Wadi Rum Jordan

Wadi Rum (Arabic: وادي رم Wādī Ramm, also Wādī al-Ramm), known also as the Valley of the Moon (Arabic: وادي القمر Wādī al-Qamar), is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan, near the border with Saudi Arabia and about 60 km (37 mi) to the east of the city of Aqaba. With an area of 720 km2 (280 sq mi) it is the largest wadi (river valley) in Jordan.[1]

Several prehistoric civilizations left petroglyphs, rock inscriptions and ruins in Wadi Rum. Today it is a tourist attraction, offering guided tours, hiking and rock climbing. The Wadi Rum Protected Area has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011.[2][3]

Toponym

Wadi Rum or Wadi Ramm is believed to get its name from the early name of Iram of the Pillars[4] (also called Irum (Arabic: إرم)), a lost city mentioned in the Quran.

Geography

The area is centered on the main valley of Wadi Rum. The highest elevation in Jordan is Jabal Umm ad Dami at 1,840 m (6,040 ft) high (SRTM data states 1854 m), located 30 kilometers south of Wadi Rum village. It was first located [when?] by Difallah Ateeg, a Zalabia Bedouin from Rum. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Red Sea and the Saudi border from the top.

Jabal Ram or Jebel Rum (1,734 metres (5,689 ft) above sea level) is the second highest peak in Jordan and the highest peak in the central Rum,[5] rising directly above Rum valley, opposite Jebel um Ishrin, which is possibly one meter lower.

Khaz’ali Canyon in Wadi Rum is the site of petroglyphs etched into the cave walls depicting humans and antelopes dating back to the Thamudic times. The village of Wadi Rum itself consists of several hundred Bedouin inhabitants with their goat-hair tents and concrete houses and also their four-wheel vehicles, one school for boys and one for girls, a few shops, and the headquarters of the Desert Patrol.[6]