The ultimate guide to living in Jordan as expat

Coming to Jordan

Maybe you saw one of the guest posts from other expats living in Amman. Maybe you are thinking of coming to Jordan, maybe you are already here. Whatever the reason is you are visiting my site, feel free to browse and get an idea of what it is like to live in Jordan. As it is not always easy to move, especially when coming from another country, I decided to focus on the initial steps to make the move easier and review places, attractions, companies or apps, be it for sightseeing, kids activities, outdoor adventures, gifts to buy, nice dinner or drinks with friends.

Amman

Amman, is the capital of Jordan and the biggest city of the kingdom. Most likely, foreigners, who come to Jordan for work, will work and live here or in the near cities of Fuhays, Salt, Madaba or Irbid. The following site shall give you some information regarding orientation in Amman, how and where to rent a place, as well as information on utilities such as Water, Electricity, Internet and finally banking. These are probably the main things to get settled.

Orientation

Amman is build on many hills known in Arabic as “Jebal”. Many parts of the city are named after these hills such as “Jebal Amman” or “Jebal Webdeh”. Keep this in mind when you want to walk, because short distances might turn out to be quite long and exhausting depending on the elevation between the points. That also applies of course when driving in a car. Another important word you might find useful is “Wadi” meaning valley. So you know already a part of the meaning of “Wadi Rum”. The other most important things you need to know are some main streets and the circles. Aside from Medina and Mecca Street, a long street runs from East to West through the city named Zahran Street. It connects the circles “Duwar” from the first up to the eighth circle. Since street names and house numbers are not commonly used by citizens or taxi drivers, people tend to indicate nearby landmarks when they want to tell somebody where to go or where they live.

Thus, it is very common to name the part of the town or a name of a big well known street, a mall, a mosque or one of the circles as a first indicator where to go. After that you go right, then right again, then left, then next to that small kiosk you turn left, after that a u-turn and than opposite you arrived…. Inshallah.

For further information on how to navigate through Amman see my Post on How to get around in Amman.

Getting connected

The first thing you will need in Jordan is a SIM card, so you can make calls and use the internet. Note that nothing relies on official snail mail and you will be identified and contacted in a most cases through your mobile number. Zain and Orange are the most common. To know about where to get a phone number, what you need to sign up, what are common providers and their offers, see my article on Communication.

Finding a place to stay

Since, you first need to find a place to live in, you might return later to that article for internet. However, since the choice depends a heavily on where you live, you should first have a look at finding an apartment and what you need to know about utilities, how much to expect, how to pay them and what else to keep in mind when renting a place.

For your first days in Amman I can recommend Sydney Hotel which is a stone throw away from Down Town and allows you to explore the vivid life of the locals while being in a safe and comfortable environment that doesn’t stretch your budget too much.

If you came on a tourist visa, your employer will hopefully take care of all arrangements to acquire a residency (Iqama) and a work permit. Before and or during that you might need to extend your visa. Chelsea from myammanlife wrote a short guide, how that works. However, please keep in mind to consult with your embassy, as I cannot give legal advice. When you found a place, check back on Communication for internet.

Shopping and groceries

Soon you will need to buy some things. Towels and shampoo, groceries or tools. See my article on where to buy what. Even though most expats opt for furnished places you might wanna exchange or swap some furniture or be in need of some more household goods and appliances. See here some options where to find these items.

Banking in Jordan

Since you came for a job or even if you are studying, you need a bank account in Jordan. Before even thinking of going to a any of the branches, read my article on money and banking to know what you need in order to open a bank account in Jordan. Since there are several documents and information required, be prepared. It will take some time.

Living in Jordan

If you have been in Jordan for some time and getting bored of the everyday life, then there are plenty of things to do despite Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. See all about travels within Jordan. Ever had a quad ride in the north of Jordan? Did you stay in one of the nature reserves, yet? Looking for some interesting restaurants outside of Amman?

Digital Stuff

You might be surprised but there are also plenty of ways to make your life easier by using some apps. You need food from local kitchens to be delivered? Then check Bilforon. You need some maintenance, a gardener or cleaning staff? Have a look at Aoun. You want to discover some new places to hang out with friends? Try out Aroundtown.

What else?

Eventually friends and family will come to visit you then see some nice articles about the Jordan Pass by familyinjordan.com. You want to know about the best Arabic restaurants in Jordan or some inspiration where to go with your kids?

Ahlan w Sahlan – Welcome to Jordan – Enjoy reading

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