The Bedouin are a grouping of nomadic Arab people who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Levant. The English word Bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East. They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans, and share a common culture of herding camels and goats. The vast majority of Bedouin adhere to Islam, although there are Arab Christian Bedouins present in the Fertile Crescent.
While many Bedouins have abandoned their nomadic and tribal traditions for a modern urban lifestyle, many retain traditional Bedouin culture such as retaining the traditional clan structure, traditional music, poetry, dances, and many other cultural practices and concepts.
The Bedouins of Wadi Rum are at the heart of local tourism services. They provide tours, guides and facilities, including campsites. They also run restaurants and small shops in the villages that provide meals and basic supplies for visitors. Their guide services include highly experienced mountain and trekking guides who have an unmatched knowledge of the local area and speak fluently in several languages. Increasingly, these guides and other local people are developing adventure tourism packages and can organize camel, horse and hiking treks throughout the protected area.
Using local guides and services brings many benefits to the protected area. In particular, it enables the people to continue earning a living from the land and helps to ensure that the protected area will always be protected.