Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan. The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. To reflect its proper Arabic pronunciation, archaeologists transcribe it as Wadi Ramm.
Wadi Rum is home to the Zalabia Bedouin who, working with climbers and trekkers, have made a success of developing eco-adventure tourism, now their main source of income. The area is now also one of Jordan's important tourist destinations, and attracts an increasing number of foreign tourists, particularly trekkers and climbers, but also for camel and horse safari or simply day-trippers from Aqaba or Petra.
Popular activities in the desert environment include camping under the stars in wadi rum [wadi rum mirage camp] riding Arab horses, hiking and rock-climbing amongst the massive rock formations. Dima and Lama Hattab coordinate an annual marathon in the region called Jabal Ishrin.
The area has been used as a background setting in a number of films:
- Lawrence of Arabia - David Lean filmed much of this 1962 film on location in Wadi Rum.
- Red Planet - Wadi Rum was used as the surface of Mars in this 2000 film.
- Passion in the Desert - The area was also used for scenes in this 1998 film.
- The Face - BBC Film, Rock climbing in Rum
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Represented as being in Egypt
- The Frankincense Trail - scenes from train, and aerial filming too
- Prometheus - Scenes for the Alien Planet