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Wadi Rum A go-to destination for screen tourism

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Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)
AMMAN — Due to its otherworldly landscape which made it a perfect choice for shooting films about distant planets and aliens, the desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan is becoming a global destination for cultural affinity and screen tourism.اضافة اعلان

From Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 to Dune in 2021, Wadi Rum has provided filmmakers with a landscape that resembles far away planets and galaxies to make some of the most world-famed movies.


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

Wadi Rum, also known as Valley of the Moon, is celebrated for its sky-touching granite and sandstone mountains and red-rose sand dunes, located 330km south of Amman and 60km northeast of Aqaba.

Along with Petra and Aqaba, Wadi Rum is one of three major Jordanian tourism sites. Collectively, the three destinations are referred to as the Golden Triangle. 


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Wadi Rum is a nature reserve that covers an area of 720sq.km. 

Wadi Rum has appeared in several international movies and documentaries, urging tourists to visit the spectacular site.

Screen tourism is a type of tourism that depends on a location that becomes popular with visitors because it appeared in a film or television series.
This film-oriented tourism can have a powerful impact on economies of countries. 


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

Filming Lord of the Rings in New Zealand, for example, increased the country’s visitors by 40 percent.

In 1989, Indiana Jones-The Last Crusade was filmed in Petra, raising the profile of the Red-Rose City to an international tourism destination.

In 1958, Lawrence of Arabia was the first movie to be filmed in Wadi Rum. The movie depicts the story of the British army officer T.E Lawrence based on his book the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The movie focuses on his role in the Great Arab Revolt 1916.


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

During the filming of Lawrence, the Jordanian government provided the necessary help such as logistical assistance, location scouting, transportation, and extras to complete the project.

In the most recent movie Dune, Wadi Rum was depicted as Arrakis, a fictional desert planet featured in the Dune series of novels by Frank Herbert.
Meanwhile in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Wadi Rum became Jedha, a fictional cold desert moon.


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

In the 2015 film The Martian, Matt Damon who stars as Mark Watney, accidentally becomes separated from his team and is consequently abandoned on Mars (Wadi Rum).

Vastness and matchlessness, combined with pristine Bedouin culture, all have made Wadi Rum a favourite multi-purpose destination for people from all around the globe.


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

Some of the most common activities in Wadi Rum are jeep tours that include the highlights such as the largest dunes, ancient inscriptions, natural rock formations, canyons, and water springs. 

A jeep tour usually ends at a carefully designated spot for watching the sunset, followed by an underground-cooked traditional dinner at a Bedouin camp and an open stargazing activity.


Due to its otherworldly landscape, the desert of Wadi Rum is becoming a global destination for filmmakers. (Photos: Envato elements/ Unsplash)

Wadi Rum sports include camel and horse riding, quad bikes, ballooning, rock-climbing, paragliding, paramotoring, and parachuting, among others.
Trekking is one of Wadi Rum’s busiest activities, bringing people a more direct contact to the area. 

As such, there are dozens of camps in this vast desert that range from temporary bivouacs to fancy Martian-like bubble tents. 

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