Living in Amman as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Amman Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Amman

Nestled in the Jordanian highlands, Amman is the country's political, cultural, and commercial center. With a population of over four million people, it's a bustling metropolis that showcases Jordan's rich history and modern achievements. Amman's attractions range from its ancient Roman ruins and sprawling modern malls to its vibrant arts and music scenes. The city's friendly local community, delicious food, and diverse expat population create a vibrant and welcoming ambiance that charms visitors and convinces them to settle.

Tips for expats in Amman

Visa requirements

Expat workers require a work permit and a residence permit to live in Amman. Both permits can typically be obtained through an employer, and the process can take up to three months. Jordan also offers a 90-day tourist visa on arrival for citizens of many countries, with the possibility of extending it at the local embassy or police station for a fee. This visa is not eligible for work or employment.

Language resources

While English is widely spoken, fluency in Arabic or some basic conversational skills will help expats navigate the city's more traditional areas. Several language schools and private tutors offer Arabic courses to expats. The British Council and the German Goethe-Institut also have branches in Amman.

Cost of living for expats in Amman


The cost of living in Amman depends greatly on one's preferred living arrangement. Shared housing is the cheapest option, with rooms starting at $120 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in a modern complex can cost around $300 per month, while fully-furnished two- and three-bedroom apartments range from $550 to $850 per month. More luxurious and spacious properties are available in upscale areas such as Abdoun and Talahspeed.


Grocery costs in Amman vary widely depending on the shop's location and the products' quality. Pharmacies and supermarkets offer a range of imported and local products. Large shopping centers like City Mall and Taj Mall stock familiar international brands, but groceries in smaller neighborhood stores may cost less. Fruit and vegetables are seasonal and can be cheaper in the summer months (May to September).


Amman's transportation costs are relatively low, depending on the type of transport. Taxis are the most convenient option but are somewhat pricey. A shared taxi, also known as a serveys, can carry several passengers and is a cheaper alternative. Buses are a viable and affordable mode of transport, with a one-way ticket costing around $0.40 (JD 0.30).

Climate in Amman

Amman has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The temperature during the summer months (June to August) can reach as high as 35°C (95°F), while winter temperatures (December to February) range from 6°C (43°F) to 14°C (57°F).

Job market in Amman

Amman's economy is thriving, buoyed by its strategic location, skilled workforce, and liberal economic policies. The city is home to several multinational corporations and growing start-up scenes. Key industries in Amman include finance, banking, information technology, and manufacturing. English is widely spoken, making it easier for foreign professionals to find employment in the city.

Healthcare in Amman

Amman's healthcare system is broadly considered one of the best in the Middle East. There are both private and public health facilities in the city, including state-of-the-art hospitals and modern clinics. English-speaking doctors and medical staff are available, making it easy for expats to access treatment. Standout medical institutions in Amman include King Abdullah University Hospital, Jordan Hospital, and Central Regional Medical Center.

Transport in Amman

Amman's road system is comprehensive, with excellent connections to other parts of Jordan and nearby countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. The city's main transportation hub is Jabal Amman, where buses, taxis, and shared taxis known as 'serveys' and 'dars' arrive and depart from all directions. Major routes include Abdoun Circle, Mango Street, and Queen Rania Street.

Safety in Amman

While Amman is generally a safe city, expats should take the necessary precautions, especially when traveling alone at night. The downtown and suburban areas, including Jabal Amman, Abdoun, and Basman, are less safe than other parts of the city. However, major tourist hotspots such as the Roman Amphitheatre, Citadel Hill, and the old city of Amman (the Souks) are generally safe for visitors.

Neighborhoods in Amman

  1. Jabal Amman

    Jabal Amman, Amman's old town, is a bustling urban hub that attracts artists, intellectuals, and students. Built on a bedrock of vibrant cultural heritage, the neighborhood is dotted with crumbling Ottoman-era houses, charming coffee shops, and cozy eateries. Discover its rich history at the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.

  2. Abdoun

    Abdoun, to the west of the city center, is an affluent and upscale neighborhood. Its sleek complexes, elegant boutiques, and trendy restaurants have earned it a reputation as the center of Amman's modern urban life. Explore its poignant history at the Abdoun Palace and the King Abdullah Mosque, and pamper yourself at its swanky spas and health centers.

  3. Shmeisani

    Shmeisani, located between Abdoun and downtown Amman, is a busy commercial district brimming with offices, shops, and banks. Its central location makes it an ideal base for professionals working in the city center areas. The city's cultural and artistic hubs, including Al-Balad Theater, Sufi Poets Museum, and Al-Rain Gallery, are all within easy reach.

  4. Taybeh

    Taybeh, located southwest of Abdoun, is a compact and lively neighborhood. Its winding streets, lively cafes, and traffic-free environment make it a pedestrian's dream. Its most famous landmark, the Citadel Hill, has proudly stood for over 2,500 years and overlooks the city. Amman's fresh produce markets, souks, and lively eateries are all a short walk away.

  5. Shu'fani

    Shu'fani is located northeast of the city center and is known for its upscale villas, sprawling gardens, and leafy residential streets. The area is home to several international schools, including the British International School and the German School, making it very popular among expat families. Amman's Green Belt nature reserve is minutes away, offering an escape from the city in the heart of the metropolis.

Attractions in Amman

  1. Amman Citadel Hill

    The Citadel Hill, founded over 5,000 years ago, is a fascinating centerpiece of Amman's culture and history. It features the magnificent Hercules Temple, the Roman amphitheater, and the Umayyad Palace, which now houses the Jordan Archaeological Museum. The breathtaking views of Amman, Jordan Hill, and the desert horizon are truly captivating.

  2. The Roman Theatre

    The Roman Theatre in downtown Amman is one of the world's most significant Greco-Roman amphitheaters. It has been painstakingly restored by archaeologists and houses concerts, plays, and cultural events throughout the year.

  3. The King Abdullah Mosque

    The King Abdullah Mosque, located in Abdoun, is an impressive architectural gem built in the neo-Moorish style. Its twin towers and gleaming turrets stand tall against the skyline.

  4. The National Gallery of Fine Arts

    The National Gallery of Fine Arts is a stunning cultural institution boasting an impressive collection of works by regional artists from the 20th century to the present day.

  5. The Alaska Bar

    The Alaska Bar, built-in 1957, is a historic entree into Amman's golden age of American-style entertainment. This beloved institution showcases live music, dances, and performances every week.

International Schools in Amman

  1. British International School


    The British International School has two Amman campuses. It's set in a serene environment with state-of-the-art facilities and offers the U.K. National Curriculum to students from kindergarten to grade 12.

  2. The German School


    The German School, founded in 1973, follows the German Curriculum in Grades 1 to 10. It aims to provide high-quality education in a multicultural environment.

  3. BIS Amman


    BIS Amman, founded in 2012, is a fully authorized IB School for students from kindergarten to grade 12. It offers the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP).

  4. St. Joseph's Preparatory School

    Jabal Amman

    St. Joseph's Preparatory School was founded in 1954 to provide an international education to expat students. It offers a Catholic education in the British tradition to students from pre-K to grade 9.

  5. The International Academy


    The International Academy offers a British curriculum for students from kindergarten to grade 12. It has a strong learning tradition with high standards in teaching and learning.

Expat destinations in Jordan