How Jordan became a travel favorite among celebrities, from Oprah Winfrey to Salma Hayek

With its otherworldly landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage sites and access to the Dead Sea, Jordan has long attracted tourists from around the world.

And in recent weeks it has attracted several high-profile visitors, with A-list stars sharing snippets of their travels in the country on social media.

Here we take a look back at some of the famous faces who have visited the kingdom.

Salma Hayek

Actress Salma Hayek recently visited the famous Wadi Ram in Jordan with her husband Francois-Henri Pinault.

Hayek shared a series of photos of himself sitting in a traditional majlis-style setting and admiring the otherworldly scenery of Wadi Rum.

“Breathing in the magic of Jordan,” she captioned the post.

Oprah Winfrey

Author and TV personality Oprah Winfrey also made a brief visit to Jordan this month, sightseeing at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra, which is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

In a series of images shared on Instagram, Winfrey can be seen riding a camel in front of the Ministry of Finance, one of the largest and most famous sites in Petra. She is also depicted seated in a majlis on the famous red sands of the Jordanian desert.

“I visited Jordan this week and there was so much to see and experience,” Winfrey captioned the images. “We visited the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Petra and all its charms, the camels and the place where the great stone was rolled by Indiana Jones.

“There is so much history in the Pink City, chosen as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It takes 3 days to really see everything, we only spent 3 hours. Put it on your must-see list if you haven’t already!”

Gayle King

On her trip, Winfrey was joined by friend and longtime collaborator, author and host Gayle King.

King shared a few more snippets of their trip on social media, including a visit to a book stand in downtown Amman and a rainy swim in the Dead Sea while Winfrey watched, sheltered under an umbrella on the shore.

“Oh what a weekend…Petra…camels and one of the highlights: a swim in the Dead Sea and a mud bath,” she wrote. “As Oprah often tells me, we have different ideas of entertainment … but in the end we all had a great time … I understand why the sign when you leave the airport says ‘Welcome to sweet Jordan!’ I can’t wait to go back.”

Timothee Chalamet

Actor Timothée Chalamet visited Petra in November while taking a break from filming Dune: Part Two in the state.

The actor shared a photo of himself in front of the Ministry of Finance, also known as Al Khazna.

Posing with his hood up and a peace sign, the star appeared to visit the empty venue, which is usually packed with crowds, early in the morning.

in DuneJordan’s first installment, Wadi Rum partly served as the Atreides family’s newly inherited planet Arakis.

Prince William, Kate and family

Prince William and his wife Kate and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis took a family trip to Jordan in 2021.

While details of the family’s trip have not been revealed, they chose to use a photo from their visit for their official Christmas card that year.

The trip was likely nostalgic for the Princess of Wales, who lived in Jordan as a child, attended kindergarten there and is said to have fond memories of her time there.

Her parents were employees of British Airways – Michael as a manager, Carol as a flight attendant – when in May 1984 Michael was offered a posting to Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Kate was two years old at the time and Carole Middleton was on extended maternity leave with her younger daughter Pippa, who was then eight months old.

Will Smith

While filming the Disney live action remake Aladdin in Jordan, actor Will Smith and the film’s production team found time to visit Petra, a place Smith said was on his bucket list.

Smith shared a photo of himself and the crew standing outside the Treasury Department on his official Facebook page in 2017.

“We are filming Aladdin in Jordan. I took my crew to see PETRA! It’s been on my bucket list for about 20 years. IT’S MADNESS!” he wrote.

“A special thank you to the Royal Family and the people of Jordan. You all took PERFECT care of us. We will be back.”

Updated: March 24, 2023, 10:04 am

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