Those who love cars and racing have a lot to look forward to when visiting Amman. For one, perhaps one of the best auto museums in the world is situated in the Jordanian capital, the Royal Automobile Museum. This museum documents the history of the kingdom in terms of auto development and technology as well as in connection to the cars on display, which were mostly owned by the kings and royals of the realm. Another thing to look forward to here, of course, would be the Jordan Rally itself.
The Jordan rally began in 1981 and has been going on ever since, fuelled not just by the enthusiasm of racers in the region but also by the endorsement of the royal family. The late King Hussein was a great lover of cars and racing-it is in his honour that the Royal Automobile Museum was constructed, in fact-and his son has continued the tradition by being chairman of Jordan Motorsport.
The Jordan Rally was added to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in the year 2008. Before that, it was once part of the Middle East Rally Championship. Some people have already set impressive records on this gruelling track. The driver with the most wins in the Jordan Rally since its first event in 1981 is Mohammed Bin Sulayem, who has won it 12 times (in comparison to the driver with the second-highest number of wins in the rally by 2012, Nasser Al-Attiyah, who has 4 wins). Bin Sulayem also stacked up the longest-running series of consecutive victories in the rally from the years 1996 to 2002, winning 7 championships in a row.
The Jordan Rally takes place on gravel tracks around the Dead Sea Resort. While it does not cover as much area as some other rounds of the WRC, it is known for being quite challenging. One big factor in its challenge would be the high heat that drivers are forced to deal with in order to complete the circuit. The rally often takes place in temperatures as warm as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which can make it rather difficult for those not used to racing in such environments. The rally is also distinctive in that most of the parts of the circuit are below sea level, being set around the lowest spot on land on the entire globe: the Dead Sea’s shores. Furthermore, unlike most other rounds in the WRC, the rally concludes on a Saturday, because of the Islamic culture of the hosts (most other rounds finish on Sundays). If you do plan to watch the rally, be sure to check in advance when it is being staged. The best place to stay for tourists looking to observe the rally would be the capital itself, which is considered the headquarters for the race. Amman is a mere 50 kilometres away from the rally grounds, which makes it a superb jump-off point for car-loving tourists and travellers. You can also get in some sightseeing of other tourist sites here, so it would be most convenient for the traveller.