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"Zarka" redirects here. For the cantillation note of the same name, also spelled Zarqa, see Zarka (trope).
Zarqa City
مدينة الزرقاء

A view from Zarqa city center
Zarqa City
Zarqa City
Location in Jordan

Coordinates: 32°05′N 36°06′E / 32.083°N 36.100°E / 32.083; 36.100

Country  Jordan
Governorate Zarqa Governorate
Settled 1902
Municipality 1929
 • Type Municipality
 • Mayor Muhammed Al-Gweri
 • Total 20 sq mi (60 km2)
Elevation 2,031 ft (619 m)
Population (2004)
 • Total 395,227
Time zone UTC+2 (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+3 (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +(962)5

Az-Zarqāʔ (Arabic: الزرقاء‎; BGN: Az Zarqāʼ; local pronunciation ez-Zergā, ez-Zer'a, or ez-Zarka) is a city in Jordan located to the northeast of Amman. Zarqa is the capital of Zarqa Governorate. Its name means "the blue one".


Zarqa is Jordan's industrial centre, located in the Zarqa River basin, is home to over 50% of Jordanian factories. The growth of industry in the city is the result of low real estate costs and proximity to the capital, Amman, situated only 25 km south west of Zarqa. Although inhabited since the first century A.D., the city of Zarqa was established by immigrants from the Caspian Sea region at the beginning of the twentieth century, initially on the banks of the Zarqa River, the population grew steadily with the construction of the Hejaz railway by the ottomans. The bases of the Jordanian army, formerly called the Arab Legion, were located in Zarqa.


The first settlement in the city was in 1902 by Chechen immigrants who were displaced from the wars between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. They settled along the Zarqa River. At that time a station on the Hejaz railway was built in the new settlement, this railway station turned Zarqa into an important hub. On April 10, 1905 the Ottoman governor issued a decree that allowed the Chechen immigrants to own lands which they settled on. The population then quickly grew in size. On November 18, 1928 the new Jordanian government issued a decree to establish the first municipal council for Zarqa.

After the Transjordan Frontier Force was formed in 1926, military bases were constructed in the city by the British army, and the city later became known as the "military city".[1] The headquarters of Jordan's Arab Legion was in Zarqa.


With an estimated metropolitan population of about 700,000 in 2010, Zarqa has the third largest metropolitan population in Jordan after Amman and Irbid, whilst the city of Zarqa has the second largest population after Amman with a population of about 500,000.

Year Population
1903 1000
1928 6000
1952 28456
2004 450,102

Districts of Greater Zarqa Municipality

The city of Zarqa is divided into five districts that all together have an area of about 60 km², and another two districts within the radius of influence of the city.

District Area (km²)
1 First District (City center) 2.96
2 Second District (Althawra Al-Arabiya) 11.3
3 Third District (Ewajan) 12.2
4 Forth District (Zawahreh) 16
5 Fifth District (New Zarqa) 17
6 Sports Complex District 3.5
7 Zarqa City Gardens District 19

Economy and Infrastructure


Zarqa is connected by the Hejaz railway to Amman to the south and to Syria to the north. A new railway is currently under construction to connect Amman with Zarqa. Zarqa lies on the international highway that connects Saudi Arabia with Syria, and on the international Amman-Baghdad highway.


Several facilities that are vital to Jordan's economy are based in Zarqa, such as Jordan's only oil refinery plant. According to the Zarqa Chamber of Commerce, 10% of Jordan's total exports in 2011 came from Zarqa Governorate amounting to more than 512 million US$.[2] Leather and Garment products constituted about 52% of Zarqa'a exports, followed by chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical products.


There are three universities in Zarqa, the largest of which is Hashemite University, other community colleges and research centers are based in Zarqa such as the Al-Zarqa Educational & Investment: Hashemite University,[3] Al-Balqa` Applied University-Zarqa College,[4] and Zarqa Private University.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 32°05′N 36°06′E / 32.083°N 36.100°E / 32.083; 36.100

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