Amman: the city of big holes!

Wadi Saqra construction

One of the funniest/strangest things I heard was something I heard from a young, professional (and very busy) colleague the other day: “What boom in Amman? People just ‘say’ there is a boom!”.

Wow.. my friend should be transported back in time to the Jordanian Dinar crash of 1988 or the slow mid-1990s to put thing into perspective!

Then again, maybe I should not be surprised. Didn’t you hear that Jordan is the world champion in the sport of ‘complaining’. After all, don’t we all just ‘know’ that the “middle class is shrinking”. But let’s leave that to a future post (especially after all the great feedback on my earlier question about Jordan’s supposedly ‘dead’ middle class!)

If you don’t believe there is a boom you might be suffering from a disease called Construction Site Blindness (CSB). Wherever you look in Amman there is a hole in the ground with concrete pylons coming out. Daily, I drive by the huge hole being dug into the side of the hill at Wadi Saqra. For the past few months the earth-moving equipment has been busy obliterating the hill to make way for.. I don’t know.. Does anyone know what project will be built there?

Then we have the hole at the 4th circle. For those of you with CSB :) this will be the tunnel leading to the suspended bridge leading to yet another tunnel under Abdoun circle. Speaking of Abdoun, have you seen the scaffolding across from Blue Fig. A huge mall will be built there.

City Mall is nearing completion. Mecca Mall’s extension is partially open (complete with a HORRIBLY INCOMPLETE parking lot!). Soon, construction will start on a project that will house the Middle East’s largest mall on Airport road.

If you want to see big holes, have a look at the one near Amra hotel. in the coming 18 month the two Jordan Gate towers will be shooting out of it. The company behind it reportedly wants to finish it in dubai-speed.

I was driving toward the Wihdat camp the other day. As I left the Interior Circle I saw the construction site of Al Istiklal Mall. It’s pretty big! Then, on my way up to Middle East Circle I was shocked at the gigantic size of the Mega Mall towers being built. What a contrast with the little car repair garages around it.

Then, take a drive towards Sahab. A whole new Amman is emerging there that many of us don’t see. The industrial area is getting much better roads and its share of bridges and underpasses.

I have not even mentioned the plans for Abdali or the stuff going on in Aqaba.

This unprecedented construction activity will drive the economy for at least the coming 2-3 years, the experts say.

But, we all know that ‘they’ are just ‘talking’ about a boom.

Earth moving at Wadi Saqra


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8 Responses to “Amman: the city of big holes!”

  1. Roba Says:

    CBS, eh? :D
    It’s symptoms are very prevalent.

  2. salam Says:

    can’t imagine anyone denying the boom..if you never visited amman before you can tell.

  3. Hamam Tahat Says:

    ......Didn’t you hear that Jordan is the world champion in the sport of ‘complaining’ ...... loooool not forget the CSB, man i dont know from where u get these words? , but lets be honest u r magnificent ….

    keep up the good work..

  4. Firas Says:

    Humied, I have no clue what is going on in Wadi Saqra!
    I’ve asked many people, even cabbies (respek) do not know one!
    It’s seems Jordan Hospital is expanding or something!
    Anyways, I do agree, people just keep complaining! I mean just look at Al-Waseet! It’s so packed, and got tons of new products and services that have never existed in Jordan!
    Ta’meer was ablt to raise 700mil in 14 days?!!
    But don’t be fooled! More than half of these constructions and investments are not Jordanian!
    It’s either Iraqis,Arabs (Saudis,Kuwaitis). Though if you are smart,hard working and got good connections (most probably your last name) you could strike rich in Jordan.
    Shrinking middle class? Well of course! Some people just want to graduate so they can be stuck in a deadbeat job, have 8 kids and start cursing the country and complaining!
    Anyways, most estate buyers are not Jordanians!

  5. Abu 7amarneh Says:

    absolutely right dude!

  6. Anas Rababah Says:

    I wanna just add something,
    jordan has been estimated as the 2nd largest building workshop in the middle east

    but a lot of ppl gonna suffer before feeling the benefit of this boom.

  7. E. rayan Says:

    Let’s face it, it is going to be the place to visit and invest. Trying to land a job in this beautiful city after being a way in the US for more than 20 years is my aim.
    Nice to go back home and work around the family and old friends

  8. Amro Says:

    Great article…......but,
    as one of the close watchdogs of the construction industry in Jordan, since i belong to one of the leading construction firms in Jordan i tell you this…....LABOR SUPPLY, we need more labor supply.

    The labor market is not copping with the high demand in terms of numbers and quality. We need more Engineers, site supervisors, skilled/unskilled labor.
    The shortage is only creating higher prices, which in turn is creating a less competitive market.
    The upgraded demands set forth by the clients requiers more experienced engineers.
    The big Jobs around the country are mostly being given to forgein firms. This will hold local companies from expanding and eventually many of the local companies will be driven out of the market…..
    God Bless.

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