Jordan becomes leading player in Middle East aerospace

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Although its government's objective is to develop an aerospace sector to provide careers for its own citizens, Jordan should not be overlooked by expatriates looking for opportunities in the region.

In recent years, the kingdom has made great strides in developing its industry, hiving off the simulator training and maintenance, repair and overhaul divisions of its flag carrier Royal Jordanian, both of which have become formidable, privately controlled third-party businesses.

An entrepreneurial culture has seen the emergence of privately owned ab initio flight training schools such as Ayla Aviation, and business jet charter operators including Arab Wings and Rayajet. There is also a modest defence and security sector centred on the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau.

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Jordan is attractive to tourists and traders

Although it has few natural resources and little agricultural land, Jordan's location and reputation as a stable, open and liberal state wedged between Israel and the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq have made it an important trading and transit point. Tourists, attracted by spectacular scenery and historic sights, have also bolstered its aviation sector and economy.