AMMAN — Raghadan Tourist Complex, which was designed for public transport, still has not been used for that purpose. The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) is now increasing focus on revitalising the complex and taking advantage of the area, Transport Operations Director at GAM Khalid Abu Oleim told the Jordan Times on Sunday.
The complex, located near the Hashemite Plaza and the Amman Roman Theatre, was built in 2004 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to develop several facilities and shops in downtown Amman, reduce traffic density and serve the tourism sector, Abu Oleim added.
“We are currently finalising our plan to reorient some types of transport, such as tourist and organised transport,” he said.
Abu Oleim noted that the complex will not be used for public transportation due to Raghadan’s location. However, it will soon function as a starting point for tour buses leaving Amman and heading north or south. Trips will include routes from Amman to Aqaba and other areas, he added.
The complex’s large space can be utilised to make Raghadan a main destifor tourists, where they can be exposed to Jordanian culture through handicrafts that represent the Kingdom’s traditions, fabrics, antiques, jewellery, herbs and spices as well as live performances, GAM’s official added.
According to Abu Oleim, the complex also includes different entries, parking and many other facilities that in the past were a place where public buses and shared taxis used to park, but then during the project were transferred to other areas temporarily, which led to complaints from bus drivers and merchants.
Riad Hanini, a shop owner near the Raghadan complex said business since 2004 has been getting worse, and he still has not received compensation for the project, adding that many shops have closed down because of market stagnation, affecting many families.
“We thought that it was an interim period, that’s why we sacrificed our interests, but what happened was a catastrophe which has lasted for more than 15 years,” Hanini told the Jordan Times on Sunday.
The complex is nearly deserted and buses use the main streets as stops, but if the complex goes back to work with certain bus routes available, the area will flourish again, Hanini added.
“The citizens want the bus stop brought back to the complex, so the area will become accessible and known,” he said.
It is very important to develop this area as it is in the heart of Amman, where tourists and visitors come to enjoy an “exquisite” experience. No one will come back if there is a transport shortage, Hanini expressed.