Aqaba is a coastal town with a population of 70,000 (2000 est. pop.) and 2% of Jordan's population
in the far south of Jordan. It is the capital of Aqaba Governorate.
Aqaba is strategically important to Jordan as it is the country's only seaport. The town borders Eilat, Israel and there is a border post where it is possible to cross between the two countries. Both Aqaba and Eilat are at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba.
The town is best known today as a diving and beach resort. However, industrial activity remains important to the area, and the town is an exporter of phosphate and some shells. The town is also an important administrative center within the far south of Jordan.
Aqaba is well known for its beach resorts and luxury hotels, which service those who come for fun in the sand as well as watersports like windsurfing and Scuba diving. It also offers activities which take advantage of its desert location.
Its many coffee shops offer mansaf and knafeh, and baqlawa desserts. Another very popular venue is the Turkish Bath (Hamam), in which locals and visitors alike come to relax after a hot day.
Aqaba has been chosen for the sight of a new waterfront building project that would rebuild Aqaba with new man-made water structures, new high-rise residential and office buildings, and more tourist services to place Aqaba on the investment map and challenge other centers of waterfront development throughout the region.