|Native name وادي رم|
Mountains of Wadi Rum
|Location||Aqaba Governorate, Jordan|
|Area||720 km2 (280 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,750 m (5,741 ft)|
|Governing body||Aqaba Special Authority|
|Criteria||i, iii, iv|
|Designated||2011 (35th session)|
Wadi Rum (Arabic: وادي رم) also known as The Valley of the Moon (Arabic: وادي القمر) is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. To reflect its proper Arabic pronunciation, archaeologists transcribe it as Wadi Ramm.
In the West, Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" after Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book have no connection with Rum.
The area is centered on the main valley of Wadi Rum. The highest elevation Jordan is Mount Um Dami at 1,840 m (6,040 ft) high, located 30 kilometers to the south of Wadi Rum village. It was first located by Difallah Ateeg, a Zalabia Bedouin from Rum. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Red Sea and the Saudi border from the top.
Jabal Rum (1,734 metres (5,689 ft) above sea level) is the second highest peak in Jordan and the highest peak in the central Rum, rising directly above Rum valley opposite Jebel um Ishrin, which is possibly one metre lower.
Khaz'ali Canyon in Wadi Rum is the site of petroglyphs etched into the cave walls depicting humans and antelopes dating back to the Thamudic times. The village of Wadi Rum itself consists of several hundred Bedouin inhabitants with their goat-hair tents and concrete houses and also their four wheel vehicles, one school for boys and one for girls, a few shops, and the headquarters of the Desert Patrol.
Wadi Rum is home to the Zalabia Bedouin who, working with climbers and trekkers, have made a success of developing eco-adventure tourism, now their main source of income. The area is now one of Jordan's important tourist destinations, and attracts an increasing number of foreign tourists, particularly trekkers and climbers, but also for camel and horse safari or simply day-trippers from Aqaba or Petra. Popular activities in the desert environment include camping under the stars, riding Arab horses, hiking and rock-climbing among the massive rock formations.
The Bedouin have climbed in the Sandstone mountains of Wadi Rum for many generations. Many of their 'Bedouin Roads' have been rediscovered and documented by modern climbers. Several are included in the climbing guidebook by Tony Howard, and online by Liên and Gilles Rappeneau.
In 1949 Sheikh Hamdan took surveyors to the summit of Jebel Rum. The first recorded European ascent of Jebel Rum took place in November 1952, by Charmian Longstaff and Sylvia Branford, guided by Sheik Hamdan. The first recorded rock climbs started in 1984, with the first of many visits by English climbers Howard, Baker, Taylor and Shaw. Many new routes were climbed in the 1980s, by this team, French guide Wilfried Colonna, by the Swiss Remy brothers, and by Haupolter and Precht. The first dedicated climbing guide book, Treks and Climb in Wadi Rum, by Tony Howard, was first published in 1987. A New Routes book for climbers is held at the Wadi Rum Guest House.
The area has been used as a background setting in a number of films:
- Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean filmed much of this 1962 film on location in Wadi Rum.
- Red Planet - Wadi Rum was used as the surface of Mars in this 2000 film.
- Passion in the Desert - The area was also used for scenes in this 1998 film.
- The Face - BBC Film, Rock climbing in Rum, featuring Wadi Rum pioneers Tony Howard and Di Taylor.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Represented as being in Egypt
- The Frankincense Trail - scenes from train, and aerial filming too
- Prometheus - Scenes for the Alien Planet
- Krrish 3 - the song 'Dil Tu Hi Bata'
- May in the Summer - a film by Cherien Dabis presented at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Long shots of Wadi Rum set the mood for the film, it's a place where the main character finds peace away from the world and within herself.
Thamudic inscriptions in Wadi Rum
A Nabatean temple in Wadi Rum
A sandstone formation carved by the elements in Jordan's Wadi Rum
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wadi Rum.|
- Mannheim, Ivan (1 December 2000). Jordan Handbook. Footprint Travel Guides. p. 293. ISBN 978-1-900949-69-9. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- tours in Wadi Rum
- Ham, Anthony; Greenway, Paul (2003). Jordan. Lonely Planet. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-74059-165-2. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- Scheck, Frank Rainer (1997). Jordanien: Völker und Kulturen zwischen Jordan und Rotem Meer (in German). DuMont Reiseverlag. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-7701-3979-8. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- Howard, Tony; Taylor, Di (May 1997). Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Cicerone Press Limited. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-85284-254-3. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- Gilles, Rappeneau. "Les Voies Bedoiun du Wadi Ramm". website. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Howard, Tony (1987). Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum. Milnthorpe, England: Cicerone Press. p. 192. ISBN 1 852841354.
- "Touristic Sites - South of Amman". Kinghussein.gov.jo. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- McClintock, Pamela (June 1, 2012). "Box Office Report: 'Prometheus' Opening Ahead of 'Snow White' in the U.K.". The Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.