Aqabawi is a new startup developing unique tourism products and services that highlight cultural, environmental and heritage resources as a main attraction for visitors to Southern Jordan. Through these activities, Aqabawi aims to improve the economic situation of local communities and increase their competitiveness with other major tourist destinations in the country. By reviving the ancient cultural heritage of Aqaba and promoting it in the form of new, original tourism products in Aqaba, Aqabawi facilitates increased employment and cultural exchange.
We see that currently, tourists come to Aqaba only for traditional beach and resort tourism. Typically, visitors do not know much about the culture or history of the area, due to the present lack of tourist products and services that allow them to experience and learn about the local customs and culture of Aqaba.
Vision: Developing the tourism sector in Aqaba and Southern Jordan through new and different tourist services that highlight local cultural, environmental, and heritage resources as main attractions, with the goal of increasing income and employment in local communities.
Mission: To provide visitors to Aqaba with new, unique tourist experiences related to local cultural heritage, in order to increase local employment and facilitate cultural exchange.
Our proposed original tourist activities aim first to prepare interactive cultural encounters based on the concept of experimental experience.
On the one hand, we raise awareness and educate the local community about these activities, as well as the overall concept of interactive tourism. On the other hand, we connect visitors both from within Jordan and from other countries with these authentic cultural experiences, enabling a direct, positive interaction between the visitor and the local community. This will maximize the cultural knowledge of both parties and bring greater economic benefits to the groups and individuals working within this sector.
We focus on creating job opportunities for recent graduates in this project, each according to his or her specialization. All of our activities are exceptional and aim to teach visitors how to live like a local within the Aqabawi culture through making historical handicrafts, cooking and tasting local food, and learning about local customs and traditions.
ِAqabawi is funded by The Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (USAID SCHEP) funded by The American Center of Oriental Research promotes research (ACOR) funded by United States of America agency for International Development (USAID)
Meet the founder
Mustafa Ajlouni, Founder of Aqabawi, is a tourism entrepreneur in Aqaba with around 6 years in the cultural tourism field. Mustafa worked as a Site Steward for the “Discover the Mysterious Depth of Aqaba's Marine Heritage Sites Project`` with the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) funded by the USAID Sustainable Cultural Heritage Through Engagement of Local Communities Project (SCHEP).
As a result of his previous work and his passion to promote Aqaba’s history and culture, USAID SCHEP worked with Mustafa on developing and funding his business idea ``Aqabawi``. A first of its kind enterprise in Aqaba that works on developing and promoting community-based cultural experiences. Aqabawi works with community members in Aqaba and will build their capacity to offer tourism products and services for tourists and visitors.
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