40 to 50 centimeters) at higher altitudes in Amman and surrounding areas.

Note: The temperatures listed below are taken from the weather station at the center of the city which is at an elevation of 767 meters above sea level. At higher elevations, the temperatures will be lower. For example, in areas such asAl-Jubaiha, Sweileh, Khalda, Abu Nseir and other areas which are at 1000 metersand above have average temperatures of 7 to 9 degrees Celsius in the day and 1to 3 degrees Celsius at night in January. In August, the average high temperatures in these areas are 26 to 28 degrees Celsius in the day and an average of 14 to 16 degrees Celsius at night.

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Main sights


Much of Amman's tourism is focused in the older downtown area, which is centered on the old
souk (a colorful traditional market) and the King Hussein Mosque. The main tourist sites in the city are:


         The downtown area (known locally as al-Balad) has been completely dwarfed by the sprawling urban area that surrounds it. Despite the changes, much remains of its old character. Jabal Amman is a known tourist attraction in old Amman, the capital's greatest souks, fine museums, ancient constructions, monuments, and cultural sites are found in Jabal Amman.

    •  The Citadel hill of Amman, known as Jabal al-Qal'a, is home to the Temple of Hercules which is said to have been constructed under the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who reigned from 161 to 180 AD, is similar to the Te,[;e pf Artemus in Ephesus. It has been inhabited for centuries, important as a military and religious site. It dates back to Roman and Byzantine times, and later work was carried out in the early Islamic era. Remains unearthed at the northern and eastern ends of the Citadel, possibly date back to the Bronze Age.
    • The Roman forum and the Roman theatre — the largest theatre in Jordan — with room for 6,000 spectators. Thought to have been built between 138 and 161 AD by the Roman Emperor Antonius it is constructed into the side of the mountain and is still used for sports displays and cultural events.

       

    The Jordan Archealogical Museum is home to ancient findings from the whole country.

    Amman is also home to some of the grandest mosques in the Middle East, although they compare less favorably to the ones to be found in Istanbul, Turkey. The newest of these is the enormous King Abdulah Mosque, built between 1982 and 1989. It is capped by a magnificen tblue mosaic dome beneath which 3,000 Muslims may offer prayer. The most unusual mosque in Amman is the Abu Darweesh Mosque atop Jabal Ashrafieh (the highest point in the city). It is covered with black and white checkered pattern and is unique to Jordan. It is visible from quite some distance. In contrast, the interior is totally free of the black and white scheme. Instead, there are light colored walls and Persian carpets. This religious building was erected by one of Amman's Circassia minority.

     

     

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