Jordan Gates Fall Down

The highly anticipated architectural monuments of Amman, the Jordan Gates, have met a sad development as the three stories of the north tower collapsed killing 2 and injuring at least 20, mostly Egyptians and some Jordanians. The causes are unknown but the Interior Ministry points to faulty engineering and the project has been shutdown pending an investigation.

It brings up some important issues I’ve been thinking about for the past few years.

In the mid to late 90’s construction in Amman began to grow and real estate in general saw a boom from the influx of Iraqi exiles. Construction companies have made a killing, literally.

Yet they are still so eager to cut costs by not following any safety regulations on construction sites, or even using cheaper material. I have never seen an Egyptian worker even dressed properly let alone given a safety helmet. Most of them wear what can generously be described as sandals, let alone work boots, or even socks. And you can’t blame them, it’s not like they’re being paid a lot of money and what little they make is sent off to the homeland. Yet these companies continue to allow the situation to deteriorate in this manner. I’ve seen 14 year olds suddenly running down the street away from their worksites when they see a cop car approaching.

And then you have our government: a lot of these companies have family connections with mostly ex-government officials that smooth out their operations. Permits, regulations, many of these things are bypassed for the sake of profit. Moreover, safety regulations and/or policies are barely implemented if at all. Everyone in Amman has lived next to a construction site at one point in time or another, and everyone has been a witness to the situation. I have never seen any sort of oversight committee or task force or any ministry official checking up on these sites at random to ensure worker safety, site safety, neighborhood safety or even the materials being used.

Stone, cement, sand, nails, planks of wood everywhere so let’s forget about the environmental concerns or even the worker’s rights.

At the very least one would expect these companies to adhere to regulations or even show a sense of humanity with regards to their workers and the people they are building for. And things will only get worse if both construction companies and the government turns a blind eye to the situation while Amman and Jordan explodes with massive expansion in the years to come.

What exactly happened with the Jordan Gates is yet to be revealed but with a track record like this I expect someone was cutting costs and someone was making a hefty profit off it.


  • And you’d think this only happens in Egyptian Series

    At the very least one would expect these companies to adhere to regulations or even show a sense of humanity with regards to their workers and the people they are building for

    True …

    when it comes to business, there is no room for ethics/morals … so it seems!

    so sad!

  • That is so unfortunate! I heard the news after I left JP’s meet up.

    Allah yer7amhom. I expect that those responsible for the project to be held accountable for its fall and the government to take immediate actions to ensure that it will never happen again in Jordan.

  • Truly sad but highly expected!

    First time in Jordan we start building high rise buildings. We didnt have accidents before because it was only small appartment buildings or Villas, even if they did it wrong there, no disaster will happen because its only one or two stories. Now, we came to real bussiness, the Science of Formwork and Shuttering. How to support a 10 or 20 story building, by common sense? I dont think so..First and last to blame is the government, Law is not enforced…
    Do you think people in the west will adhere by them selves to safety and professional procedures if not threatned by Law?

    Althoug not pleasent thing, but Wait for more accidents like this one.


  • Unfortunately, Safety is not first. I advise most of the construction companies to come to dubai & see how safety is first in construction & how clean and safe the construction complex is.
    Thats really sad!

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