Moving to Jordan

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

Capital City: Amman
Population: 10 Million
Language(s): Arabic
Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JOD)
GDP per capita: USD 5,100 (2016)
Drives on the: Right
Time: GMT +3
Internet domain: .jo
International dialling code: +962

We are pleased to provide you with our guide on moving to Jordan from Dubai, UAE.

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Overview
The ancient country of Jordan is located at the intersection of three continents, Asia, Europe, and Africa. At just under 90,000 square km Jordan borders Syria to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the northeast and Palestine and Israel to the west. The country is landlocked barring the 26 km Red Sea coastline known as the Gulf of Aqaba.

The name Jordan comes from the river of Jordan and its name first appeared in history as far back as 1,000 years BC. Since then the country was ruled by a number of kingdoms and empires including the Nabataeans, Romans, and Ottomans. Following World War 2 Jordan became an independent state in 1946.

Most cities, including the capital, Amman, are located in the north-west of the country which is less arid and experiences more rainfall leading to more fertile land.

Jordan has a large proportion of skilled and highly educated workers (in large part due to one of the most modern education systems in the region). This has allowed a large number of the workforce to seek employment abroad, especially in the Arabian Gulf region and also attract foreign investment to companies seeking a stable country with an educated workforce.

Jordan has a developed industrial sector, it is playing an increasing role in pharmaceuticals and also attracts an increasing volume of medical tourism. Science and technology is a fast-growing economic sector especially IT.

The climate in Jordan is characterised by the hot, dry weather between May and October and the cooler, wetter season between November to April. The climate is similar to that of the Mediterranean and the further inland, the more the climate contrasts.

Expats in Jordan
Expats moving to Jordan, especially to one of the larger cities, will find a cosmopolitan place which is much less of a culture shock than many other Middle Eastern countries. English is widely spoken which makes communication much easier for a lot of people. However, like many places, learning a few local phrases can be very helpful and rewarding.

Whilst Jordan is quite liberal, it is advisable for women to dress modestly in order to avoid the possibility of unwanted attention.

Jordanians are friendly people and generally welcoming of new colleagues, however with the increasing unemployment in recent years it is possible, foreigners in particular may sense a degree of resentment from some people. It must be said this is unusual, but something you should be aware of. The working week runs from Sunday to Thursday due to the Muslim day of rest (Friday).

Jordanians are hospitable and very sociable and enjoy visiting friends and family. It is common to be invited to drink tea or share a meal. There are a large number of excellent restaurants in the major cities.

Getting around can be problematic. Buses are a possibility, provided it is Jett buses. Other buses which are really mini-buses don’t run to any kind of schedule and are not for the faint-hearted. There is no real rail network. Taxies are a possible option, but fares can vary and the standard and safety of driving is not ideal. Although Uber is technically illegal, it does exist and this may be an option and also the local rival to Uber – Careem.

Cost of living (Amman)
A meal at a standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly USD 12-15 per person with a beer priced around USD 5.50 and soft drinks around USD 0.60 per can.  A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately USD 20 and a coffee typically sets you back around USD 3.20.  At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around USD 0.40, a liter of milk approximately USD 1.55 and a dozen eggs roughly USD 1.90. Beef tends to be quite expensive.

Public transport in most of the country tends to be fairly poor. Taxies tend to be the best way of getting around the city although some taxi drivers are not as safe and honest as they could be. Uber and their competitor Careem are widely used and generally much less hassle. Prices start around USD 1 and then around USD 0.50 per kilometer thereafter. Petrol is reasonably priced at around USD 1.05 per liter.

Accommodation is quite reasonable. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in a good area would be approximately USD 500-800 per month. Less desirable areas would reduce the monthly rent to around USD 400. A typical house would cost around USD 1,300 per month.

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around USD 80-100.  Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately USD 0.10 per minutes and fast broadband internet is roughly USD 50 per month.

Schooling
Education in Jordan is taken very seriously and the standards are the highest throughout the region. Students undertake 2 years of pre-school followed by 10 years of compulsory education. After that, they take a GCSE exam known as a Tawjihi. Education is provided free by the government.

The syllabus is conducted in Arabic and so unless the child’s family is repatriating, or a native Arabic speaker or the family intends to move long=term to Jordan, a private school may be deemed more suitable.

In fact, private education in Amman is very popular, with over 30% of students enrolled in some kind of private education.

Private schools, especially International schools are expensive. Whilst there is quite a bit of choice, with several curricula available, such as British, American, French, and IB, these schools are in great demand and tend to have waiting lists. It is likely the school will require the students previous school records, and may require the student to attend an interview or possible undertake some form of entrance test/exam.

Some schools in the Amman area

American Community School
Website: www.acsamman.edu.jo

Amman Baccalaureate School (ABS)
Website: www.abs.edu.jo

Canadian International School Amman
Website: www.cisamman.com

International Community School

Website: www.ics-amman.edu.jo

International School of Choueifat Amman
Website: iscamman-sabis.net

King’s Academy
Website: www.kingsacademy.edu.jo

Mashrek International School

Website: www.mashrek.edu.jo

The International Academy
Website: www.iaa.edu.jo

Healthcare
Generally, healthcare in Jordan is of a high standard. English is widely spoken and many doctors and nurses have trained overseas in Europe and North America. Public healthcare has come under increased strain in recent years especially with the influx of over half a million Syrian refugees.

Private healthcare is a better option but obviously comes at a cost, however, it is still much cheaper than most European countries and definitely more cost effective than North America. Another advantage of private healthcare is avoiding long wait-lists.

Pharmacies are generally well stocked. The opening hours are normally flexible, although the proprietors may not always speak English. However, you should not assume that pharmacies will necessarily carry or provide medication you can get at home. Some sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and anti-depressants are restricted and in some cases prohibited, so assuming the medication is for personal use, bring the medication with you.

Moving Documents Required
When moving to Jordan from Dubai, importation of Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Passport
  • Detailed Packing list
  • Copy of work permit / Letter of employment
  • Bill of lading / AWB
  • Authorisation letter
  • Tax ID number
  • Copy of passport showing residence permit overseas of minimum 12 months (returning Jordanian citizen only)

The owner of the goods must be present in Jordan at the time the goods are imported.

Useful link(s);
https://jordan.gov.jo/wps/portal/%5c?lang=en#/
Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Jordan from Dubai, UAE and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.