Mamluk Castle, also known as Aqaba Fort, was built in the 16th century by one of the last Mamluk Sultans, Qansweh Al Ghuri.
It has been altered several times since it was first built, and has weathered the rule of the Ottoman Empire and a famous World War I attack in 1917, when the town, and fort, came under siege by the Arab Army of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, the Hashemite Leader of the Great Arab Revolt, and T. E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia.
Located adjacent to the castle is the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, once the residence of Sharif Hussein, the great grandfather of King Abdullah II. The Hashemite coat of arms hangs over the entrance.
The museum houses artefacts from Ayla featuring items dating from the Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid periods representing Islamic culture from the seventh to the 12th century.
Among the exhibits is a Kufic inscription from the Qu’ran, which sat above the Eastern Gate of Ayla, and a hoard of gold Fatimid dinars from Morocco.
Ideal for: Half day tour in cooler months
Group size: 5 - 50
Timings: 8am to 7pm in summer, 8am to 4pm in winter
Top tip: Hire a tour guide and allow time for delegates to explore at leisure