By George Isaac*
Lying 320 km southwest of Amman, 120 km south of Petra, and 68 km north of Aqaba, Wadi Rum is known for its stunning breathtaking and thrilling landscape.
Visiting Wadi Rum is said to be like a trip to another world! Visitors are amazed as they enter the vast, silent, timeless and starkly beautiful place amidst the stupendous cliffs, canyons, and seemingly endless orange sand, whose colour changes with the passing of the moon and sun. Visitors can also explore the secrets of Wadi Rum by hiking through its sheer granite, sandstone cliffs, and mountains.
Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who depicted it as “vast, echoing and gold like…”. He was based there during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-1918.
In Wadi Rum, Jabal Umm ad Dami reaches a height of 1,854m (6,083 feet) making it the loftiest mountain in Jordan. Despite its height, it’s not difficult to climb. It usually takes three to four walking hours through its mountain’s path to the top. Other mountains are some 27 km north of the Rum village, such as Jabal Kharaz and Jabal Burdah, which has the famous Rock Bridge, one of Wadi Rum’s most popular attractions.
Camping in Wadi Rum is a great adventure, and will surely be an unforgettable experience. If you are lucky enough to visit Wadi Rum during springtime, you will be able to enjoy the greenery fields that cover parts of the desert with more than 2000 spices of local flowers, including Jordan’s national flower, the black iris, poppies, and red anemones, etc.
Wadi Rum remains the home of several small Bedouin tribes, some of them working in the fast-evolving sector of filmmaking, by supporting filmmakers through providing guidance and transportation in the desert. “Since the number of movies shot here increased and the media promotion of the area grew, we have been witnessing a surge of tourists heading to Wadi Rum”, said one of the local guides.
On another note, the Royal Film Commission – Jordan, in partnership with Drosos Foundation, has established a Children & Youth Film Center in Wadi Rum that encourages local communities to express themselves through cinematic means by conducting workshops and seminars.
In 1998, Wadi Rum was declared a protected area by the Government of Jordan.
George Isaac is an online editor and marketing specialist at The Royal Film Commission – Jordan.