Tourism is booming in Jordan, the Middle East’s fastest growing economy and the home of Jordan’s royal family.
It is also attracting a large number of visitors from overseas, most of them young men from the Balkans.
The region’s population has grown by almost 60 per cent in the past 15 years, and there is a growing trend for young couples to marry overseas and settle in Jordan.
But with the tourism boom comes a rise in crime.
Last year, police arrested more than 200 foreigners for robbery, robbery with intent to rob and aggravated robbery.
Many of the offenders are young, educated men with limited English skills, and are often on the lookout for their next big opportunity.
“I think there is still a lot of pressure on young people in Jordan to come,” says Mohammed Al-Din, a Jordanian security analyst.
“There is a sense that Jordan is a safe place, that there are many opportunities to get ahead.”
One of the country’s main tourist attractions is the Grand Mosque in Amman, the largest in the Middle Eastern country.
It was built in the 1960s, but it has since been transformed into a sprawling complex with an impressive collection of monuments and artefacts.
The Grand Mosque is the most popular tourist attraction in Jordan’s Grand National Palace.
It also attracts foreign tourists.
The royal family and other prominent figures often visit the Grand Palace and its surrounding neighbourhoods, but there are some major issues in Ammans modern-day Old City.
The Old City has been hit by several recent high-profile attacks, with at least 20 people killed in recent months.
The main target of these attacks was a restaurant frequented by the Jordanian royal family, but the hotel also houses an international airport and several government offices, and many visitors are visiting from the UK and the US.
The number of attacks has also been on the rise, with attacks on foreign nationals increasing by at least 30 per cent, says Mohammed al-Dawwaz, a security analyst with the Amman-based Middle East Security Network (MASN).
There are also concerns over the safety of foreigners who come to Jordan to visit the Old City, particularly those from the Middle east, he adds.
There have been at least five suicide bombings in Ammon, Amman’s second-largest city, in recent weeks, according to police.
“The attacks are very different from previous ones in that they are aimed at the security of foreign visitors,” says Mohamed al-Fazal, a local security expert.
The country’s tourism industry is growing, says Al-Fawaz, with about 5.6 million foreign visitors in the first six months of the year.
“In the past, it would be the last time we would see foreign tourists,” he says.
“Now it is a big part of the tourist industry, but we have to be vigilant.”
The Royal Family’s popularity in Jordan has also brought new arrivals from Europe, particularly Germany and France.
A survey by the German Association for Tourism and Industry found that almost 70 per cent of visitors to Amman in the year to December 31 were German nationals, compared to less than 40 per cent last year.
Tourism is also a significant source of income for the country, with tourism tax revenues reaching almost €2 billion last year, according a recent study.
But there is also the threat that tourism will become too popular, with a number of European countries, including France and Germany, considering limiting or ending their presence in the country.
Jordan has a high level of corruption, which has caused tensions between locals and foreigners.
This year, the country was ranked in the top five countries for the number of people in prison in the world.
A government report last year said that the level of criminality in Jordan is one of the highest in the region, with the government prosecuting and convicting more than 1,300 people.
“They say that this is due to a lot more people coming to the country,” says Ibrahim al-Saroufi, a member of MASN, an independent organisation which provides information on security issues in Jordan and is based in Ammen.
“But this is not true, because there are people in jail because they are too young or are too stupid or because they can’t understand English.”
Al-Sariifi says there are currently more than 5,000 people in Jordanian jails, but he does not know how many of them are criminals.
“Most of them come for money,” he adds, “but some of them for drug or gambling offences.”
There are reports that a large amount of the money coming into the country from overseas is used for illegal activity.
“This is a very big problem, and we need to stop it,” says al-Naser al-Bashir, the head of the Ammans Police Department.
He says that in addition to the police, security agencies are also looking into corruption and organised crime in the city.
“It is not that we have all these criminals in Amama