Info on life in Amman, Jordan

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#1 27 August 2009 09:51:37

LostInTransition

Info on life in Amman, Jordan

We are currently Canadian expats living and working in Dubai, we have 3 kids and my husband has his own business here.

We have been seriously contemplating a move out of here and looking at Amman as the next destination to live and work.

I am having trouble finding info on life in Amman and would appreciate a local or expat perspective on it.

Thanks :-)

#2 27 August 2009 13:09:46

shobaki
shobaki
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

u r welcome
anything u looking to know we ready to told u

about Jordan & dubai no big differnt(expet weather, here is very lovly , u can see snow in winter)

#3 31 August 2009 05:54:15

LostInTransition

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Thanks Hisham for the info.  I've been to Jordan a few times actually with my family, we stayed at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Amman.

I'm going to send you an email alittle later.

Last edited by LostInTransition (27 September 2010 19:36:36)

#4 06 February 2010 11:31:13

sweetchoice
sweetchoice
Dammam

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

shobaki wrote:

u r welcome
anything u looking to know we ready to told u

about Jordan & dubai no big differnt(expet weather, here is very lovly , u can see snow in winter)

Are u interested in arranging site visits - we plan to have one week holiday

#5 07 February 2010 10:02:39

ninjabike
ninjabike
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi there,

Welcome to Jordan.I never lived in Dubai but I lived in Australia for 16 years,now I have been living in Jordan for the last 3 years.The country is beautiful and the weather is much more pleasant than that of Dubai.As for work ,may I ask what sort of work is it?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Lost in transition lol at first glance I thought lost in translation lol.I am a translator by the way.

Take care

#6 16 August 2010 23:27:36

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

LostInTransition wrote:

We are currently Canadian expats living and working in Dubai, we have 3 kids and my husband has his own business here.

We have been seriously contemplating a move out of here and looking at Amman as the next destination to live and work.

I am having trouble finding info on life in Amman and would appreciate a local or expat perspective on it.

Thanks :-)

hi Lisa,
did you make the move? if so, may i ask if you mind me tapping on your knowledge on what you were looking for? i am in the mode you were in... currently in dubai (and for the last few years), moving to jordan with 2 small kids. much appreciated,jin

#7 20 August 2010 01:35:22

Zoba In Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Well Jordan is so much different than Dubai, i had lived in Jordan, Dubai and currently in London but im on a visit in Jordan. For a non- Arabic speaker life will be hard, specially if you don't have a car, people in Jordan are kind of poor so they look for many different ways to take more money from you, when they see that you don't actually speak Arabic they'll know that you know nothing about this country and so they'll start making you pay more which you will cuz you don't know, anyways you'll know the actual prices in few years time-- and Never go on taxi's specially without your husband-- ppl in Jordan are crazy about white people, some are really friendly for that... well You find the really good people in Jordan and the really bad ppl in Jordan-- Lol it's a wired country but for a strange reason i love it-- btw i know i haven't explained much and so if you have any questions at all feel free to ask.
bbyesss xx

#8 22 August 2010 12:55:41

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Zoba In Jordan wrote:

Well Jordan is so much different than Dubai, i had lived in Jordan, Dubai and currently in London but im on a visit in Jordan. For a non- Arabic speaker life will be hard, specially if you don't have a car, people in Jordan are kind of poor so they look for many different ways to take more money from you, when they see that you don't actually speak Arabic they'll know that you know nothing about this country and so they'll start making you pay more which you will cuz you don't know, anyways you'll know the actual prices in few years time-- and Never go on taxi's specially without your husband-- ppl in Jordan are crazy about white people, some are really friendly for that... well You find the really good people in Jordan and the really bad ppl in Jordan-- Lol it's a wired country but for a strange reason i love it-- btw i know i haven't explained much and so if you have any questions at all feel free to ask.
bbyesss xx

Hi Zoba,
thanks for your comments.  you asked what i like to know?

for now chiefly accomdation ( budgets i should set aside? market rates?) - i looked at abdoun real estate website but its all postings and ads. like to have the view of an expat who have recently moved there to give idea of the market.  i am in a 2000sq feet apt now in dubai, with maids room and balcony, by the beach, with view and facilities. looking for comparables. 

like to know what is available in terms of stuff i need for living - i am trying to decide how much to ship over, how much to sell from what i have in dubai now. some apt seem to come furnished but by the pictures the style seemed dated...

i have 2 kids, 1.5 yr and 3.5 yr. like to know what activities is available for them, info on schools etc.

like to know info on hiring a fulltime, lived-in maid.  what are the costs and how to go about it.  we cant bring our current maid over for certain reasons.

i am a Marketing professional. what are my career opportunities?

like to know any other useful info that will help me with settling in. eg shopping for groceries, cost of living, standards of living, vacation options around town etc

i looked at several threads on this site but saw the usual "welcome and you will like it here" replies.  hopefully there are some who had been through my stage willing to share for practical tips in detail.

thank you again and grateful for useful comments.

#9 24 August 2010 08:10:39

Brit in Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Jinshui

I have been living in Jordan for two years now so hopefully can give you a good insight into life here.

