Safety and security
Regional developments have the potential to trigger popular unrest in Jordan, although the country hasn’t seen unrest on the scale of that elsewhere in the region.
Travel to the border regions with Iraq and Syria should be avoided given the continued threat of cross-border violence, including the risk of terrorist attacks. The security situation in Syria continues to evolve and security threats in the form of instability or terrorist activity could arise with little or no notice.
Demonstrations regularly occur over the weekends in Amman, particularly on Thursday evenings, near the Prime Ministry at the 4th Circle. Similar demonstrations also occur in other towns or cities. Political demonstrations and gatherings, which can arise at short notice, should be avoided. These often occur in the downtown area of Amman and the centres of other towns and cities after Friday midday prayers. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay informed of the security situation through the media and this travel advice.
Avoid travel to refugee camps in Jordan. These are managed by the Government of Jordan. You must receive the Government of Jordan’s approval for any travel into refugee camps.
There is a heightened risk of terrorism in Jordan and visitors need to be aware of the risk of a terror attack. Enhanced security measures are in place across Jordan, most visibly at hotels and shopping malls. Targets could include places visited by foreigners, particularly hotels, shopping malls and tourist sites. Other areas include government buildings and places of worship. You should take extra care, and in the event of an incident, follow the advice of the Jordanian authorities.
If you need the emergency help, contact the Irish Embassy in Amman. Emergency services can be reached by calling 911.
Most visits to Jordan are crime free but you should take all normal precautions while travelling:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together – leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as on public transport or in crowded downtown areas.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Women should:
- Dress conservatively
- Travel in groups
- Avoid travel, in particular while alone, during the dark
- Sit in the back seats of taxis.
If you’re a victim of crime while in Jordan, report it to the local police immediately. Contact the Irish Embassy in Amman if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Jordan, you should be extremely careful as there are a high number of road accidents and road conditions outside of Amman can be poor. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
- Be aware all cars must carry a fire extinguisher and warning triangle.
When taking a taxi, ask your hotel to recommend a reliable taxi company or driver. Women should not take yellow taxis (street taxis) on their own. If a woman has to take a taxi on her own, she should sit in the back seat. Uber and Careem are widely used in Amman and are generally good options for taxi travel.
Police perform random security checks of vehicles on Jordanian highways and when travelling by car, you should carry identification at all times to present at police checkpoints.
Hiring a Vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times. Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).