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An update from Evaneos

Security: Jordan is a safe country

Just one single phenomenon you can observe during your trip to Jordan should be enough to persuade you that the country is actually a very safe place, despite the preconceptions. Take a walk though Petra at night or very early in the morning and you'll notice that shopkeepers leave stock on display outside their premises unguarded. That would be absolutely out of the question in the UK.

The potential dangers

First of all, we need to dispense with some preconceived notions: Jordan is a very safe country. This doesn't mean you can casually walk around with your wallet or purse sticking out of the back pocket of your trousers of course. It is extremely rare, however, for anyone to fall victim to theft or experience aggression when visiting Jordan. At tourist sites such as Petra, by contrast, attempted scams and rip-offs are a daily experience for tourists. There seems to be no end to the imagination and inventiveness of the petty delinquents involved.

If you're a woman, you will be at no greater risk than if you were a man, even when alone and unaccompanied. You will notice yourself being looked at much more however, and regularly find yourself being approached.

It is impossible not to mention the risk of terrorism. Deadly incidents occurred in 2005, 2006 and 2010 in Jordan. Though the possibility of such things happening does undoubtedly exist, the risk is no higher than it in is Europe. It's certainly not something to be paranoid about.

Stopping for a quick break in the desert

Avoiding problems

Though theft is extremely rare in Jordan, to prevent yourself becoming the exception that proves the rule simply avoid attracting undue attention. Do not have any ostentatious signs of wealth on display; avoid using bum bags/waist packs (too obvious and visible), and do not wear your camera around your neck.

If faced with aggression, do not put up any resistance. Remain as calm as possible and avoid playing the hero by trying to recall and make use of the judo lessons you were taught as a child.

When faced with the numerous attempts to rip you off you'll be subjected to and the so-called unmissable bargain opportunities you'll be offered (especially at the Petra site), keep a cool head; don't let yourself be drawn in, and simply continue on your way.

If you're a woman on your ownand find yourself pestered by an overly persistent pick-up artist, simply tell them your husband is not far away or say the word "police". If that doesn't work, just approach anybody at all in the street and let them know the person is bothering you. He will then quickly and unceremoniously be put in his place.

When it comes to the more worrying risk of terrorist attacks, there is unfortunately not much you can do other than avoid large crowds and check the Foreign Office website for advice before leaving.

David Debrincat
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