The Aqaba Marine Park
Main basic figures
- Name: The Aqaba Marine Park
- Where is: Aqaba (Jordan)
Lenght of Coastline: 7 Km
- Establishment: 1997
Management Organization: ASEZA Aqaba Special Economic Zone
- Official web site: aqabamarinepark.jo
Rich in marine biodiversity and world-renowned for its coral reef, with over 300 species of hard and soft corals, Aqaba is located in the north-eastern part of the Red Sea and is the Kingdom of Jordan’s only port. The main city, Aqaba, overlooks the Red Sea and is part of the homonymous Governorate of Aqaba with a population of over 140.000 inhabitants (2013 estimates, Department of Statistics of Jordan).
Thanks to the richness of its underwater life, the Government of Jordan has established a Marine Park (www.aqabazone.com/en/environment/the-aqaba-marine-park/, aqabamarinepark.jo, both websites in English and arabic) meant to preserve and manage the marine environment in the 7-km long southern portion of the Aqaba coastline, where touristic uses of ecosystems and resources are allowed at sustainable levels for the benefits of local communities.
Civilizations and cultures have succeeded one to another leaving their footprint in the area and creating an interesting blend of culture: the Edomites, the Nabateans, the Romans, the Arabs, the Mamluks until the legendary Thomas Edward Lawrence. And, therefore, there are several cultural attractions to visit in the area and its surroundings: the ruins of the Islamic city of Ayla, al-Humayma, 55 km north of Aqaba, founded by the Nabateans to Aqaba Castle. Not to mention Wadi Rum, with its canyons and sandy dunes, and Petra easily reachable from Aqaba by car in a couple of hours.
The presence of local communities with their traditions, including traditional cuisine and hospitality (from the national dish, mansaf, to Bedouin gatherings in the desert) ensure an all-out experience to travellers.
4 days itinerary in Aqaba (Jordan).