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About Us

Overview and Objectives

Souk by the Sea is a vibrant weekly street market in Aqaba that features quality handicrafts made by artisans from Southern Jordan.  Each Friday evening from October through May, hundreds of tourists and local families visit the Souk, buying gifts, eating a light meal, enjoying the live entertainment, and mingling together.  Now in its third full season and located in downtown Aqaba, the Souk has quickly established itself as the primary location to “Experience the Treasures of Aqaba.”

Souk by the Sea started as a program of World Associates, a US-based non-governmental organization that has been operating in Jordan under the Ministry of Social Development since 1994. In the last year, steps were made to develop a board of local artisans and in November of 2014 the board of artisans registered the Souk as a local association.

Souk by the Sea exsists to provide an opportunity for local artisans (particularly low-income home-based entrepreneurs and artisans employed through poverty alleviation programs run by NGOs) to participate in the economic revitalization of Aqaba.  Souk vendors sell their well-made products directly to tourists at a central and convenient location that also offers a culturally enriching experience in downtown Aqaba.  We also coach vendors on how to make their display area more attractive to tourists, recommend other products that might appeal to tourists, and provide informal business coaching (such as setting prices that cover more than just the cost of production, and reinvesting their profits back into their craftwork).  And over the past 18 months, Souk by the Sea has offered trainings to Souk vendors on topics such as product quality and marketing.

 

 

Each Friday evening from October through May, hundreds of tourists and local families visit the Souk, buying gifts, eating a light meal, enjoying the live entertainment, and mingling together.