Wadi Rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in south west Jordan. It is the largest wadi in Jordan.
It has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times with many cultures—including the Nabateans—leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti and temples. Currently several Bedouin tribes inhabit the area.
Wadi Rum is probably best known to many people because of its connection with the British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18.
The area is now also one of Jordan's important tourist destinations, and one that continues to attract an increasing number of foreign tourists. Popular activities in the desert environment include camping under the stars (as is the tradition of the local bedouin), the riding of Arab horses, and hiking and rock-climbing amongst the massive rock formations. The influx of tourists to this once isolated area has substantially increased the financial fortunes of the local bedouin, and it is not uncommon to see locals wielding mobile phones and driving relatively expensive four-wheel drive vehicles.
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