AMMAN — Life appeared to be returning to normal on Monday as people headed back to work and shoppers and diners trickled back into the capital’s malls and restaurants.
The city’s streets began picking up again yesterday with businesses reporting heightened activity since Wednesday’s triple bomb attacks on three of the city’s international hotels.
In Mecca Mall, the Kingdom’s largest in-door commercial retail centre, customers began slowly returning after a relative standstill for the past two days.
Mecca Mall Marketing Manager Zeina Ashour said although some anxieties still prevail among employees and the public, most appeared at ease.
“Business was very bad in the first two days since the attacks which was quite normal given the anxieties facing the public,” said Ashour. “Our own employees were nervous about coming but thankfully things are getting back on track and I expect more visitor traffic over the course of this week,” she added.
Security measures were beefed up at Mecca Mall, with X-ray machines and bomb detectors installed at visitor entrances.
Similar procedures have been put in place in Abdoun Mall.
Mohammad Nasser Al Sheikh, 24, who frequents Mecca Mall several times a week, told The Jordan Times he now feels confident to return.
“I come here often to have lunch with my friends and will keep doing so because I like it here and I am sure everything is now under control,” said Sheikh.
“The security people at the gate are working hard to guarantee our safety which makes it all the more comforting,” he added.
In a nearby shawarma shop on Mecca Street, the restaurant’s cashier said business was not affected by the attacks.
“People came all day and especially at night, spilling out onto the tables out on the sidewalk,” said the cashier.
He said business has also been brisk at the adjoining restaurants.
But taxi drivers reported that business had been slow in the three days following last Wednesday’s triple suicide bombings, which killed 57 people and injured 100.
They put this down to the fact that many people decided to stay at home with their families or take part in marches organised throughout the capital.
One taxi driver who preferred anonymity told The Jordan Times he had not had a single fare after 9:00pm for the past three days.
Another taxi driver who preferred anonymity said the slow down in business had hit him.
“In the three days following the attack my job deteriorated. I used to make JD15 in net profit after the rent of the taxi but after the blasts and during these three days I hardly made the rent,” he said.
Over at the Living Room, a bar and dining venue by the Third Circle, business came to a near standstill on the night of the blasts.
Living Room public relations manager Shadi Nueimat said most diners left the restaurant upon hearing news.
“Most left early when they heard about the attacks, but fortunately we’re doing much better now as people go about their normal lives in a mood of defiance,” said Nueimat.
The public relations manager, however, said he personally was not ready to dine in hotels and other crowded venues just yet, but would rather keep to smaller cafes.