I spent the last couple of days in Jordan with Jordan MW Travel Company’s CEO, Jamal Arab. As we toured around Amman and Petra, Jamal answered questions about his company, the market conditions in Jordan and some of his most memorable trips.
I got to meet the founder of Jordan MW Travel, Jamal. We talked about Jordan’s tourism industry, how Jordan MW works and why they are a bit different than most of the other travel companies out there. Jamal said Jordan MW is one of the only tour operators in Jordan that is completely owned by a foreign company – it is 100% foreign-owned. He started the business in 2008 after the second Iraq war and had the idea that he could make a difference.
He decided to start small and focus on just Amman and Petra, rather than trying to compete with all the tour operators offering the same tours. He found his niche and focused on giving people who don’t speak Arabic a chance to visit Jordan. I asked Jamal what he thought Jordan’s tourism potential was. Jamal mentioned that Jordan has seen a 40% growth rate in visitors in the past year. He mentioned that there is a huge tourism potential for Jordan and the Middle East but the government hasn’t been doing a good job of developing it. Jordan has a lot of beautiful landscapes that are not being explored by tourists. He feels that the government needs to take care of it more and put more effort into promoting it.
Jordan MW is very focused on sustainability. They work closely with local companies to source all their products. In Jordan, they source from Jordan MW Travel Company, which is an independent company that sells to other companies. Jamal mentioned that they were the first tour operator in Jordan to source all their products locally. Steve mentioned that they don’t want to be a “one-stop shop”.
They want to make sure that everything is done properly and they don’t want to be the one that takes the blame if something goes wrong. Jamal talked about how he started his business. He said he had been in the tourism industry for 20 years and was very frustrated by the way things were going. He noticed that there weren’t many tour operators in Jordan that offered tours in English or in Arabic. He said he wanted to start an English-speaking tour company that would offer local tours and that he could give people a chance to visit the country.
We went to a few of Jamal’s favorite spots in Amman. We started our day at the National Museum of Modern Art. The museum is one of the largest museums in Jordan. It was built in 2002 and it has over 30,000 pieces of art. There are paintings, sculptures, photography, video and more. I loved seeing the large scale of some of the art. It was very impressive. We walked around the museum for a bit and then we headed to the King Abdullah II Street. Steve mentioned that he likes to come here on Fridays when it is open. The street is filled with all sorts of shops. He mentioned that the area has a lot of great restaurants. Steve mentioned that he really liked the markets. He said the market in Amman is very good because it is one of the largest and best stocked markets in the world. He said the markets in Petra are also really interesting. He mentioned that he has been to most of the markets in Jordan but the ones in Petra are different.
We went to the Souq Al-Balad, which is a marketplace that sells all sorts of products, including spices, fruits, vegetables, herbs, clothes, jewelry, perfumes and more. Jamal said this is where the locals shop. We walked through the market for about an hour and then we headed to the souq where we shopped for a bit. Jamal said that the people of Jordan are very hospitable and they make it easy for tourists to visit their country.
He said that you don’t need to speak Arabic to get by in Jordan. He said that there are many tour operators who offer tours to Jordan and he mentions that some of them are not as good as he would like. However, he said he is glad that he chose to be in Jordan instead of other places. He said he enjoys what he does and he is proud of the work he is doing. I had a great time with Jamal.
I would definitely recommend Jordan MW Travel Company to anyone visiting Jordan. You can contact Steve by visiting his website at www.jordanmwtravelcompany.com Jordan tours I spent the last couple of days in Jordan with Jordan MW Travel Company’s CEO, Jamal. As we toured around Amman and Petra, Jamal answered questions about his company, the market conditions in Jordan and some of his most memorable trips.