North Jordan’s First Mountain Bike Rental Shop Fosters Tourism

Ala Daibes, owner of North Jordan Mountain Bike Center, stands in his shop shortly after the grand opening.
Ala Daibes, owner of the North Jordan Mountain Bike Center, stands in his shop shortly after the grand opening.
Mohammad Maghayda for USAID
Breathtaking natural sites await visitors while creating jobs
“Opening this center has been a real achievement that I couldn’t be more proud of. But I still want to do more.”

August 2016—“Pristine mountains, breathtaking scenery and beautiful nature wherever you look. That’s what the north of Jordan is all about. But the problem is that most people are completely unaware of the hidden gems that we have out there, and therefore never visit,” says Ala Daibes, founder of the North Jordan Mountain Bike Center.

Jordan’s adventure tourism sector has great potential for growth as it attracts high-value customers and supports local communities by creating long-term employment opportunities. More importantly, the majority of small businesses that operate in this sector are passionate about preserving the environment and encouraging sustainable practices.

Born and raised in the north of Jordan, Daibes always dreamed of seeing his part of the country thrive, not only with international tourists, but also with locals and expatriates. He knew that the northern region had the perfect conditions for cycling and could be turned into an attractive tourism hub.

In 2015, Daibes applied for a grant from the USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project to establish the first mountain bike rental shop in northern Jordan. His business not only aims to provide cycling activities, but also to build partnerships with other local businesses to offer customers a more well-rounded touristic experience.

With a $21,000 grant (14,900 JOD), Daibes rented a shop in Al Huson, a small town on the outskirts of Irbid, and became a catalyst for the long-term economic growth of his community by opening the North Jordan Mountain Bike Center.

From creating local jobs to increasing youth engagement and hiring women, the opening of the touristic bicycle center is only the start of what promises to be a thriving industry in the North. Daibes developed a three-month training program for youth from the local community, where he teaches them about bicycle maintenance, followed by instruction on how to lead groups and organize cycling activities. Finally, social media training helps them manage their future businesses.

Many of those who received training from Daibes have opened up their own bicycle shops in different towns around Irbid. But according to Daibes, this is only the beginning of his business journey. 

“Opening this center has been a real achievement that I couldn’t be more proud of,” said Daibes. “But I still want to do more. I want us to become the first bicycle manufacturers in Jordan where everything is locally made, by locals for the locals.”

Since 2015, USAID’s Local Enterprise Support Project in Jordan has facilitated 83 grants totaling $7.4 million to support the growth of small businesses and improve the long-term economic development of underserved communities. The five-year, $69 million project began in December 2013.

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Last updated: January 17, 2017

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