Welcome to Wadi Musa
The town that has sprung up around Petra is called Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses). It’s an easygoing assemblage of hotels, restaurants, shops and houses stretching about 5km from Moses’ Spring (‘Ain Musa) to the main entrance of Petra near the bottom of the wadi.
Wadi Musa’s fortunes depend almost entirely on tourism. Dozens of new hotels were hastily erected in the late 1990s (after the peace treaty with Israel), often with no aesthetic or social sensitivity. Many locals bought into the new opportunities that mass tourism offered only to be stung in the tourism slumps that have followed hostilities among Jordan's neighbours. A moratorium on hotel building remains in place in an effort to curb rampant expansion and to shift the focus to improving services rather than simply ‘packing them in’ – a strategy that has largely worked in a town that takes its custodianship of Petra seriously.