JORDAN – KINGDOM OF TIME: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH DR ABED AL-RAZZAQ ARABIYAT, MD, JORDAN TOURISM BOARD
Dr Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat, Jordan Tourism Board‘s managing director, explains the meaning behind the country’s new brand slogan, “Jordan – Kingdom of Time” in an exclusive interview with ITB News.
Tell us the thinking behind the slogan “Jordan, Kingdom of Time”, recently launched by the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB). What does it mean?
Jordan has a particularly rich history full of diversity, authenticity and different flavours. This is what “Kingdom of Time” stands for. The history of Jordan stretches from 7,000 BC and is reflected in our monuments, in our lives. Visitors can see our history in the old city of Petra but also in the 9,000-year-old statues of Ain Ghazal. There is a nice story behind these statues. They are made of plaster, the first in history! The phrase explains that Jordan was among the first urban places in the world, in particular the capital, Amman. The timeline of Jordan also shows the different cultures that have developed in the country over time. These cultures, from the Amorites to the Aram, from the Achaemenide to the Islamic and the Ottoman, turn Jordan into an open-air museum, with over 15,000 archaeological sites here.
Jordan is thus a place where one can literally touch all of geological time and human history, where time can accelerate in a bustling city centre, or go to slow-motion during a dive in Aqaba’s Red Sea underwater coral forests, or even come to a total standstill in the desert of Wadi Rum, under a clear starry sky.
You mentioned diversity. Could you be more specific about it?
We are a small country but filled indeed with incredibly diverse nature and experiences. Many see Jordan as a sunny country filled with palm trees. But in the North, we have forests, then in the centre you have the rift. We have the sea, mountains, the African savanna. Looking at tourism experiences, we can cater to all the needs and niches. The slogan reflects the flavours, reflects the senses, reflects the authenticity in all the possible experiences offered.
How is Jordan Tourism Board promoting the new brand “Kingdom of Time”?
Jordan Tourism Board is a government-run organisation and our mission is to convey, promote and let the slogan be widely recognised. We have a global communication plan for the new brand and have allocated consequent budgets to the promotion. Part of that plan is to get more exposure, to do co-branding and other campaigns, this year.
What markets are you targeting?
My team has already analysed and identified our first-tier markets. The top priority is Europe and the GCC. They are important to us and we sequenced the budget for marketing activities in both inbound markets. In terms of traveller profile, we are targeting what we call the “intrepid traveller” – independent, active, digital-empowered explorers and travelers seeking meaningful experiences and human connection.
What new cultural events and activities have you got planned for this year?
We are still at the beginning of the year and the private sector is preparing its agenda for events, festivals and more. We are thus planning a major new event in Aqaba that we will announce details of soon. We are also in the process of planning the Jordan Summer Festival, and will again host the well-known Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts.
Also, our gastronomy is an essential part of Jordan’s tourism and of our sense of hospitality. Therefore, we submitted our national dish Mansaf to UNESCO for inclusion on the World Heritage List.
Watch the video of “Jordan, Kingdom of Time” here.