Jordan is one of the most expensive Middle Eastern countries to live in, and it certainly bears a higher cost of living than many would expect from a developing country. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2020, Jordan’s capital city, Amman, was ranked alongside European world capitals such as Lisbon and Barcelona, placing 71st out of 209 countries surveyed.

The problem is not so much that goods and services are expensive; rather, local salaries aren’t high enough to be able to comfortably afford them. Expats tend to earn higher salaries than locals, though, so most will be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle, but this is not always the case and expats should consider carefully before accepting any salary offer.


Cost of accommodation in Jordan

Rental costs are likely to be the biggest expense in Jordan, though the extent of this varies according to what type of accommodation is chosen. Sharing a house or apartment is a great way to cut costs. Furniture and electronics can be expensive, so it is usually worthwhile to opt for fully furnished accommodation even though the rental costs are higher than those of non-furnished accommodation.

The cost of utilities is generally separate from the rental price and must be paid by tenants. This includes water, electricity and gas for heating and cooking. In winter, the utility bill can easily double, so expats should adjust their budget accordingly.


Cost of food and clothing in Jordan

If expats stick to buying seasonal local fruit and vegetables, the cost of groceries is likely to remain at an affordable level. However, imported goods are typically expensive. The same applies to clothing. Expats will find reasonably priced clothing at local shops, but the price tag on international brands can be eye-wateringly high.


Cost of eating out and entertainment in Jordan

Expats accustomed to regularly going out for a quick drink after work will find this an expensive habit to maintain in Jordan. Because the country is run according to the principles of Islam, most locals don’t drink alcohol at all. There are Western-owned bars and clubs available for the minority in Jordan who do drink, but the relative scarcity of alcohol in the country allows owners to charge exorbitant prices, and the heavy tax imposed on alcohol pushes the price up even further.

The cost of eating out in Jordan varies greatly. Local restaurants are usually affordable but restaurants attached to hotels or in touristy spots such as resort areas are known for their often ludicrously high prices.


Cost of transport in Jordan

Taxis are a cheap way to travel provided that expats don’t allow drivers to take advantage by overcharging them. Buying a car in Jordan can be expensive, but expats may be able to save some money by importing a car from a neighbouring country. Petrol is quite affordable in Jordan. 


Cost of education and schooling in Jordan

Basic schooling is compulsory in Jordan and is provided by public schools at no cost. Private schools and international schools carry a far higher cost, though, and expat parents in the process of negotiating relocation benefits should consider asking for an education allowance if this is the route they want to go.


Cost of living in Jordan chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Amman for July 2020.

Monthly accommodation

Furnished two-bedroom house

900 JOD

Unfurnished two-bedroom house

680 JOD

Furnished two-bedroom apartment

750 JOD

Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment

600 JOD

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

1.75 JOD

Milk (1 litre)

1.50 JOD

Rice (1kg)

1.50 JOD

Loaf of white bread

0.50 JOD

Chicken breasts (1kg)

7 JOD

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

3 JOD

Eating out

Big Mac meal

7 JOD

Coca-Cola (330ml)

0.50 JOD

Cappuccino

3.50 JOD

Bottle of local beer

7 JOD

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

50 JOD

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

0.07 JOD

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

50 JOD

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

80 JOD

Transportation

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

0.75 JOD

Bus/train fare to city centre

0.75 JOD

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

0.95 JOD

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