The new face of Amman

Amman skyline
I was baffled when I saw this picture on Lina’s blog. The photo highlights the new face of Amman: cranes dotting the new skyline of the Jordanian capital. It took me a while to recognize that I was looking at was my beloved hometown, which I have not visited for over a year.

At first glance, I thought the picture was taken in a city in the Persian Gulf, Dubai or maybe Doha. What threw me most were the skyscrapers — a sight I always associated with busy, hectic metropolises, not my quaint Amman, the city where I was born, raised and shaped.

Here is how Roba describes the new, fast-paced change:

Amman is changing, and it’s changing fast. Nothing is ever closed on Fridays anymore, the crowd at the malls is a cosmopolitan mix of people from all over the world, and you can get really decent shopping done at City Mall. Even more decent than that in Saudi Arabia. Personally? I love it 🙂 Of course, everything has a negative side to it as well, but for now, I’m enjoying the changes.

This sudden change is mind-boggling for me at least. Have I been away that long? I wonder.

10 thoughts on “The new face of Amman”

  1. Arabic Gulf … If you may 🙂

    that aside : I totaly agree … Can’t wait to visit Amman and see for myself …

  2. I am not into it. Not only has Amman spread out, but up. I am feeling stifled by unregulated vertical and horizontal urban sprawl. Anjad, claustrophobia is setting in and I keep dreaming about moving to Fuheis. There, shadows still move, as they are only caused by trees, not buildings. But by the time I get there, it will be just another suburb of Amman.

  3. I get the feeling Amman is becoming a cheap alternative to Dubai for some business purposes. At least I keep running into people coming and going to business meetings there.

    That said, Jordan is also descending into barbarism. When I was last at Abdali bus station, I stopped in a place for a shawarma, and they put the pre-made meat into the microwave to heat it up! It was barbaric!

  4. Isam:)
    Let’s not get into this debate again:) while we were taught that it should be called the “Arabian Gulf”, its official name is the Persian Gulf:) I’m just trying to be accurate:)

  5. Welcome to the Cement Economy. Plenty of jobs for cheap laborers from Southeast Asia. Enjoy the “BOOM” fellow Jordanians.


    Boom: night owel. In Arabic tradition, this bird is known to bring bad luck.
    Boom: the sound of cost of living exploding.

  6. Personally I loath this “boom” everybody is talking about. I never thought I would ever say this, but last time I went to Amman I could not wait to go back to the Midwest to enjoy some peace of mind and tranquility. The poor people are not reaping the benefits of this change, and the cost of living has rocketed to the sky, and there is no need to mention all the negative side effects that accompany any such change ( increased crime rate, pollution…etc).

    Amman is not the same place I grew up in.

    I am planning on moving to Madaba ! And the idea of F7ais does not sound bad at all.

  7. We don’t hear americans or whoever calling the Pacific “The Quiet Ocean” now do we ??

    it is our gulf … we name it as we like

  8. hi N,
    I was shocked by the photo too.
    Actually, all photos I’m seeing of Amman lately show the sky as grey! Thats not how it was when you and I were growing up. Darabeh todrob heik 6a6awor. I feel the growth in Amman is just a cancerous eye sore, unplanned and ugly and class-ist.

  9. 1) first ….. “Arabian Gulf” … i will stick to this name ……. who calls it “Persian Gulf” ….. official by who ???

    2) not a single person here could see anything positive in Amman changing ??? where in the world does huge investments cater the poor ??? and what is the “old Amman” that everyone craves for ? that wasnt the old Amman, the time you grew up in was just a transitional period … if Jordan is to move forward, stop being a village and be a mojor player in the area …. some development has to happen …. and its happening

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