Jamaica Overview

Jamaica Overview





As a country located in North America according to militarynous, Jamaica, the summit of an underwater mountain range, is the third largest of the West Indies and is characterized by a mountain landscape. The Blue Mountain in the east is 2256 m high and slopes gradually to the west, some foothills and wooded gorges run from north to south. The most beautiful beaches are on the north and west coast. The tropical and subtropical vegetation is dense and lush.


Parliamentary monarchy (in the Commonwealth) since 1962. Constitution of 1962. Two-chamber parliament: House of Representatives with 60 and Senate with 21 members. Independent since 1962 (former British colony).

Head of state

Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor General Patrick Allen, since February 2009.

Head of government

Andrew Holness, since March 2016.


110V, 50 Hz, in many hotels 220V / 50 Hz. US flat plug, adapter required.

Time zone

Eastern Standard Time: CET -6

Jamaica Overview



The official language is English, the unofficial language is Patois. German is rarely understood, even in the tourist areas.


  • Goodbye = goodbye
  • Eight = Eight
  • Eighty = eighty
  • Exit = Exit
  • Beer = beer
  • Please = Please
  • Thank you = Thank you
  • Tuesday = Tuesday
  • Doctor = Doctor
  • Thursday = Thursday
  • Three = three
  • Thirty = Thirty
  • Entrance = Entrance
  • One hundred = one hundred
  • One = One
  • One thousand = one thousand
  • Friday = Friday
  • Five = Five
  • Fifty = Fifty
  • Danger = danger
  • Closed = closed
  • Hello = Hello
  • Today = Today
  • Hotel = hotel
  • I feel sick = I feel ill
  • I don’t understand = I don’t understand
  • Yes = Yes
  • My name is?? = My name is??
  • I’m fine. = I’m very well.
  • Wednesday = Wednesday
  • Monday = Monday
  • Tomorrow = Tomorrow
  • No = no
  • Nine = nine
  • Ninety = ninety
  • Open = open
  • Restaurant = restaurant
  • Saturday = Saturday
  • Six = Six
  • Sixty = sixty
  • Seven = Seven
  • Seventy = Seventy
  • Sunday = Sunday
  • Menu = menu
  • Do you speak German / English? = Do you speak German / English?
  • Toilets = toilets
  • Four = four
  • Forty = Forty
  • Wine = Wine
  • How are you? = How are you?
  • How much is it? = How much does it cost?
  • Where is??? = Where is???
  • Ten = ten
  • Twenty = twenty
  • Two = Two


Business etiquette

Business people wear suits and ties or suits. Appointments should be made in advance, business cards are common. An import license is required for trade samples, which the trade administration issues:
Trade Administrator, c / o Trade Board, 107 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10.
Tel: 969 08 83. (Internet: www.tradeboard.gov.jm).
Samples with no commercial value may be imported without a license. However, it may still be necessary to visit the commercial administration to have a document issued confirming that the samples are free of customs duties.

Business hours: Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.


The Jaimaca Chamber of Commerce
Suite 13-15, UDC Office Center Bldg, 12 Ocean Blvd., Kingston.
Tel: 922 01 50.
Internet: www.jamaicachamber.org.jm

Business contacts

The Jaimaca Chamber of Commerce
Suite 13-15, UDC Office Center Bldg, 12 Ocean Blvd., Kingston.
Tel: 922 01 50.
Internet: www.jamaicachamber.org.jm



Dial-up remote service.


GSM 1900. Network operator is Digicel (Internet: www.digiceljamaica.com). A non-GSM compatible TDMA network is in operation. Cell phones can be rented on site from Cable & Wireless (Internet: http://home.cwjamaica.com/).


Internet access is available in hotels, city libraries and local internet cafes. Free Internet access is available in some shopping centers in Kingston. Internet cafes are mainly found in and around Kingston. