The Early Islamic city of Ayla

The early Islamic city of Ayla was built by the Rashedi Caliph Othaman Ben Afan around 650 AD and is notable as the first Islamic city to be built outside the Arabian Peninsula. It served neighbouring Palestine as a port and was also a store house for the Hejaz.  Ayla was once an important stopping place for Egyptian pilgrims on their way to Mecca. Today, right in the heart of Aqaba's seafront hotel district, you can see the remains of city walls, gates, a large mosque and other buildings.  The site is well marked and has informative panels detailing its history and importance.

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