Jordan’s first ‘heritage village’ to be completed this year
Historic houses in Dana have been restored to encourage eco-tourism
By Garry Shaw. Web only
Published online: 23 April 2014
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has given $2m to transform the Jordanian village of Dana, 180km southwest of Amman, into the country’s first “heritage village”. The project, launched in 2011, is due to be completed by the end of this year.
Fifty-seven historic houses, previously dilapidated and abandoned, are currently being restored in the 500-year-old village. The project’s aim is to encourage local villagers, who abandoned the area in search of better jobs, to return once the restoration work is complete, and use the houses to generate income through tourism, providing visitors with an experience of Jordanian heritage. Once complete, the village will boast 107 hotel rooms and various tourist facilities.
Dana village is the gateway to the Dana Biosphere Reserve, established in 1989 as Jordan’s first and largest ecological preserve; rare plants and wildlife, including endangered species, are protected within its borders. For nearly 20 years, USAID has been working with Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to support the country’s eco-tourism industry and promote nature preservation, while also reducing poverty.
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