The Jordan shopping experience is a combination of tradition and modernity. For tourits the common souvenir can be the water pipe, the so called nargilah, or the keffiyeh, the traditional headdress worn by Arabic men, or a Backgammon set. More typical for Jordan are decorated bottles, filled with brightly coloured sands. They are relatively low priced and made by artisans in Petra and Aqaba.
With hundreds of producers and workers in the traditional handicraft trade in Jordan, there are a number of shops selling excellent items, such as hand-woven rugs and cushions, glassware, pottery, mother of pearl marquetry, and hand-embroidered articles like caftans.
Usually made by Bedouin women are the woven rugs with authentic design in the dark shades of green, red, black and orange. Every step of the production from the washing, carding, spinning and dying of the yarn to the weaving is done by hand. Especially the Bani Hamida project wants to preserve the ancient rug weaving craft and to provide the woman of the Bani Hamida village with an income. The products can be found at the Jordan River Foundation shop near the First Circle in Amman. Beside rugs you can buy here other high quality handicraft and support the work of village women.
A popular souvenir are Jordanian daggers, locally known as Shibriya. They consist of a short, curved blade and decoratively engraved hilt in Bedouin or Hashemite style. Daggers are a longstanding Jordanian symbol of power and grace.
Cheaper than in many other countries is the handmade gold and silver work. The Gold Souq of Amman in downtown comprises over 50 shops. The price of gold is at a fixed rate per gram, the cost of workmanship on a particular piece is added. Unique is also the Bedouin silver jewelry.
The best places to look for ceramics and pottery is in Amman and Madaba. Madaba, south of Amman, is the centre for mosaic art, producing an array of souvenirs and handicrafts. In Jordan you find also the hand-made Hebron glass like carafes, bowls, jars, vases and mugs with the traditional intense colours of dark and light blue, turquoise, dark red, and light and dark green.
The most diverse shopping you have in Amman. Stroll in the traditional downtown area offering cheaper products and a cultural experience, and one of the last place where you can try your bargaining skills in Jordan. Or search for the latest fashion in designer boutiques in Shmeisani or Abdoun. Interesting is the area Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq Street (known as Rainbow Street), Gardens Street, Jabal Al Hussein and the Wakalat Street in Sweifeiyeh. Popular shopping centres are Abdoun Mall, Amman Mall, City Mall, Mecca Mall, and the Zara Shopping Centre. A different experience you can have during summer at Jabal Amman. Here every Friday Souk Jara, a kind of flea market, opens it doors with handicrafts, antiques, paintings, handmade accessories and entertainment.