Aqaba is a duty free shopping zone, and I was very indignant to find whisky being sold here for a lower price that at the frontier! This is a good liquor shop, with a good selection of alcohol, wines and beers, both local and imported.
What to pay: Imported items are obviously more expensive, local "whisky" ("Black Jack") comes in at about 5JD the bottle. Palestinian wines are around 3JD, French ones more like 5 or 6.
The PC Store next to the Mosque at Haya Hospital circle has computers and electronics.
The Circle has four landmarks - Haya Hospital, Dream Mall, A Mosque, and the Shokini Building.
What to buy: Digital camera cards for 13JD - brand name KINGSTON. Good brand, no problem since I purchased it in January 2006. Lower priced than Hagoop's, the popular camera store in Aqaba, I spent 25JD for one of the same size in here. Avoid Wadi Rum Photo shop - I spent 5JD to transfer the photos to CD, not realizeing they break the lock on your card to prevent you from using it any further, so that you might buy a new one from them.
What to pay: 13JD on a digital camera card.
Visit the Bakery in Aqaba not only for bread, but for the army of delicious cookies baked daily. Try the shortbread variety ready to be boxed up to take home or the tea biscuits.
The super friendly staff are ready to take on you a tour of the facilities to see how the arabic bread is made. Be careful, you may not come out for an hour!
The best dead sea skin care line is Rivage, still owned and made in Jordan.
Favs: AHA skin glow, face and body mud, bath salts for relaxing, and dead sea mineral water with loofah for an at home body scrub.
Tip: Bath Salts and the Black Mud Soap bars make a great gift to take home.
Best priced in Aqaba, a tax free zone, however you can find it in the pharmacies in Amman.
What to buy: Rivage AHA Skin Glow: 9JD; Dead Sea Water and Loofah: 2.5JD; Face Mud: 5JD; Body Mud: 5JD; Bath Salts: 3JD
In Aqaba at the Market, try the dry lemons for tea. To make the tea, add sugar to boiling water, crush the lemons and add, let stand. This is about as natural as it gets.
Pour and serve, mmmm...delicious.
What to buy: Dry Lemons
What to pay: 1 JD / bag
At the entrance to Aqaba Market is a spice shop with Water pipes and flavored tobacco - try apple. If you haven't had a chance to experience shisha, try the Royal Yacht Club at the bar upstairs on the patio after 7:00pm, or Lucky Strike cafe on the corner where the TRUST Express Buses are located opposite the Aquamarina Hotel.
In the Market try the spices, especially the local Jordanian favourite - Zatar spice. If you haven't had the chance to try it, around the corner in the Lane leading to Shami's Restaurant and Amer's Hotel is a small stand where you can try their fresh bread topped with Olive Oil and Zatar spice for 100fils or 0.100 JD.
There are other dry spices packaged and ready to sell.
What to buy: Zhatar spice
What to pay: 4 JD / KG
In Aqaba, try the mixed nuts in the market, individual varieties are available as well. They make great snacks for the beach and bus trips or take some home as a gift.
What to buy: Mixed nuts with Pistachios and Cashews
What to pay: 4JD / KG
In Aqaba City Centre, go to the Market try the ghawah coffee, this is Turkish coffee - with or without cardomon. Buy the beans and cardomon spice whole or ground together. The small cups and saucers and the small silver stove top pots to make it are also alvailable.
What to buy: Ghawah / Turkish Coffee
What to pay: 4JD / KG
The food market is also close to Raghadan Street. It's just around the corner from the big photo shop Hagoub. If you come out from Hagoub, turn to the left and the left again, you are in an alley, bristling with vegetables and fruit.
Meat and fish are a bit further down.
The spice shop needs no directions to find it - there are some most wonderful aromas!
Posted by Lulu
Probably the best place for getting photos developed in Aqaba is Hagoub. They have several shops in different areas, but the biggest and best known is in Raghadan Street, which is the main market street.
They will also engrave CD's from your digital camera. Entirely trustworthy, and patronised by all the local people.
They are also used by many underwater photographers.
The same shop that sells the water pipes described in another place also sells the Arab lutes, or ouds.
Again a wonderful collection!
What to pay: The ouds start from 45JD upwards. But for 45JD you don't get anything really but a piece of attractive looking wood - to get a good oud you need at least 150JD and for a really good one (musician quality) over 200JD.
There's a shop with a glittering array of narghilas or water pipes in Aqaba. Like most shops there it doesn't have a name or a street number.
It is the most comprehensive collection of water pipes I have ever seen, and is most impressive to look at.
Unsurprisingly it also has a wide range of shisha - tobacco for the pipes.
What to pay: For a real narghila, not a miniature one for tourists, expect to pay from 10JD upwards; a large one a meter or more in height can cost 45 or 50JD