Al-ʿAqabah, also spelled Aqaba or Akaba, Latin Aelana, port town, extreme southwestern Jordan. It lies on the Gulf of Aqaba, an inlet of the Red Sea, just east of the Jordan-Israel frontier on the gulf. It is Jordan’s only seaport. Because of freshwater springs in the vicinity, it has been settled for millennia; King Solomon’s port and foundry of Ezion-geber lay nearby.
Originally called Ayla by the Arabs, the present name is an abbreviation of ʿAqabat Ayla, the “pass of Ayla” through the mountains to the north (now occupied by the highway to Maʿān), which was improved for traffic as early as the 9th century AD.
Aqaba carries the relaxed small-town atmosphere of a popular local getaway.
The town offers a sociable stopover en route to the diving and snorkelling clubs to the south and the big destinations of Wadi Rum and Petra. It’s also an obvious place to break a journey to or from Israel and the Palestinian Territories or Egypt.