By Khetam Malkawi

AMMAN – Listing the Dead Sea as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature would be a boon to the Kingdom’s tourism industry and economy, according to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al Fayez.

He noted that if the Dead Sea earns a spot on the list, more tourists will visit Jordan, spurring investment and job creation.

Accordingly, with less than 10 days left before the New Seven Wonders of Nature are announced, the tourism ministry is doing its utmost to urge Jordanians to vote.

“Having more tourists means that we need more investments and this would help provide more job opportunities for Jordanians,” the minister told The Jordan Times over the phone on Monday night, adding that the boost in publicity for the Dead Sea would help compensate for the drop in tourism that the Kingdom has witnessed since the beginning of the year due to regional unrest.

He noted that the country started campaigning for the Dead Sea 20 months ago through media outlets, social media tools and the Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) website,

However, “the next few days are very important to intensify voting for the site”, Fayez added.

JTB acting Director Abdul Razzaq Arabiyyat, said that the JTB is currently coordinating with public and private institutions to encourage their employees to vote for the Dead Sea.

“If the Dead Sea wins in this competition, Jordan will have two sites listed as world wonders,” he said, referring to Petra, which was named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

As a part of the current campaign, the ministry and the Greater Amman Municipality last week organised a festival on the Dead Sea shores to encourage Jordanians to vote for it.

The “Dead Sea Nights” event, which is open every Thursday and Friday from 6:00pm to midnight until November 11, includes a variety of musical and dance performances.

People can vote by sending the words “Dead Sea” in a text message to 94089 or by visiting

Zain announced during the opening ceremony of Dead Sea Nights that the company had reduced its rate for SMS messages to the voting number from 60 fils to 30 fils in order to encourage more people to vote.

The results of the contest will be announced during the last night of the event on November 11.

The Dead Sea is competing against 27 other finalists to be one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, according to its website. The other finalists include the Amazon River, the Galapagos Islands and the Grand Canyon in the US, Venezuela’s Angel Falls, Canada’s Bay of Fundy, the Maldives, Italy’s Mount Vesuvius volcano, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina, Lebanon’s Jeita Grotto, Indonesia’s Komodo National Park and the Puerto Princesa underground river in the Philippines.