The ruins of Ayla

Ayla ruins 1

Ayla, the first Islamic city outside the Arabian peninsula was built around 650 AD.

The early Muslims used to built special urban forms called Misr that included a congregrational mosque, a governor's residence and tribal quarters.

Ayla ruins 2

You can wonder about the remains of the city wall and its towers and gates, the ruins of the mosque and other buildings.


According to our 4-year-old expert, these were ancient sandpits for ancient children.

Ayla info panel

But don't worry.

If you seek more scientific explanations, you will find informative panels all around the site.

Read more about the archaeological findings in Aqaba.

More to do at this location

If you are with kids and they like animals, check out the valley next to the site. It is actually a water canal to take the excess rainwater to the sea.

I know, it's hard to believe, but really there are floods in Aqaba sometimes!

Ayla camel
Ayla horses

Anyway, you might find there some camels and horses eating the grass.

Ayla bush
Ayla bush crop

We also saw a strange bush: its crop looks like a flat green balloon and inside like milky cotton wool.
If you know the name of this bush, please tell us!

Update: Thanks to Nóra and her father, we now know that this plant is called the Apple of Sodom or Calotropis Procera.

Getting here

The archaeological site is located right in front of Mövenpick and Aqaba Gulf hotels, a few minutes walk from the waterfall.

Open 0-24h, admission is free.

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