Petra Desert Marathon

5 Sep 2020 / 4 Sep 2021

Destination Guide

Here you will find important background information and helpful tips on traveling in Jordan.

If you do not find the answer you're seeking, feel free to contact us with your question.

Language

Arabic (Modern Standard)

Capital City

Amman

Inhabitants

9.702.000

Religion

Islam

Currency

Jordanian Dinar (JOD)

Area

91.880 sq. km.

Special Dietary Requirements

We understand that allergies and special diets are a common concern among our guests. We do our very best to accommodate any diet for medical, allergy or religious needs; however, we cannot guarantee that all dining establishments can fulfill special requests. As a result, we encourage our guests to take all necessary precautions during their travel. 

Guests with special dietary requirements should inform their server upon arriving at the location. To facilitate this, we strongly recommend bringing a description of your dietary needs which has been translated into the local language. When present, your Albatros tour leader can also help inform local eateries of any special requests.

If you require a special diet during your travel, please inform us.

Please note: This information must be received no later than 45 days before your tour begins.

Language

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an Arabic Kingdom, and hence Modern Standard Arabic is the official language.

The spoken language is a nonstandard variety, specifically a dialect known as Jordanian Arabic. As with most languages, there are different variations of the dialect spoken across the country. The three primary varieties are urban-, rural-, and Bedouin Jordanian. Depending on where you are in the country, the typical Arabic spoken will change with regards to vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. 

English is the second most common language in Jordan and is widely spoken. As a former British colony, it was mandatory to learn English. Even after independence, English is taught in schools from a young age, and is sometimes used as the primary mode of communication in universities, governmental work, television, and radio. 

Electricity

In Jordan, you will find a wide variety of electrical outlets. They utilize the following types:
C - Standard two-prong "Euro" plug. Also works with types E and F. 
D - Primarily used in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and some African countries. No alternative plug types. 
F - Known as a "Schuko" plug. Works with types C and E.
G - Primarily used in Britain. No alternative plug types. 
J - Primarily used in Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Works with type C. 

The standard voltage in Jordan is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. 

If you are bringing a laptop or similar portable device to Jordan, be sure to check the labeling on the power pack. It should describe the amount of voltage your device can handle, and if a voltage converter is required.

Telephone & Internet

The international country code to call Jordan is +962.

Roaming is available, but expensive. Check with your cell phone provider regarding rates before you travel. Internet connection can be purchased at most hotels.

 

Drinking Water & Food

The tap water in Jordan is not safe to drink. Most hotels provide a kettle for boiling water, and bottled water is provided along the marathon route. 

For daily drinking purposes, it is advisable to buy bottled water. Fresh vegetables and fruit from which you eat the skin should also be avoided. 

For information on Jordan's cuisine, please see our Travel section. 

Clothing & Customs

In general, Jordanians are quite hard to offend and are accepting of foreigners who may not know their customs. That said, they appreciate some common courtesies, and there are standards that are nice to know.

To begin with, there are no strict requirements for clothing when visiting Jordan. However, as a Muslim country, the general expectation is that visitors are respectful and dress modestly. In tourist destinations such as Petra and Aqaba, shorts and bikinis (on the beach or at the Dead Sea) are fairly common. Thus, for the marathon race, shorts and shoulder-baring tops are perfectly acceptable. However, please note that outside in these destinations, shorts and shoulder-baring tops are not very common and may draw unwanted attention. 

At mosques and other holy sites, knees and shoulders should be covered for both women and men. Women may also be expected to cover their chests and hair. 

In terms of etiquette, keep in mind that Jordan is a conservative country. When you see people greet each other, you may see vigourous handshakes and hearty hugs. However, some Muslims avoid touching members of the opposite sex - to avoid offending someone, wait for them to initiate contact when you meet them. If you're unsure what to do, you may place your right hand over your heart as a sign of acknowledgement of the other person. 

Other customs include removing shoes upon entrance to a home, using the right hand instead of the left to pass food and shake hands, and try to avoid taking photos without permission. Also note that as a religious country, public displays of excess are frowned upon - whether that relates to public drunkenness or even displays of anger. Moderation is prized. 

Tipping Guidelines

As always, tipping is not mandatory. That said, tipping is expected in Jordan and is a nice way to show your satisfaction with a particular service. In general, wages are quite low in Jordan and thus tipping is an important component of the tourism sector. 

Many larger restaurants in Jordan will automatically include a service charge, so check on your bill to make sure you don't tip twice. If it doesn't include a service charge, 5-10% is expected and appreciated. 

In taxis, tips are not expected but rounding up your fare is a welcome gesture. And finally, if you have a tour guide and they do a good job, a small tip is much appreciated. 

Currency

Jordan uses the Jordanian Dinar (JOD). You may bring USD or Euro and exchange upon arrival. 

Most major credit/debit cards are widely accepted, however, some shops, street vendors and train stations do not accept cards or the machines may not be working properly, so it is a good idea to always carry a bit of cash.

Medical Assistance

Albatros Adventure Marathons will ensure that an English-speaking doctor/medical team is available for participants of our marathon events.

Please note that participants are responsible for their own travel insurance. 

Medical assistance during the marathon event
A team of English-speaking Danish doctors will be present during the pasta dinner and the race. The medical team is ready in case of injury or severe exhaustion.

Albatros Adventure Marathons will ensure that an English-speaking doctor/medical team is available for participants of our marathon events. If any treatment is unable to be carried out by the doctor and it is necessary to refer a participant to local medical facilities, the doctor/medical team and travel agency will not be held liable for any treatment carried out by staff from local medical facilities. 

Can I Haggle?

Hotels, restaurants, and public transport almost always have fixed prices. 

However, street vendors and tour operators are quite open to bargaining, especially if you buy in bulk or for a large group of people.