Jordan/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

Although there is no formal definition of cultural industries in Jordan, we understand that this includes cultural production and cultural services in both public and independent sectors. Cultural production and services are seen in publishing books, various printed media of daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, and the production of movies, local and Arab series, music recordings, various visual arts, and festivals with a cultural and commercial nature.

The Ministry of Culture issues three series of books, including a series of children books, a book of the month, and a collection of creative writing. It also funds the production of drama works and provides, through the Directorate of Theatres, places for rehearsals and training, accessories, and decor. The Ministry organises international festivals in Jordan, which hosts cultural, artistic and world events. It is the same in the case of the Amman Municipality, which issues hundreds of local books every year and funds many plays and cultural and artistic festivals.  

As for newspapers, Ar-ra'i is the most famous newspaper which has a huge amount of advertisements, since it has the contract for all the advertisements for the official authorities.

With regard to the production of local and Arab dramas, the "Arab Centre for Production" company has earned a high position at Arab and international levels, as the series "Invasion” produced by the Centre has gained an Emmy Award as the best foreign series. This company has become one of the best Arab production companies.

With respect to the cinema sector, it is new in Jordan. The Royal Court, has directly supervised the establishment of "The Royal Commission for Films" which is linked to it directly, and contributes in the production of short films made by young people, provides job training and workshops for new talent, and are also searching for such talent, in addition to the production of some featured films. The Commission also hosts international film directors, and promotes Jordan as a location for filming.

The development of cultural industries and their tools is represented in the support of the Jordanian book which is one of the major industries in the Kingdom, where Jordanian publishing houses write scientific and literary books for some Arab countries in addition to expanding participation in international exhibitions such as the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs, and many international and Arab book fairs. We also refer to the development of handicrafts and production of folklore fashion through the cooperation between the Princess Rahma's Association in Ma'an and the House of Nabataeans which executed a 3 year project on the reproduction of Nabataean uniforms based on the studies and research carried out for this purpose.

The Ministry of Culture is currently undertaking projects to support cultural industries, namely the Development of Cultural Industries, and Communication and Cultural Promotion projects. The table below shows the objectives and methods of these two projects





Development of cultural industries (crafts, costumes, art & intellectual production, drama, festivals, etc...)

 - Interest in the cultural industries to contribute to economic development.

 - Creation of a crafts market in Amman after providing a piece of land.

 - Addressing the Jordanian institutions (official and others) to give priority to the Jordanian cultural product. 

 - Communications and visits to some foreign countries to market the Jordanian cultural industries.

Communication and cultural promotion

 - Introducing the Jordanian cultural product to the public: locally, regionally, and globally

 - Greater presence of local and international producers of culture and arts in Jordan.

 - Establishing a directorate with the same name.

 - Preparing qualified staff to carry out the mission.


On the other hand, a sample of creators were surveyed to assess their income received from artistic production which showed that 17% of respondents answered that their earnings which originated from their creative works were less than zero, which means that the creators assume the cost of publishing or presenting their own creativity. 52% indicated that the proportion of their earnings to the whole of their annual income during the last two years is equal to zero, and 18% of them claimed that this ratio is 1: 5% of their total income. 12% of them said that this ratio was 6%:15% of their annual income during the past two years. However, 1% of those surveyed mentioned that their revenue from their creative works were at 16:30 %.

Chapter published: 04-05-2016