Accommodation, especially in Abdoun is expensive in comparison to the UK.  A Dinar is almost equal to a £ sterling for comparison and our rent for the last two years for a 3 bed apartment approx 180 sq m on the ground floor in a good area of Amman is 15,000 dinars per annum.  Unfurnished is cheaper - probably around 30 - 40% cheaper.  Abdoun Real Estate site is not reliable, they do not update very often and properties do not exist.  Most aparts have a maids room.

Agencies will bring over a maid for approx 2-3k dinars and the pay is between 200 & 300 USD a month.  Alternatively there are maids who work independently but you need to know somebody who can recommend.

Food bills at expat supermarkets are much the same as the UK in the overall scheme of things.  Local produce is cheaper but imported produce is expensive due to import tax.

Electricals are expensive - approx 50% more than UK and in some cases 100% more.  Again, I suspect due to import tax.  I bring most of my small electricals in from the UK, together with all new clothes and cosmetics.  Two or three trips a year with an empty suitcase usually suffices and what I can't carry I usually do without.

Jordanians are very friendly and welcoming.  There is always the problem of the language barrier but nearly everybody welcomes you to Jordan.  Amman is a wealthy capital and there is a big culteral and wealth difference between the capital and the villages.

Local salaries are very low in comparison to Europe and US.  Even postgraduates can earn between 2-300 dinars a month and its a long working week, sometimes 6 days. 

Schools are very good with a big choice, IB, O level and local examination boards.  Fees vary considerably.  As in the UK they increase with the child's age.  At a very good school at age 11 its around 5000 dinars - at age 16-17 it increases to around 7,500 - 8,000 per year.

Vacations can be taken in Aqaba, 3-4 hours drive, Egypt - 1 hour flight, Cyprus 1 hour flight.  Hotels in Aqaba are expensive - at peak times 200 dinars per night per room.  Egypt is much cheaper but Royal Jordanian has pretty much a monopoly and the prices are extortionate in comparison to UK 1 hour flights - we just paid 170 dinars for a 1 hour flight to Cyprus.  Most of middle europe is also easily accessible.  There is much to see in Jordan culturally but for the youngsters it is limited.  However, schools arrange some activities.  Mostly here it is a family culture and the youngsters spend a lot of time with cousins. 

Taxi's are mostly fine - I have experienced one or two trying to overcharge but if you mention the police they will run!  Average fairs to travel from one side of Amman to the other is 1.5 - 2 dinars - very cheap!  However, the culture dictates that young girls do not travel unaccompanied in a taxi and I am sure living in Dubai you understand this.  I drive and whilst Ramadam is a bit hairy, thirsty hungry people do not make good drivers, once you get used to the system and know the routes it is ok.

I can't comment on your ability to find work but would recommend you try to find a post prior to making the move.  Expats contracts pay far more than local employers in general.

It is a beautiful country, with lovely people.  If you need any further info please feel free to email me. 

Hope this helps

#11 24 August 2010 22:21:47

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Brit in Jordan,
THAnk you for the wealth of info here!
hope you dont mind i further pick on your expat expertise here...
if abdoun real estate isnt recommended, whats the best way to go searching for a place?  drive around and take down phone numbers on sign boards???

is the ground floor and top floor (i read top floor sometimes comes with terrace etc) more desirable and does it necessarily cost a more? with little kids, both ground/top floor sounds good to us.

what do you  mean "good area in amman"? can you please list some that i can start looking into?

what is the average time expats families take to find an apt? company gives us 30days temp housing allowance, is that realistically doable? my shipment from dubai should also arrive within 3-5 weeks.. trying to estimate time i needed to look for a place, running around...

our estimate move is any time between after Ramadan and Nov. any difference sooner or later in terms of timing?

how do i start looking for a maid agency? where would i find contacts? (i suppose googling wouldnt do me much good?) i would like to explore starting the process now if i could now.

do most expats own their own vehicles and drive?  is buying better than leasing?

once again, thank you very much for taking the time and effort to share.  it is very much appreciated.

Last edited by jinshui (24 August 2010 22:23:37)

#12 16 September 2010 12:59:21

Brit in Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Jinshui - sorry for delay but been on holiday.

Yes do drive around and ring phone numbers - you will not have to pay an agent then but also there are a couple of really good agents who can look for what you want - its mainly done by word of mouth here.

Top floor apartments can be horrendously hot in the summer months and incredibly cold in the winter.  Yes some do have beautiful terraces and of course you get the views then.  There is a build limit of four floors above ground level but the latest loophole (if you like) is to build below ground on a sloping site giving 5-6-7 floors sometimes.  My understanding is that anything below ground is considered a basement by locals and therefore not appealing although many basements have gardens of course.  You will need to decide whether the local perspective is important to you - or a garden is important. 

There are many good areas and I know expats dotted around Amman - but Dair Gbhar, Abdoun, Swefieh have most expats.
I would say 4 weeks is stretching it a bit fine but to be fair once you have found an apartment they will not wait for your contract to end so you end up paying an overlap - its just dependent on what is available when you are looking.

I can get you contacts when you arrive for maid agencies.  My friend is currently in the UK and she brought over an Indonesian maid.  I have also been told that the Indonesian Embassy has maids they have withdrawn or have been removed from families for various reasons, and they are already in Jordan.

Most expats buy a car - I can't comment on leasing sorry.

Hope your move goes well.

Best wishes

#13 10 October 2010 15:28:44

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Okay I've been in  Jordan since 2005.

I've lived amongst : Bani Hamida--South Of Madaba---

I've lived amongst : Bani Hassan --Jerash, Mafraq

I am living and have lived for the last year and a half in Amman amongst - Palastinians - Jordanians - Egyptians - People of the Gulf.

1. Marketing professional---GOOD LUCK-- I am currently the marketing and sales manager for a tourism company and I don't make more then 375 JDS a month, and I have over 13 years of experience, plus my B.S Flght.Eng. -- plus I speak 5 languages...take my advise....unless you've already gotten a job, signed a contract here, with a solid guarenteed salary(which it's not until a trial 3 month period--which during that time they can fire you on a moments notice for any small reason) then come on over here and take your chances.

BUT unless you have a solid income and even savings, and plan As, Bs, and Cs, and emergancy case back-up --I'd say, stay far away from Jordan, because life here is extremely hard, and extremely expensive(for families).

WHY???

1. Cost of living--Brit in Amman told you all the truth it's extremely high here---

2. Wages are very low---and as foreigners MARRIED to Jordanians (like myself) still struggle to get jobs here.

3. Life in general---back home in the stats we're used to just getting in our cars and driving out to the beach for a day  to relax--30 dollar tank of gas and 10 dollars for food for the day and you come back home happy as if you went on a week vacation. In JORDAN-- the people work now like the western system---from 8 or 9 am till 6 at night! Jumua'ah--there's no taxis, nothing is open, not even a dukaana to go and get a pepsi. Jumuah or Friday--is your only day off! You're lucky if you get saturdays off at your job.

There are tons of marketing professional jobs--but you're lucky if 1. they hire you because you're a foreigner

         2. you get a salary that's worth your time 500 if your lucky--but they'll readily pay a Jordanian secretary/recepionish 800+ and you don't get the first rights to those secretary jobs because the Ministry of Labour has basically put the Labour Laws to giving work permits to Foreigners only under certain Job fields( Medicine... Tourism)
         3. Jordan if fun and slap happy when you have a steady source of income that does not falter.
         4. Hospitals don't accept you in an emergancy (goverment) unless you pay up front 250 JDS--even if you are hemoraging and dieing, and no body pays the 250JDs --no body will bother to save your life ( I KNOW THIS because it HAPPENED TO ME TWICE--plus don't think that when you have a car accident or a miscarriage at 4 months pregnant, that the doctor is going to feel sorry for ya and give you a shot of morphine to kill your pain? NO you'll get nurse come to you and tell you to shut up instead whilst your crying in agony --JERASH HOSPITAL----- DON'T GO THERE--EVER )

If you have money--WELCOME TO JORDAN!!!! IF NOT--- Come at your OWN RISK

#14 10 October 2010 16:40:14

danik2010
danik2010
Ploiesti

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hello, LostIn Transition, and welcome! Don't get too influenced by FouadsBaby comment, she must have been hurted by someone to talk so bad about Jordan and jordanians. Excellent informations from Brit in Jordan and very true everything! My housband lives in Jordan (but is not jordanian) and he tells me everyday news about the life there, Amman is a beautiful city (of course, like every big city, has good and bad areas, you just don't go to bad areas)and jordanians are nice and friendly, even they are work colleagues or neighbours in the building. Again, all the informations from Brit in Jordan are true and realistic. Good luck there and have a nice life!

#15 10 October 2010 16:53:45

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Thank you Mrs. Danik for this comment, however I like to tell the truth to people, as I wished someone would have been that way with me before and when I was planning on comming to Jordan.

My Main point here is that ::::1. LIfe is great here when you have a steady income. 

There are two classes here
High class
and below low class

I don't like to sugar coat realities.

I'm honest. People either hate me, or love me.

#16 10 October 2010 16:55:23

LostInTransition

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi every1

Thanks for all your posts.  I actually didn't see FaoudsBaby post - it didn't show on my blackberry so I have no idea what was said.  Looks like our move will happen next September.  My husband will be applying for his J passport in the next 2 months and will have a branch of his office there in Amman and keep the office in Dubai.  I've already started the hunt for schools and have 2 favs as well as 2 back ups.  I'm hoping the fight to get in will not be like it is here.  Once things get solidified we'll look at an area to live, preferably close to whichever school we decide on.  One thing I will miss here though when we move are the community facilities mostly the pool.  We spend many of our weekends there or at the beach which is a short 20 minute drive from our house and are so lovely with white sand and calm waters.  I have been trying to find some kindof club (not like a snotty country club), but something that has a pool and recreation place. 

Something else I can't find, soccor, football (american style), hockey and dance academy's.  Does anyone know of any in Amman?  I know this will help entice our kids and make the transition easier for them.

I've been to Jordan many times and have to say its taken awhile to grow on me, but I am excited for the new change ahead.

Thanks again for all the great advise and I look forward to hearing more from this group.

LostinTransition

#17 10 October 2010 16:55:53

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

I believe it's good to share both the negatives and the positives. Some people have happy go lucky lives, and others not....

You don't know the real meaning of sweetness until you taste the sourness of life--like it or leave it!

Honesty is a virtue--it's good to get points of views from both low and high classes here. Bravo to the high class survivors!

#18 10 October 2010 17:03:53

LostInTransition

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

@Faoudsbaby - I didn't see your original post.

I know how hard life can be, we lived it here for 18mths.  I appreciate your honesty and like you I wish someone had warned me about the negative aspects of this place as well.

#19 11 October 2010 12:44:59

Brit in Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Regarding the post from Fouad's Baby, I have twice been to the hospital in an emergency situation - two different hospitals in fact.  Most recently when my husband got a severe infection and it was a dire emergency, the hospital was excellent - we  told them we would not be using our insurance but they carried out all treatments anyway - we paid no deposit and we paid the bill, which was entirely reasonable, at the point he was discharged.   If you were an expat in the UK, and not a member of a country with a reciprocal health agreement, you would pay for your treatment there too. 

My personal experience of hospitals in Amman are that they are efficient and relatively cheap.  Many people from other countries come to Jordan specifically to use the health facilities, which are very advanced, many Consultants having been trained in Europe and the States and far far cheaper than in their own countries.  I would go so far as to say that some areas of medicine in Jordan are more advanced because the private sector purchases more up-to-date equipment.

#20 11 October 2010 14:09:28

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

I'm glad you had a wonderful experience. But I'm curious to know which hospital you went to?

The  Hospitals that I have been to and I had terrible experiences are all government and military hospitals: Jerash Hospital, Al Basheer Hospital, King Hussein Medical Center, Madaba Hospital. So if you went to a private hospital, you pay for your services. And I'm very surprised they decided to treat your husband without taking any payment. This is rare and ofcourse if it does happen---that would obviously be from a prestigious hospital (Al Khaldeh, Farah, ect) that serves international communities, and not the local Jordanian Public.

There is no hospital that is a government owned and ran facility that will treat a foreigner for any type of reason unless they pay a minimum of JD 100 upon arrival on the spot before any syringes are drawn and before any nurses can legally care for them.

#21 11 October 2010 14:11:18

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Back home in the states, if you go to any hospital, you will get taken care of especially in an emergancy and not left to die. But this is Jordan, and Jordan is not a wealthy country like the United States that can bare such financial risks.

#22 11 October 2010 14:50:30

LostInTransition

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

@Foadsbaby - ur post was about a bad hospital experience!???!  That could've happened anywhere in the world.  We will be purchasing top level insurance so I hope that we never run into that issue.

#23 11 October 2010 15:28:07

Brit in Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Fouadsbaby and just to clarify.  The visit to the hospital was far from a 'wonderful experience', after all who would want to go to a hospital in an emergency in any case.  The hospital in question was Al Khalidi Medical Centre, which indicidentally is where I had an operation last year too.  You should remember that this is an Expatriates website and expatriates would not go to a military or government hospital in Amman because 1) their medical insurance would not list the government or military hospitals as appropriate for private treatment and 2) they are not Jordanian citizens or military personnel.  I would like to make it clear that on two separate occasions I have been to two different hospitals for emergency treatement and on no occasion was I asked for money prior to treatment.  I do not think it is appropriate to scaremonger on an Expat forum, especially on a subject such as health.  Sorry if that offends you but I can assure you that I am a member of a large expat community and have been travelling to and from Jordan for 7 years and resident for two years and not once in any conversations with the many expats I have come into contact with have I heard any adverse comments on health treatment in this country.  I also have many Jordanian friends who are complimentary on the health systems here, but again this is an expat website and irrelevant.

I do not want to comment on the American system but I was in the States when Barack Obama was voted in and the promise of a Health Reform.

#24 11 October 2010 16:17:06

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

I feel a sense of anger in your post. First of all, I am an expatriate. Let us define an expatriate. Shall we? ( taken from this link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expatriate )

"An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. The word comes from the Latin term expatriātus from ex ("out of") and patriā the ablative case of patria  ("country, fatherland"). This "Latin" term comes from the Greek words "exo" meaning outside, and "patrida" meaning country or fatherland. "


There is no where in this definition that mentions that expatriates are usually of wealthy status. So I belong here just like all you other expats do whether you like it or not.

I'm going to answer you with this. One should take what's useful to them and then move on. No body is scaremongering this forum. I'm being dead honest, and sometimes the truth can be down right scary and bothersome to others. I wish I knew then(5 years ago), what I know now. So I believe people need honesty, especially in the present threat of worldwide economic crisis that we face on a daily basis.

I didn't vote for Obama nor Bush by the way. And it's not right to automatically form opinions and judge me because I'm an American. I love democracy, I fought for my country and did my time in the military and can say I earned my right to speak my mind.

Honesty is a virtue that is valued. You can like it or leave it. Nobody is forcing you to anything, so please calm down and be a bit more open-minded, because perhaps if you were in my shoes, you would probably say even more. I enjoy telling people the truth, reguardless of what others think. I'm glad I'm alive today to tell people what I've learned. 

