• The Ancient City of Petra

The Ancient City of Petra (Photo : Getty Images)

On Thursday, Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority President Mohammad Nawafleh signed the agreement in Beijing for the Petra-Jiayuguan link. The twinning agreement is expected to bring in more tourists to the sister cities.

Nawafleh, in an interview with Jordan News Agency last Sunday, said that the agreement will unlock new opportunities for tourism cooperation between China and Jordan. The deal will also help advertise the ancient city of Petra to international tourists.

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He expects an increase in the number of Chinese visitors coming to Petra and other tourist destinations in Jordan. Nawafleh added that all organizations involved with the Jordanian tourism promotion are exerting more effort to market the country’s exceptional tourism products and to draw more visitors.

Jiayuguan is a prefecture-level city located in northwestern Gansu Province. The Chinese city is known for the nearby Jiayu Pass, the Great Wall of China’s biggest and most intact pass.

In 1985, the city of Petra was declared a world heritage landmark by UNESCO. Two years after, Jiayuguan made it to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.

Located between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra has been inhabited since prehistoric times. According to the UNESCO website, the Nabataean caravan-city of Petra was a key crossroads between Arabia, Egypt and Syria-Phoenicia.

The ancient city of Petra is half-built and half-carved into a rock. Mountains surround the city. Passages and gorges pierce through the structures.

UNESCO said that Petra is one of the most renowned archaeological sites in the world. It features ancient eastern culture and traditions blended with Hellenistic architecture.

Tourism officials of the sister cities hope that the Petra-Jiayuguan link will help them showcase Petra’s majestic architecture while Jiayuguan continues to celebrate the largest pass of the Great Wall of China, encouraging more visitors to come and see the heritage sites.