Monday, June 27, 2022

Money & Shopping in Jordan

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The currency is the Jordanian dinar (currency code: JOD), sometimes shown locally as “JD” before or after the amount, or in Arabic as دينار or sometimes as £, and is divided into 1000 fils and 100 piasters (or qirsh). Coins come in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 piasters and JOD¼, JOD½. Banknotes come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 JOD. The currency rate is effectively fixed at 0.71 JOD per US dollar (or $1.41 per dinar), an unnaturally high rate that makes Jordan worse off in value terms than it would otherwise be. Most upscale restaurants and shops in shopping malls also accept US dollars.

In many places there is little change, so it is important to keep a lot of JOD1 and JOD5 notes. As ATMs dispense JOD20 and JOD50 notes for large transactions, this can be difficult.

Cards are accepted on a limited (and seemingly arbitrary) basis. Most hotels and hostels take cards, entrance fees to Petra (JOD50and more) MUST be paid in cash, even though it is a major tourist centre.

Costs in Jordan

A living budget would be about JOD15 per day, but that means you will eat falafel every day. JOD25 allows for slightly better accommodation, simple restaurant meals and even the occasional beer.

Prices have increased rapidly (as of 2011), so it is best to check accommodation prices online (most Jordanian hostels and hotels have internet sales)

If you prefer to eat what the locals eat, it should only cost 1-2 JOD, for which you can buy a falafel sandwich with any can of soda (most common is Coke, Sprite and Fanta). If you want to buy a chicken sandwich, it will cost (50-80 Qirsh).

To try real Jordanian food, don’t stay in 5/4/3/2/1 star hotels all the time; the food there is expensive for an average Jordanian. If the food didn’t come with the hotel accommodation, don’t eat from there. It may seem like people can afford to eat there and make it look and sound like this is an average way to eat.

So that is what you are doing. You are already paying a lot for a few days in the hotel, which is an average USD50. Everyone from Amman will tell you it’s a lot and it’s not worth the money except those in the expensive area (i.e. hotel, airport, Amman hotel). But you won’t be able to communicate with them as well as when you came out of the airport to meet the taxi man. Go into town and find out what people are buying and you will save a lot on your trip. If not and you want to save yourself the trip to see the real people of the country, then stay where you are and enjoy what the tour guide wants you to see.

Non-Jordanians can reclaim VAT at the airport when they return home. The VAT amount must be more than 50 JOD and you cannot refund VAT on the following items: food, hotel costs, gold, mobile phones.

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