I know people who have been in Jordan for over 10 years and still don't know how to communicate in Arabic. Everyone's experiences are different. I have experienced the eye witness level insider look that many people don't ever see--(and thank God they don't). But I lost a lot in return... for my  lessons learned.

The Khalidi Hostpital system is known as being one of the most high class and prestigious medical centers in the Jordan. Not every one is privledged enough to be able to pay for such care. Kudos to you if you had that opportunity. I hope only the best experience for you in Jordan, and I pray that you don't go through what I did. Government and military hospitals (By the way the King Hussein Medical Center is an Extention of the Mayo Clinic, and most of its doctors are educated in Western or European countries. People from the UAE and Saudia Arabia go there to seek medical help. They are usually spending the same amount as they would at Khalidi, but they go there for specifically well known doctors. It's not the doctors' fault that the patient level care is poor...it's a procurement problem and a lack of on duty nurses and government funding. So most of them are over-worked, exhausted and frustrated.)

I believe life is a journey, and it's based upon lessons learned and how we help and effect the people around us. Just remember that not all expatriates are the same.
We come in all shapes, names, statuses and colors.

Last edited by FouadsBaby (11 October 2010 16:28:37)

#26 12 October 2010 11:22:24

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

We as humans don't naturally feel amused at negative facts.

So that's your right to feel "bemused". Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I have never experienced the Al Khalidi Health Care system, just the government level health care systems, and I'm simply stating my opinion on what I know.
Sometimes people have to "agree" to "disagree".:)

#27 24 October 2010 09:12:53

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hello everyone,
i want to say thank you for everyone who replied directly or indirectly to my queries, especially Brit in Jordan. I picked up a lot of pointers amongst the postings.

would appreciate some more directions on a few things and i thought i also added some of my "first" experience to whoever is reading.

i survived my 1st week in amman fine. so far found that everyone - strangers - both expats as well as jordanians - are friendly and helpful. i am getting a better idea of my bearings after driving around a few days.

we are still not sure where to stay.  right now, seems like Abdoun, sweifieh (spelling) and Dhair Ghbhar are my top list.

can anyone who live in any of these areas comment please? we were told by one agent that Dhair Ghbhar isnt as convenient because the commercial area has not been set up, have to drive to almost everything, no taxis available, roads from highway not finished building/ only one road opened to get in and out of the town.. so not ideal ... another agent said dhair ghbhar is where the palaces are, is very secured, only few min drive from Abdoun, less congested so is a little more expensive?!...

we like the abdoun neighborhood but were told its nore costly than anywhere else.  yet at the same time, many including the agents told us prices are dropping and landlords are willing to negotiate.  units used to be 18k a year are down to 12k a year; another friend told us he had a unit just leased out this month - used to be 30k but he accepted 15k!!... is this what those of you who have been living here see?  our budget is betweeen 10-14k for a 3br + maids, willing to pay the higher end if we find what we like most.  we have seen only ground floor apts so far and like the garden/terrace for my 2 little boys (3.5 and 1.5 yr).

we only saw 1 top floor with great views and nice terrace - but no elevator:(  i cannot imagine how hot it will get in summer - i moved from dubai where its 40-50 deg c in summer. hoe many very hot months does amman get?

one thing we found strange was that except one unit has airconditioner.  is this common even among expat lived units?
when we asked can ac be added, 1 owner looked at me strange like why would you need ac in kitchen (where i spend a lot of my time). i guess the mentality here is thats the place for maids only?

is electricity really costly? how much should i expect to pay on average for a unit like what im looking for? i know its dependant on consumption but can someone give me an estimate?

do most kids get sent to school by school bus?

we also learnt that smoking and shisha is big and have a hard time finding restaurants that have smoke free sections. unless i have been looking (randomly) at the wrong places...

food: i tried the worst asian (south east asian ) food in my entire life at the sheraton!

korean restaurant on airport road is pretty good but exhorbitant $$!

where should i look to get plants - indoor and outdoor for my home?

is there a buy/sell website or avenue where expats can buy or offload their 2nd hand stuff?

ok, ready to go house searching again today.......

#28 24 October 2010 22:36:44

wintersolace

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Jinshui,

I have been living in amman for the last two years.  I am an expat as well and here are my experiences.  Hope this helps. 

1- my kids go to a private school where they are taught in english only and they go to and from school by bus.

2-  I live in Marj Al Hamman in the inwaran area( not sure if I spelled it correctly.)  There are a lot of nice mansions around me and some apartment buildings.  Rent runs between 300 to 350 for an apart unfurnished.  Generally they don't have air conditioners, but you can put one in if the landlord allows it.  I own my apartment.  I have seen some expats but mostly are women who are married to Jordanians or they are Jordanians that used to live in the US or Britain.  All my neighbors are college graduates and speak fluent english.  The shopkeepers close to my apart also speak fluent english.

3- we pay roughly around 50 jds for elecrtricity.  My apart is a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom with a family room.  We mainly use a washer and some TV.  I don't use the air conditioner often because I live on a hill and its usually windy and cool even when its really hot elsewhere.  I have a dryer but I line dry the clothing ti save energy. 

