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Amman (English: ; Arabic: عَمّان ʻammān pronounced [ʕamːaːn]) is the capital and largest city of Jordan and the country's economic, political and cultural centre. With a population of 4,007,526, Amman is the largest city in the Levant region and the sixth-largest city in the Arab world.The earliest evidence of settlement in Amman is in a Neolithic site known as 'Ain Ghazal, where some of the oldest human statues ever found dating to 7250 BC were uncovered. During the Iron Age, the city was known as Ammon, home to the Kingdom of the Ammonites. It was named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods, and was finally called Amman during the Islamic period. For much of the early and middle Islamic periods (7th–14th centuries), it served as a center for the Balqa district of Syria. Afterwards, Amman was a largely abandoned site until the late 19th century when Circassian immigrants were settled there by the Ottoman Empire in 1878. The first municipal council was established in 1909.Amman witnessed rapid growth after its designation as Transjordan's capital in 1921, and after several successive waves of refugees: Palestinians in 1948 and 1967; Iraqis in 1990 and 2003; and Syrians since 2011. It was initially built on seven hills but now spans over 19 hills combining 22 areas, which are administered by the Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Yousef Shawarbeh. Areas of Amman have gained their names from either the hills (Jabal) or the valleys (Wadi) they occupy, such as Jabal Lweibdeh and Wadi Abdoun. East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that frequently host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city.Approximately two million visitors arrived in Amman in 2014, which made it the 93rd most visited city in the world and the 5th most visited Arab city. Amman has a relatively fast growing economy, and it is ranked as a Beta− global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Moreover, it was named one of the Middle East and North Africa's best cities according to economic, labor, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. The city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai. It is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region.
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