Jordanian MPs seek restrictions on Petra land purchases by foreigners

Published January 4th, 2016 - 11:00 GMT

MPs on Sunday sought a provision preventing Israelis from buying lands within the boundaries of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA).

During their deliberation of the new amendments to the PDTRA Law, they called for restricting the purchase of lands within Petra’s tourist sites to Jordanians only. 

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that the government is keen on "not allowing even a square centimetre of Jordanian land to go to any [unwanted] party", acknowledging at the same time MPs' concerns.

Regarding the controversial Article 5 of the law concerning the sale and lease of immovable assets in Petra, the House decided to refer the bill to its Administrative Committee for more review. 

Also during the session, House Speaker Atef Tarawneh announced that the Chamber will begin next Sunday its deliberation of the draft 2016 general budget law in addition to the bill governing the budget of independent government units.

On December 6, the government submitted the draft 2016 general budget law to the House with an estimated deficit of 3.1 per cent of the gross domestic product and a growth projection of 3.7 per cent

The House also embarked on discussing the 2015 amendments to the Residence and Foreigners’ Affairs Law before the session was adjourned.

Attending the session, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad described the new amendments as “highly urgent”, citing the current circumstances of the region.  

Defining the exact number of foreigners residing in Jordan and their addresses is the biggest challenge facing the government, Hammad said, adding that the law has its major contributions to safeguarding the Kingdom’s security.

By Raed Omari


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