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New regulations regulate use of horses, camels in Petra

By Dana Al Emam - Mar 19,2016 - Last updated at Mar 19,2016

Under a by-law recently published in the Official Gazette, animals used for transporting visitors in areas in Petra difficult to navigate in cars will be examined by a vet (Photo by Rajive Cherian)

AMMAN — New regulations are aimed at organising the use of horses and camels at the Petra Archaeological Park and to stiffen penalties against riders that harass tourists, an official said Saturday.

Under a by-law recently published in the Official Gazette, animals used for transporting visitors in areas difficult to navigate in cars will be examined by a vet to insure that they are healthy, and each riding-animal will be given a number for follow up purposes.

Furthermore, the regulations entail that riders and keepers of riding-animals and animal-drawn carriages have a clean record, be free of diseases and commit to wearing a uniform. In addition, riders have to be Jordanian residents of the area and over 18.

Riders are required to commit to prices and weights assigned by the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) and are prohibited to ask for a tip. They are also required to maintain the hygiene of the animals they use.

They are banned from running or racing in the designated area.

PDTRA Chief Commissioner Mohammad Abbas Nawafleh told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Saturday that the move seeks to improve the quality of services at the park, adding that the authority often receives complaints related to this issue, and these regulations are aimed at addressing them.

Nawafleh noted that early next month the PDTRA is scheduled to start implementing a dress code system, which obligates service providers, tour guides and riders to wear vests with different colours.

“It will make it easier for the visitors to identify them and easier for us to penalise violators,” he said, noting that penalties will include deductions from the fixed allocations of service providers, and may reach the confiscation of licences.

The chief commissioner said authorities will distribute a questionnaire to visitors to evaluate their experience throughout the tour in the park.

The park, which provides services in cooperation with some 10 associations, has around 150 local tour guides and 80 working carts out of  a total of 353, many of which are no longer in use due to the drop in the number of tourists, he said.

Nawafleh explained that February this year witnessed a 38 per cent decrease in the number of visitors compared to the same month last year.

In 2010 the number of visitors to Petra almost reached a million, but it dropped over the years due to regional unrest, reaching under 400,000 in 2015.


Around 1,350 donkeys and horses transport visitors in the ancient Nabataean city, 235km south of Amman, in areas difficult to navigate in cars. 

5 users have voted.


Please stop the exploitation of the donkeys, horses and camels at Petra and alongwith Peta and other animal charities please help in looking after these hardworking animals, giving them proper food, water and treating their wounds.

Brunila, Goa India
12.58 m. 17-01-2018

Lower your prices-and tourists will come.
Jordan has always been more expensive than other mid-eastern-north African touristic destinations.

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