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‘Aqaba attracts over 60,000 vacationers in Eid’

95% occupancy rate recorded at five-star hotels — ASEZA

By Sawsan Tabazah - Sep 19,2016 - Last updated at Sep 19,2016

The beach of Mövenpick Resort and Residences Aqaba (Photo courtesy of Qusai Hamawi)

AMMAN — Over 60,000 visitors headed to Aqaba over Eid Al Adha, as folk bands, cultural shows and bazaars created a “joyful atmosphere” in the port city, an official said on Monday, 

In addition to the 60,000 registered visitors, other tourists arrived before the start of the holiday, said Sharhabeel Madi, a commissioner at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA).

Five-star hotels enjoyed a 95 per cent occupancy rate over Eid, the Muslim feast marking the end of the pilgrimage season, while the occupancy in other hotels stood at 65-85 per cent, said Madi, adding that he did not have figures for how many visitors were Jordanian. 

The visitors brought welcome trade to the coastal resort, and shop owners stayed open until 3:00am to receive customers, the commissioner said. 

“The atmosphere was joyful,” said Madi, noting that folk bands and actors provided musical and cultural entertainment, while traditional crafts were sold at bazaars. 

The holiday period, which started last Sunday and continued through last Thursday, ran smoothly thanks to the high level of organisation, he added.

This year, weekends fell on either side of the Eid Al Adha holiday, giving many Jordanians a nine-day break to travel.  

“The emergency plan was implemented in the city by everyone,” Madi said, praising the traffic police, Civil Defence Department, cleaning companies and tourist services for maintaining high standards despite the “intense” number of visitors to the city, some 330km south of Amman. 

“The Civil Defence Department dealt with some health conditions but everything was kept under control due to their high presence and performance,” he added. 

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