“When fantasy, sun and sea meet the charms and atmosphere of antiquity, the visitor can find himself, at any time of the year, at the 13th century Red Sea resort of Aqaba, which was in ancient times, the main port for shipments from the Red Sea to the Far East, known by the names of Aila, Ailana, Elana, Ailath, Elath, Ayla and Wayla.
For relaxation, water sports, and winter warmth, Aqaba is warm, sunny and inviting, fringed with palm trees, lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf , cooled by a steady northerly breeze, and ringed by mountains that change in color with the change of the hours. Snorkeling, water skiing, wind surfing, para-sailing, fishing and a variety of other water sports, including unsurpassed scuba diving are just some of the popular activities to partake in.
It is the secrets these waters hold that makes Aqaba unique, for further down the coast are a dazzling undersea world of some of the most spectacular coral reefs to be found anywhere in the world. Often over many hundreds of meters wide, the reef is made up of many delicately hued corals among which live a myriad of brilliantly colored fish.
Of special interest among the ancient and medieval archaeological sites are the early Islamic city called Ayla, the Aqaba Fort, built by the Mamluk Sultan Qansweh El-Ghuri at the beginning of the 16th century, which was originally a Crusader Castle, and a very fine museum at the
historical residence of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, great grandfather of King Abdullah II, containing a collection of artifacts collected in the region, including fragments of lusterware from Samaria, Chinese ceramics, Umayyad Islamic archaeological finds, and pottery and coins.
Other places of interest, In one of the most exciting discoveries in recent times, archaeologists working in Aqaba have unearthed what they believe to be the world’s oldest church. Dating from the late third century CE, the 26 x 16 meters structure is thought to be the oldest building built specifically as a church. It is slightly older than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, both of which date from the fourth century. The church is found on a plot of land east of Istiqlal Street.
Whatever the visitor’s interest, a wide range of hotels provide excellent accommodations in Aqaba, facilities for all water sports, and restaurants that cater to the most selective tastes. A stroll around the modern town will reveal the presence of some excellent fish restaurants and craftsmen are to be found at work filling small bottles with colored sand in intricate geometric designs.
Marine Life & Reefs
The absence of stormy weather, along with the mild water currents contribute to clear waters, one of Aqaba’s exceptional environmental conditions.
Warm, clear waters provide a hospitable environment for the growth of corals, and favorable salinity levels provide an environment for myriad varieties of marine-life forms.
Besides being a main tourist attraction, the coral reef plays an important role in supporting the survival of various life forms. Thousands of marine creatures coexist in a complex ecosystem ranging form almost invisible species to huge fish and mammals.. Read more in Aqaba diving sites.
Six ministerial – level commissioners, each responsible for a major area of regulatory or operational activity, govern the ASEZ.
ASEZA is a service – oriented organization offering one – stop assistance covering all investment needs.
Day Tours From Aqaba to