Abdoun and Swefieh are both really nice areas and many expats live there.



-I don't have a live-in but I have a maid come twice a month to clean my apart and I pay her 20JD each time she comes

5-I don't think you can sell your used wares unless you advertise them on the internet.  I know there are a lot of stores selling used clothing and shoes but they get their stuff from abroad at a very cheap price so they might not want to buy from you.  In the downtown there are many stores selling used stuff for just a few JDs.  I don't buy anything other than food and basic necessities like shampoo from here since I get my clothing and toys from my family in the US.

Smoking is a common habit here and most people even smoke around children and practically everywhere.  I just tell my in laws when they visit I don't tolerate smoking in my home.

You can buy plants by the roadside or they also have a nice nursery on the way to King Hussein's Parks.  I don't know the exact address but you can't miss it, the plants are outside. 

Try not to get a roof top apart, it gets very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.  Where I live its really hot June thru Oct.  By the end of this month it stars cooling down and stays moderate and then gets cold in the winter until around March.  The hottest it gets here in Marj Al Hammam is 103 deg F.

I buy my groceries from Cozmo, its near Safeway.  I am able to find things that the local groceries don't carry.  If you are interested in Asian food, they have a variety of it.

Last edited by wintersolace (24 October 2010 22:39:50)

#29 26 October 2010 09:50:03

Brit in Jordan

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Jinshui and a very warm welcome to Jordan.

We live in Dair Ghbar and yes there is a huge amount of newbuild on the perimeter.  It's quite a big area and it very much depends on where you are as to whether they build next to you, but all over Amman there are empty plots so it's quite feasible they could build anywhere you move with an empty plot next to you.  There is no issue with the roads in and out of Dair Ghbar - it's very quiet - taxis are difficult in some areas but not in others but I drive so don't catch them too often.  I can quite believe rents are dropping, they were driven up by the Iraqi expats a few years ago and seem to be stablilising back to a reasonable figure.  I would say 10-14k will find you a good apartment.  Abdoun is definitely more expensive with a build height of only two stories, making it more villa friendly.  I think its best to look at a lot of properties and find what you like.  To be fair Amman is very spread out so there is not really one commercial area like you find in some Cities - therefore restaurants and shops are spread the whole length and breadth of the City. 

Aircons vary - we had 3 and bought 1 extra.  Very few have aircons in kitchen but personally I would have one because cooking is a nightmare in the summer.  This summer was very very hot and hit 40 quite a few times.  Even the breeze was HOT. 

Electricity - we pay on average 80-90 JD per month using one aircon at a time running 24 hours a day in peak summer.  I think 1 JD a day per unit is a good estimate so I've been told. 

I buy plants in Sweileh on the main road out of Amman toward Jerash - there are many nurseries on the side of the road on the big hill just the other side of Sweileh and its a beautiful drive out.  Plants are cheap here.

There are second hand shops/offload shops in Wadi Seer which is just the other side of the airport road from 8th Circle.  It's quite a big commercial centre and if you need any help with directions let me know.  I can also forward a list of items for sale to the Chairlady of British Ladies who will forward it to all British Ladies members - they are always anxious to buy any good quality items second hand.

Most children are taken to school by bus, for which you pay a fee, but on the plus side they are dropped off at the door.  I guess its better than every parent doing a school run twice a day.

Smoking - I don't know of a restaurant with a no smoking policy here - but I guess some of the hotels segregate.  In the summer its not so bad for children because you eat outside.  It will change and has changed a little over the last few years (the airport & government buildings).

Try the Lebanese food - it is generally very good here.

Hope you are settling in - the weather is just beautiful now so try and get out into the countryside where you will find much beauty and landscapes that change dramatically every 20 kms or so.

Jeanette

#30 26 October 2010 16:24:44

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hi Wintersolace and Jeanette,
THANK YOU so much for taking the time and effort to reply and share!
Wintersolace, what school do your kids go to? My kids had never attend school previously so its my first time learning about schools system, routines etc.  i noticed there are a lot of kindergardens or nurseries for little kids. is it better for me to enroll my children into such schools (i imagine they are a lot less expensive) or should i consider putting them into "proper" grade schools to plan for them to progress next levels?  friends in dubai always say if you dont enroll them from the youngest stage, it will be hard to find a place later.

we are trying to do away with 1 car - if we could live either near my husband's office in swefieh or live near the kids' school.  thats why we are trying to preempt which schools the kids may attend - although this is about 9 months from now.

i still cant find  Marj Al Hamman or inwaran area- where is that near?

after i read about your home on the hill, we began to think we really hope to find a place with a view (on top of our criteria of a terrace/garden on ground floor, quiet/safe neighborhood for walking, open kitchen concept..)  - there must be a lot of options since Amman is a city of 7 hills!

my maid who used to work for our family a few years in dubai decided just last week that she doesnt want to come to jordan now - she's getting married. this is after i spent almost 600JD chasing her visa and air tickets from philippines.  sigh, so i am starting from scratch looking for and bringing in someone new.  Jeanette, in a previous post, you mentioned your friend brought over an indonesian maid.  could you pls pass me that agency's contact?

meanwhile, i am struggling to find a temporary maid to help me.
someone recommended a lady from phillipines but i found out that she is a runaway...   on the other hand i seem to meet other girls like her who work illegally or has a visa whom they pay and obtained from an arab. in dubai, they got really strict with hefty fines for hiring anyone not under your sponsorship... i  dont know how serious it is here? also, can anyone advise how much is the market rate for a full time live-out maid? i heard 3jd is standard for cleaning services. i am only needing a babysitter for 8-9 hours a day.

wintersolace, do you know the website where the advertisements for used wares are posted?

