They wanted to Go, so i took two days off (From work) and went with them to the city of "Is there any other alternative" Aqaba.
During the course of my life, i went many times, and must less frequently lately.
We stayed at the new InterCont. It is a nice Hotel and probably the best in Aqaba so far. They gave us "Parking Lot View" actually, it was the parking lot of the Hotel next door, Aqua Marina. The landscape is very nice, the pools and the beach, as well however, it still stands no chance when compared with Sharm El-Shiek. We negotiated 95++ rate per night, our friends next door were charged 100 ++ for no obvious reason (same room cateegory)
I once went to the Sharm for 350 JD, 6 days to Grand Hyyat.
At Aqaba City, limited choices of "eating out" places, even in the best places, you stand a chance of having 'not so good' food. If you want to go to the Souqq, all the locals are laid back nastily watching female tourist (Ammani girls definitely fit within this criteria) and it is not like Brad bitt giving you sweat eyes; i could tell u that all females in the group noticed it and got annoyed.
On the way back, we stopped by a new mall called City center. It is almost empty, poor air-conditioning in the hall ways; at the food corner, two places where open we had a meal at chili way or whatever, and the food was terrible. Generally, unpleasant experience.
in conclusion, Aqaba as a city has nothing to offer if marketed as a tourist attraction area, The Beach waters are shallow, barely any waves, the Port is close to the beach area and therefore, limiting its expansion. To do any kind of snorkeling or water diving activities, you need to depart the Hotel and go about 15Km south. Still, i think that the new InteCont. is very good.