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Climbing in Wadi Rum as a woman?

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Hi all, Me and my partner have a trip to Wadi Rum planned and were wondering if there were any women in the forums who had already been and would be willing to share their experience and advice about the culture and customs there.

We are not married but it was suggested by a friend that we wear wedding rings during our time there. Thats no problem but we wondered if anyone had any other suggestions and if this is a good idea.

We are well travelled and completely open to other cultures, but equally, we just want to make sure that we dont spend our holiday feeling uncomfortable. It would be great to hear from any women out there with first hand experience. Thanks!

 EllieWoods 13 Jan 2022
In reply to DaveThexton:

Hi Dave, I was there with a mixed group of friends a couple of years ago and had a brilliant trip and I'm sure you will too! Most of the time we were in the desert so not really interacting with the locals but I never felt uncomfortable when we did. Having said that, I did notice that they tended to want to deal with the men in the group when arranging things, so that might wind some women up. It felt to me more that they didn't feel as comfortable talking to women rather than disrespect. I've certainly used the wedding ring trick when travelling in a couple elsewhere in the world, as the concept of non-married partners doesn't always translate well. Hope you have a great time! Petra is well worth a visit too.

EDIT: I'm sure you know this, but I tried to be fairly covered up around locals. Didn't worry once I was climbing. 

Post edited at 13:48
In reply to DaveThexton:

Apologies, I'm not a women, and its 10 years since I've been, but or what it's worth I went to wadi rum (as well as a road trip around Jordan) with my then girlfriend, we didn't get rings, we didn't pretend to be married (perhaps naively?) We stayed in a variety of accommodation, including camping out in the desert and never had any problems. Jordan seems to have a pretty progressive culture and I found the Jordanians incredibly welcoming.

In reply to DaveThexton:

I am sure you will have absolutely no issues as long as you respect local customs and dress accordingly. A woman travelling with a man is normal.

Two female friends of mine were there together and had a great time and had no problems. Women travelling without men will probably attract attention because it is unusual to the culture, but will almost certainly be out of concern or curiosity rather than anything else; indeed it might result in an enhanced experience of the local hospitality.

1
 Elsier 13 Jan 2022
In reply to DaveThexton:

We went as a group of three women and one man. We stayed with the bedouin in the village and never had any problems at all.

We did attract the odd comment, for example on our rest day we went to Petra and a local man shouted three wives, lucky man at my friend. He was not the partner of any of us, so it just resulted in laughter than feeling threatened.

I found the local people especially in Rum itself to be extremely welcoming, friendly and respectful. There is a big culture of hospitality there. We did of course cover up, wearing long trousers and long sleeves tops, but I think so long as you do that you will be fine. 

In reply to DaveThexton:

As above, we visited in January 2020 and although not with any women in our party we met various female climbers there and they had no issues. There was vast amounts of female tourists around Petra and none seemed to be getting any hassle. 

Jordan felt very safe and fairly progressive to me and much the same as many places, if you respect local custom/culture and are open and friendly you’ll receive the same in return. 

Enjoy, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever been. 

In reply to DaveThexton:

If you haven't already done so, check out https://www.nomadstravel.co.uk/ - Tony and Di Howard have more experience of Wadi Rum than anyone, and there's a wealth of information and advice on their website. 

 Inhambane 16 Jan 2022
In reply to DaveThexton:

Sorry again I'm not a women but living in Jordan for a number of years. I have climbed in wadi rum with different female partners on multiple occasions. There will be no issues with you as a female and my friends have stated that is actually better than being the city on that respect. My female friends would do all the organizing and negotiation, as they knew our guide better than me, no issue with that either.  We never wore wedding rings and wearing short sleeve t-shirts is fine too (but you might want to cover up for the sun)  

Wadi rum locals are used to tourists from all over world who come in all flavors dressing and behaving in all manors. From my experience tourist are not expected to be like the locals a small amount of self awareness is all you need. You will likely find more of these issues in the airport, Amman or from other people staying in your camp than from your guide who will be very respectful. 

happy to help if you want any recommendations.     

Post edited at 16:03
 lieraza 16 Jan 2022
In reply to DaveThexton:

I stayed in Jordan around 10 years ago for about 4 months (and am a woman).

Wadi Rum seemed a very safe and welcoming place to me and the other women in my group, even safer than the city we stayed in (Aqaba).

We had a lovely time in Aqaba and it felt safe, apart from one alarming incident with a dodgy taxi driver who drove me and my friend (also a woman) in entirely the wrong direction for a while until we got scared, phoned my Jordanian friend and put her on speaker - I don't know what she shouted at him but he turned his car around rather quickly! He'd collected us from a posh hotel so I think it was a mistake to get a taxi from right outside there perhaps.


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