Big names move to Jordan as tourism booms
Sunday 03 April 2011
Hilton, one of the world's largest hotel chains, has opened its first outpost in Jordan as the country's tourism industry continues to attract new names - and visitors.
The brand announced March 31 that its midscale brand DoubleTree had opened a 173-room property in Aqaba, Jordan's only coastal city which is a popular tourist destination thanks to its Red Sea location.
The hotel, Hilton's first property in Jordan, offers views of the Red Sea, an infinity pool, whirlpools, sauna and steamroll and four restaurants and bars, including a lounge bar with views over the Gulf of Aqaba.
Aqaba, named Arab Tourism Capital 2011 by the Arab Tourism Ministers Council, is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Jordan, itself going through a significant amount of change.
The city is already home to several luxury brands such as Kempinski and InterContinental, while Hilton's competitor Marriott is also planning to open a hotel in the resort in 2013.
The new developments, and Jordan's rapidly-rising star on the international stage, helped push arrivals to Aqaba up by a third between 2004 and 2009.
Although it boasts the country's second largest airport - Aqaba International - the town has been considerably boosted by the growing number of visitors to Jordan generally, many of whom pass through on their way to Wadi Rum, a popular rock formation deep in the desert.
Those numbers have been rising rapidly, up 20 percent last year, and although ongoing unrest in the Middle East is expected to dent this year's numbers, authorities remain upbeat on the country's future potential as a Middle East tourism destination.
This week, EasyJet inaugurated a new route between London and Jordan, which is expected to significantly boost the country's profile in the UK - and the airline says it could also offer services from France and Switzerland if demand is strong enough.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...