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“Welcome to Agrabah, city of mystery, of enchantment, and the finest merchandise this side of the River Jordan! On sale today! Come on down!”
Agrabah is the central location of the 1992Disney animated feature film, Aladdin. It is a glimmering, bustling Arabian desert kingdom, currently under the rule of a kind-hearted Sultan and his daughter, Princess Jasmine.
Agrabah is located near the Jordan River (as the narrator tells during the first few minutes of the film). However, the narrator also described it as being in a place where the "caravan camels roam," which is less frequent near the River Jordan and is more frequent in the Arabian countries of Morocco and Algeria. The city was founded by a man named Hamed, an ancestor of the Sultan and Jasmine. The Sultan is assisted by his council, which consists of various diplomats that aid the sovereign in governing the city. One notable councilman was Jafar, who served as the Sultan's Royal Vizier for some years.
Agrabah is described as "a city of mystery, of enchantment", and as such, has had numerous encounters with the fantastical throughout its existence. Some of which include sorcerers, genies, and flying carpets.
Agrabah is a melting pot of social classes; the wealthy tend to live closer to the Sultan's palace, while the poor live closer to Agrabah's entry wall. Agrabah's less wealthy citizens are commonly known as "street rats" (fem. "street mouse") and are marginalized as a group. The city also has an infamous underworld, with one area, in particular, is known as the "Thieves Quarters". The city is protected by the Royal Guard, headed by Razoul.
According to the Aladdin animated TV series, Agrabah is one of seven neighboring sovereign nation-states known as the Seven Deserts. Each one occupies a section of the desert that, collectively, forms a large circle shaped by the borders of each nation."The Citadel" Throughout the series, the other six are stated to be Quirkistan, Getzistan, Upanistan, Ghanistan, and the real-world nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Outside of their jurisdiction lie other desert kingdoms, such as the Land of the Black Sand, the subterranean kingdom of the Al Muddy, and the ancient city of Mesmaria. Beyond the Seven Deserts lie even more far off lands, such as the Frozen North, the barbarian kingdom of Odiferous, a tropical rain forest, and the home nation of both Mechanicles and Hercules, Greece.
Places of interest
The Sultan's Palace: The home of the Sultan and Jasmine. Following his marriage to the princess, Aladdin and his friends took up residence in the palace. At night, the palace is illuminated.
Bazaar: The marketplace where Aladdin and his sidekick Abu were usually found when scrapping for food and ducking from guards before they became royal. Now it is a popular destination for Aladdin, Jasmine, and the others to browse and sight-see.
Aladdin's home: A run-down hovel where Aladdin spent most of his young life, with his monkey Abu. It is located far from the palace, but its elevated placement provides a stunning view of the city.
The Royal Academy: A small but roomy one-room school where Sharma and Jasmine teach.
Thieves Quarters: A seedy part of the city, where crooks and rogues gather to fraternize.
Desert: A large landscape located outside Agrabah's gates. It is widely known as the Seven Deserts and holds many of the mysteries Agrabah is famous for along with various other neighboring kingdoms.
Cave of Wonders: A large and mysterious cave in the shape of a tiger found in the middle of the desert. The cave holds many treasures and magical items, most notably the Genie's Lamp and the Magic Carpet.
The technical name for a country ruled by a Sultan is a Sultanate. Algeria and Morocco previously had Sultans, with Morocco's current kingdom even being known as a Sultanate until 1957. Historically, however, Sultanates have not been known to based near the River Jordan. However, of any Sultanate, former Egyptian Sultanates have controlled land closest to it.
The city's name is more linked to cities in India than to any Middle Eastern city, with the Sultan's palace even resembling the Taj Mahal in Agra, India despite Agrabah's Arabian setting. The Indian city of Agra also has a neighboring city called Bah.
In both the 1992 and 2019 films, Agrabah is described as a place "where the caravan camels roam." Caravan camels, which are merely herds of camels roaming areas in groups while serving for economic traders, have not been known to roam near the River Jordan, but have been frequently seen in the the Sahara Desert-based Northern Africa countries where Tuareg, Shuwa and Hassaniyya peoples reside, such as the former Sultanate countries of Algeria and Morocco. The trans-Asia Silk Road caravan camel trade route, which was international and not limited to a single place, is perhaps the closest to the River Jordan where caravan camels have roamed.
The original Arabic folk tale of Aladdin was originally set in China, specifically an Islamic city (most likely an Uyghur kingdom in the Xinjiang region).
In the Aladdin animated TV series, it is stated multiple times that the adjective term used to refer to something of or about Agrabah is "Agrabanian". In ABC's Once Upon a Time TV series, however, the term "Agrabahn" is used instead.
In the original movie and derived productions, Agrabah is in the middle of the desert. In the live-action adaptation, its location is moved on the shore, partially filmed in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan. However, Ayyubid and Malmuk Sultans of Egypt, which were the Sultans that had control of land nearest to the River Jordan, did not control territory in Jordan, but Syria.
In the 2019 remake—when Jasmine asks Aladdin to show her where Ababwa is located since she can't find it in any of her maps—a few other kingdoms near Agrabah can be seen, such as: