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Apart from the artisans' stalls inside the Petra site, there are many shops in Wadi Musa that sell local products, such as Nabataean-style pottery, silverware and bead work jewellery. These are mainly produced locally by the Bedouin people.


Traditional Bedouin necklace.

Just outside the centre of Wadi Musa there is a silver workshop, which is sponsored by the Queen Noor Foundation. Here, the local women make a delightful array of silver jewellery pieces that are sold in several local shops. It is possible to visit the workshop but it is always best to go there with an Arabic speaker as the ladies who work there don’t speak English well, if at all. It is also possible to have a piece of jewellery custom-made there but you will need to allow a few days for this. Prices are a little less at the workshop than those in the town.

Most large souvenir shops in Jordan accept credit cards but the small market shops don’t. So do remember to take cash with you if you plan to go shopping.

Also available in a few shops in Wadi Musa are the very heavy antique necklaces. These are not generally on display and are expensive. If you are interested, visit the Sandcastle shop in Petra.

There are two craft shops at the Visitors’ Centre: one is run for the benefit of the Rural Women of Jordan and the other for the Ladies’ Working Circle of Wadi Musa. Here you will find a good selection of items, particularly jewellery or boxes done in mother-of-pearl marquetry, brightly-coloured hand-filled img_box.jpgbottles of sand, woollen rugs, embroidered and woven pillows, fashion items, furniture, pottery, glass, wall hangings and metal work, as well as some of the famous embroidered articles. All of which make great gifts to take home as a memento of your stay in Jordan.

Bargaining is acceptable but not always necessary, especially on low price items. Do not expect to knock off more than one third of the original asking price.

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Amongst the most popular souvenirs from Jordan are the famous Jordanian decorative knives. Years ago, a much more lethal version of those sold today were carried by almost all men in Arabia and were used for everything from cutting bread and food, to slaughtering the animals.

Bottles filled with brightly coloured sands have been made by artisans in Petra and Aqaba for decades. It is believed that the first person to do this was a native of Petra, Mohammed Abdullah Othman, who taught himself the craft as a child, collecting his material from nearby mountains and caves. Othman and his fellow artisans have no need to use dyes for their art as there are more than 20 different natural colours occurring in the local sandstone.

Silver jewellery pieces are always weighed before you are given the price – this is because silver is generally sold by weight and not by design.