Jenatte, thanks for all the notes on Dair Gbhar. i may forward you my list of things to sell for the British ladies once my shipment arrive.  i packed in a short notice and i know i have a quite a few household /furniture items i need to offload depending on size of my new home. at the same time, i was hoping to buy some quality used items from those leaving amman. when the time comes, i may ask you again how to get to the area around 8th circle you mentioned about commericial centers for used wares.

thanks for all the tips on plants buy. is the road on the way to King Hussein's parks the same as road toward jerash in Sweileh? are u guys talking about the same place?

wow, i am so grateful again for you ladies for your time and help!
i have been bedridden on food poisoning for 2 days - unfortunately from food from a nice restaurant in the 4 Seasons hotel! - so will continue the search for our new home hopefully tomorrow.

Last edited by jinshui (26 October 2010 20:41:05)

#31 27 October 2010 17:44:26

k-al

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Well,Finding a good place to live in Jordan is not easy if u are not Arab since all rent adds would in Arabic News letter or Marketing Papers,but I would be very happy to search for u..
Just tell me where do u want rent? How big place u want ?
How many Rooms? I will look for what u want in Papers and See to Real estates Offices ..Look around until u find what u like.
When I was in the states people helped me for free so I'm doing the same thing..KARMA

Chris

#32 27 October 2010 21:52:11

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Hey! that was a very nice and kind offer!
u are right, not reading arabic is slowing me down in finding a place...
we drove around a few neighbourhoods trying to catch signs but many are in arabic.

i am very specific in what we need. 

1. 3 bedroom + maids room (maids room must have shower). if no maids room, the bedrooms must be large.

2. between 180sqm - 250sqm. depending on floorplan

3. open kitchen concept with plenty of cabinets

4. wardrobes in bedrooms

5. Abdoun or Dair Ghbar area

6. Preferably with a view from kitchen and or living room

7. terrace / garden on ground floor

8. quiet street with safe neighbourhood for kids to walk around

9. budget between 10 000 JD to 14 000 JD, depending on the above factors

10. semi furnished - no need any furniture, only need kitchen appliances like washing machine, fridge, stove & oven.  this is not a must but a plus.


if u see anything that matches close to the above, pls give me a shout! thanks!!

#33 27 October 2010 22:45:26

k-al

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Apt 2:
Khalda ,2nd floor :3BR - 3 bed furnished.
650 JD a month /7000 JD one year...
---
This is the info about this apt I have for now ..
------------------------------
Last one could find today :
ABDOUN:Roof 3BR - Three bed furnished apartment.
Fully furnished, gorgeous roof terrace apartment  avail from end November.3 bedrooms, large lounge, modern furniture. Very near everything, so no taxis ever needed :)
Rent 1350 PM /Did not say anything about one year Lease but
we can get a deal if u like it ..

------------------------------------------------------
If u like to see these places with ur family I would advise u,take an Arab Man with u to get best deal the lease..

--------------
Best Luck
Chris

#34 30 October 2010 00:49:42

wintersolace

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Dear Jinshui
Hope you are feeling better.

Look at www.biladuna.com They have furnished, unfurnished, semi-furnished apartments in Abdoun and Der Ghbar within the price range you indicated and in various sizes.  If you have the whole year's rent up front, you might get a discount.  Have someone who speaks arabic fluently, preferable a man, call for you, you could get a better deal.   

Marj Al Hamman in near the airport rd and on the way to the dead sea.  I am not too good with directions but if you ask your real estate agent they will know where it is.  Be careful, Marj al Hamman has both good and bad areas.  To give you an idea, I can see Prince Mohammad's property from my balcony.  I agree with Kalamir, bring an arab man to negotiate the rental price and agreement if possible.  You will definetly get a better price.

My kids go to Philadelphia National School.  I have a 4 yr old in KG1(pre-K) and a 12 yr old in 7th grade.  I am very happy with the school.  They teach swimming to my 4 yr old too.  My two kids are bilingual but they are in the international program which means english instruction.  But even so, my 4yr old is also taught in arabic and I believe later on they will teach her French also.  There are many private schools for every budget.  The nurseries are not bad, I chose to send my 4yr old last year to a proper school so that she would travel with her older sister on the bus and not be afraid.  Since she did so well and she was familiar with the staff we decided to keep her there.  But nurseries are much cheaper.  My husband's nephew goes to a little preschool and his tuition is half of what we pay for our daughter. 

Take Jeanette's advice on buying the plants.  They are much cheaper where she mentioned.  I didn't know about it but I asked my brother in law and he agrees that its better to buy plants from the road to Jerash in Swelieh. 

