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Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023


Zarqa is a city in Jordan with a rich history and a vibrant culture. Located northeast of the capital city of Amman, Zarqa is the country’s second-largest city and serves as an important industrial hub. Despite its industrial significance, Zarqa has plenty to offer in terms of historical landmarks, natural beauty, and welcoming hospitality.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Zarqa and uncover 44 fascinating facts about this remarkable city. From its origins as a small Bedouin settlement to its rapid growth as a thriving urban center, Zarqa has played a significant role in shaping the cultural and economic landscape of Jordan. So, let’s dive in and discover the hidden gems and interesting tidbits that make Zarqa a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and curious travelers alike.

Table of Contents

Birthplace of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Zarqa is the birthplace of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the infamous founder of the militant group Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Located in Jordan

Zarqa is a vibrant city located in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, known for its rich history and culture.

Second-largest city in Jordan

Zarqa is the second-largest city in Jordan, after the capital city of Amman.

Industrial hub of Jordan

Zarqa is considered the industrial hub of Jordan, with numerous factories and industrial zones contributing to the country’s economy.

Founded in 1902

Zarqa was founded in 1902 by Chechen immigrants who sought refuge in the region.

Diverse population

Zarqa is known for its diverse population, with inhabitants from various ethnic backgrounds, including Jordanians, Palestinians, and Syrians.

Cultural landmarks

Zarqa is home to several cultural landmarks, such as the Zarqa Governorate Building and the Zarqa Cultural Center.

Historical significance

Zarqa has played a significant role in Jordan’s history, particularly during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire.

Education center

Zarqa is renowned for its educational institutions, including Zarqa University, which attracts students from all over Jordan.

Traditional markets

Zarqa is known for its vibrant traditional markets, where locals and tourists can experience the bustling atmosphere and purchase a variety of goods.

Jordan’s first railway station

Zarqa was home to Jordan’s first railway station, which was established during the Ottoman era.

Rich archaeological sites

Zarqa is surrounded by rich archaeological sites, including the historical city of Ammon and the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash.

Soccer passion

Zarqa is known for its passionate soccer culture, with several successful soccer clubs based in the city.

Wadi Zarqa

Zarqa is named after the nearby Wadi Zarqa, a beautiful valley known for its scenic landscapes.

Famous culinary delights

Zarqa is renowned for its delicious traditional dishes, including Mansaf (a lamb dish cooked in yogurt) and Maqluba (a rice and vegetable casserole).

Film location

Zarqa has been used as a filming location for several movies, showcasing its unique architecture and vibrant streets.

Historical mosques

Zarqa is home to several historical mosques, including the Grand Mosque of Zarqa, known for its stunning design and rich history.

Cultural festivals

Zarqa hosts a variety of cultural festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, art, and Jordanian traditions.

Spinach capital

Zarqa is known as the “Spinach Capital of Jordan” due to its significant cultivation and production of this leafy green vegetable.

Famous residents

Zarqa has been the birthplace or residence of notable individuals, including politicians, writers, and artists who have contributed to Jordan’s cultural landscape.

Historical bridges

Zarqa is home to several historical bridges, connecting different parts of the city and adding to its architectural beauty.

Agriculture industry

Zarqa’s surrounding areas are known for their agricultural activities, including the cultivation of olives, citrus fruits, and vegetables.

Cultural diversity

Zarqa embraces cultural diversity, with its residents showcasing various traditions, languages, and customs.

Traditional crafts

Zarqa is known for its traditional crafts, including pottery, weaving, and intricate embroidery.

Zarqa River

The Zarqa River flows through the city, providing a natural water source and adding to its picturesque scenery.

Historical forts

Zarqa is home to historical forts, such as Al Hayr Castle, which played a strategic role during different periods of Jordan’s history.

Economic growth

Zarqa has witnessed significant economic growth over the years, attracting investments and contributing to Jordan’s overall development.

Traditional music

Zarqa is known for its traditional music, with local musicians preserving and showcasing Jordanian melodies and rhythms.

Religious diversity

Zarqa is home to diverse religious communities, including Muslims, Christians, and Druze, promoting tolerance and coexistence.

Architectural landmarks

Zarqa boasts architectural landmarks, ranging from modern skyscrapers to well-preserved historical buildings.

Industrial exports

Zarqa’s industrial sector contributes significantly to Jordan’s exports, particularly in the fields of textiles, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.

Traditional dances

Zarqa is known for its traditional dances, such as the Dabke, where locals gather to celebrate and showcase their cultural heritage.

Olympic athletes

Zarqa has produced several Olympic athletes who have represented Jordan in various sports, including track and field, boxing, and taekwondo.

Historical museums

Zarqa is home to historical museums that preserve and display artifacts, showcasing the city’s rich heritage.

Public parks

Zarqa offers numerous public parks and green spaces, providing residents and visitors with recreational areas to relax and enjoy nature.

Education opportunities

Zarqa provides various education opportunities, from primary schools to vocational training centers, ensuring access to quality education for all.

Established neighborhoods

Zarqa is characterized by established neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and sense of community.

Historical churches

Zarqa is home to historical churches, representing the Christian community’s long-standing presence and contributions to the city.

Traditional handicrafts

Zarqa is known for its traditional handicrafts, including hand-woven carpets, leather goods, and metalwork.

Cultural exchange programs

Zarqa promotes cultural exchange programs, facilitating connections between local residents and international visitors.

Historical schools

Zarqa is home to historical schools that have played a pivotal role in educating generations of Jordanians.

Sports facilities

Zarqa offers modern sports facilities, catering to different sports enthusiasts and promoting an active lifestyle.

Historical cemeteries

Zarqa houses historical cemeteries, offering a glimpse into the city’s past and honoring its ancestors.

Growing tourism sector

Zarqa’s tourism sector is steadily growing, with more visitors discovering the city’s unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

These 44 fascinating facts about Zarqa showcase the city’s rich history, cultural diversity, and contributions to Jordan’s development. From its industrial prowess to its historical landmarks and vibrant traditions, Zarqa remains a city that captivates both residents and visitors alike. Whether exploring its archaeological sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or experiencing its lively markets, Zarqa offers a unique and authentic Jordanian experience that is not to be missed.


In conclusion, Zarqa is a city that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its fascinating archaeological sites to its vibrant markets and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Zarqa. The city’s strategic location makes it an important hub for transportation and trade, and its growing economy is attracting both local and international investments. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient ruins, indulging in traditional Jordanian dishes, or simply experiencing the warm hospitality of its people, Zarqa has much to offer. So, whether you are planning a visit to Jordan or simply want to expand your knowledge about this fascinating city, make sure to include Zarqa on your list of must-see destinations.


1. What is the population of Zarqa?
Zarqa has a population of approximately 1.5 million people, making it the second-largest city in Jordan after Amman.

2. What is Zarqa known for?
Zarqa is known for its industrial sector, particularly for its phosphate and chemical industries. It is also famous for its delicious traditional Jordanian cuisine.

3. Are there any historical sites to visit in Zarqa?
Yes, Zarqa has several historical sites to explore, including the ruins of the ancient city of Zarqa Ma’in, which dates back to the Roman period.

4. What is the climate like in Zarqa?
Zarqa has a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the summer months.

5. How far is Zarqa from Amman?
Zarqa is located approximately 22 kilometers (14 miles) northeast of Amman. The two cities are well-connected by road and public transportation.