Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conservatism In Aqaba

Although Aqaba is one of the largest and most modern cities in Jordan, it is still seems considerably more conservative than other well-known Middle Eastern cities such as Amman, Ramallah, etc. It is not uncommon to see women dressed in black abayas, and many girls start wearing headscarves at a very young age.

In 2000, Jordan designated Aqaba a "Special Economic Zone," which gives foreign investors monetary incentives to invest in the development of Aqaba. Many of these new investments are in the tourism industry, as people are trying to develop Aqaba into a resort destination.

Because tourism in Aqaba is still a developing industry, the relatively low cost to vacation here has attracted an influx of European travelers, which makes makes for an interesting street scene when white, bikini clad tourists brush shoulders with Arab, burka clad locals.

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