I don't know of any website to sell used wares/seconhand but I think you could advertise them on this site under the classifieds.

I have my mother in law's maid come twice a month and clean for 20JD  each time she comes.  I was told by my in laws that the rate for cleaning per day was 20JD.  But you can always call an agency and request for a maid to come and go  and what are the rates.  My maid is Indonesian.  I was told that Philipino maids charge a higher rate.  I don't advise getting a run away maid or one that is working illegaly becuase she might be more trouble than expected.  Some of these maids run away because they steal from the families they work for.

I have four kids, 3 that are 4yrs and under and they get impatient being cooped up in the apartment at times. I have a ground floor apartment with  a small courtyard but its not big enough for them to run and ride their tricycles.  So I take them to the following places:

-The Children's Musueam, www.cmj.jo , located inside the King Hussein's Parks.  It has a seperate entrance from the park. I got the yearly family membership since I take them often.

-Zaha Cultural Center in Khalda.  Its a park with a small library and a computer lab. Tel:(06)5511430

-Arabian Horse Club, its off the Airport Rd.  They have pony rides for the little ones and there is a cafe with outdoor seating. Tel:(06) 4291387

-Hakawati Books and Art, www.hakawati.jo ,  They have mommy and me classes, art sessions, storytelling and chinese lessons. Tel:(06) 5561466

and there are many art galleries.  Too many to list.  But check www.calendar.jo for the on goings for culture, sports, family outings and entertainment.

Hope this helps and enjoy your stay in Jordan

Last edited by wintersolace (30 October 2010 01:48:54)

#35 31 October 2010 09:55:19

Trusty
Trusty
Ankara

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

FouadsBaby wrote:

I didn't vote for Obama nor Bush by the way. And it's not right to automatically form opinions and judge me because I'm an American. I love democracy, I fought for my country and did my time in the military and can say I earned my right to speak my mind.

I have lived Canada and USA almost 19 years.

Completed my MBA in Canada.

Takes 5 years to learn what is the meaning of FDP,which they were using as a kind of expression about us.

DP means displace person, F mean you know.

Please do not teach us humanity.

And please do not judge Jordanians.

Keep your hate for Arab's, and live with it.

You would need it, for to brought democracy to unfortunate nations in future.

#36 31 October 2010 12:05:37

jinshui
jinshui
Amman

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Wintersolace,
thanks so much for the wealth of info here!
i do have an agent from biladuna working hard to help me find my home. we are still finding the right one yet.
i nearly looked at a house in Marj Al Hamaan - hubby said its a tad too isoloated from everything although i recognise that the drive isnt bad at all from there to the city.

i can see how your four kids can benefit from a bigger area outside the city to roam around! lol!

the things-to-do list will come in very handy once we settled.  for now my focus is still on finding my temp maid. we interviewed several but none work out. one didnt show up when she said she would (that was the run away one).

one important question.  do people drinnk from tap water here?  is it safe to drink if it has been boiled?  which is the best company to get for water to be delievered to house? we used to use Calligan in Dubai but i only saw Nestle.... called them but cant get through :(

Last edited by jinshui (31 October 2010 12:06:31)

#37 02 November 2010 12:27:24

wintersolace

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Jinshui,

I have a water filter and the debris looks like muck!  I wouldn't drink tap water.  All my in laws have a water filter like mine that fits under the sink. I am sorry I can't comment on water delivery .  I have seen people buy filtered warter from stores, but they bring their gallon and fill it themselves.

#38 08 November 2010 07:28:45

FouadsBaby

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Trusty wrote:

FouadsBaby wrote:

I didn't vote for Obama nor Bush by the way. And it's not right to automatically form opinions and judge me because I'm an American. I love democracy, I fought for my country and did my time in the military and can say I earned my right to speak my mind.

I have lived Canada and USA almost 19 years.

Completed my MBA in Canada.

Takes 5 years to learn what is the meaning of FDP,which they were using as a kind of expression about us.

DP means displace person, F mean you know.

Please do not teach us humanity.

And please do not judge Jordanians.

Keep your hate for Arab's, and live with it.

You would need it, for to brought democracy to unfortunate nations in future.

*** Guess what, I'm choosing to be the grown up here, and I choose not respond your statements.

#39 09 November 2010 13:48:34

Dido77
Dido77
Cairo

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

I am moving to Jordan hopefully in January. Thanks to all contributed to this post, I had some great insights about Jordan.
I need to know some more details if anyone could help.

I am confused between renting a furnished or unfurnished apartment? Can anyone advise about the average cost of modern furniture in Amman? for instance, a modern bedroom or living room would cost...??

I have a four years old boy. Can anyone advise where can he play sports, i mean like get trained on swimming, football....etc

Thanks in advance

#40 09 November 2010 14:06:22

k-al

Re: Info on life in Amman, Jordan

Dido77,
-If u rent unfurnished apartment: The rent is 200 JD - 350 JD depends what area  u want live.. u have to add to the budget about $2000 to $3000 for furniture +  Monthly Utility.
-If u rent furnished apartment it is 2x double the rent 400 JD up to 800 JD in some areas ,Some utility are included some not
So it is all depend in what area u want live in.
--
Chris

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