Monday, 7 March 2011


General Information

There are many interesting places that you can visit in Jordan. These are the ones we visited: Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum & Aqaba.

Jordan is one of the most developed countries in the Middle East and many people speak English making it easy to convey your needs and wishes. However, we found that “allergies” are a relatively unknown phenomenon in Jordan. Making it difficult to explain why our children couldn’t eat many things. The Jordanian people are very friendly & hospitable and they love kids. This can be a challenge, as they will be offering your child sweets or other food.

Tip: We brought a bag of small treats from our country and instead of our children taking a sweet from someone else they gave THEM a sweet.

Check the Jordan Tourism Board website for information on things to do in Jordan. 

There are a couple of large western-style stores in Amman but we didn’t visit them. These are the ones that were recommended to us:

In Mecca Mall, Just off Makkah al Mukarramah Street.
In Cozmocentre, Swufieh, Al-Sahel Avenue, 7th Circle

Apparently Cozmo Centre has an excellent selection of gluten-free products in addition to other dietary products.

Dead Sea
There are only a couple of stalls along the Dead Sea hotel strip. The little village close by has a few basic supermarkets so you will need to do your shopping in Amman, which is a scenic drive about an hour away.

There are a number of very basic supermarkets in town. We also saw a market with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum village has a few basic supermarkets selling fruit, vegetables, juices/ bread etc. The closest well-stocked supermarkets are in Aqaba 40 minutes drive away.

There are many supermarkets in Aqaba so I will only list those that have a good selection of products that cater to people with an allergy.


Talabay Resort 

Apart from the regular Western & Arabic food products this supermarket also has a good selection of health and dietary products such as soy-milk and gluten-free products.

Al Hammamat Al Tunisyya Street

Located in the town center this small supermarket, where the expatriate community shops, has a good selection of western as well as dietary products. This seems to be the only place in town where you can buy rice & oat milk. They also have soy products.

Medical Care

We saw a number of small clinics while driving through Jordan but the ones listed below are the ones that were recommended to us.

Queen Nour Street, Amman 
Tel.: (962-6-5608080 / 962-6-5608030) 

Hospital of choice when staying at the Dead Sea (1 hour drive) 
Near Haya Circle, Aqaba
This would also be the hospital of choice if you’re staying in Wadi Rum (40 minutes) and Petra (2 hours)

Tip: The emergency Telephone Number for Jordan is: 199
* this information can change so always check before you travel.

Hotels & Restaurants

Dead Sea
There is a large choice of places to stay near and on the shore of the Dead Sea. Most of them have spa’s providing various treatments involving Dead Sea mud. We stayed at the Marriot, which was excellent but didn’t have any apartments so we rented a room and cooked on our travel cooker.

Jordan Holiday Home however, does have an apartment for rent near the dead sea if you want to cook for yourself.

There is a wide choice of hotels in this tourist town. We stayed at the Movenpick resort right next too the entrance of Petra. They have a number of western-style restaurants including a buffet restaurant there.

Wadi Rum 
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Wadi Rum through Wadi Rum Tours .

I must say that I didn’t feel totally comfortable going there at first because the closest hospital is 40 minutes away. However our feelings of unease were taken away the moment we got there. We didn’t know if we would be able to cook there so we had packed dinner and lunch for the next day for the boys. Our hosts did offer us food and it looked safe because of the simple/ traditional way of preparing it but we declined just to be on the safe side. They do have a small kitchen that they cook in. If you decide to go here (which I can definitely recommend) you could ask if they will allow you to cook a small meal there.

Tip: The sleeping arrangements are simple and could be contaminated with allergens. Bring your own sleeping bag and pillowcase. We brought duvet covers that the boys slipped into.

There is also an official visitors center at the entrance of Wadi Rum but it was closed at the time of our visit (February)

There are many hotel options in Aqaba we decided on Tala Bay resort on the southern end of town. This resort has holiday homes but also a number of hotels with good western style restaurants. You can contact Talabay and rent an apartment through them but a cheaper option could be to go directly through one of the owners. Jordan Holiday Home rent out their apartment and if theirs is occupied they can put you in touch with other owners.

Do you know of a restaurant, supermarket or place to stay that caters to travelers with an allergy? Make sure to share the details with us in the comments section below. Be as specific as you can and if possible add a web link.

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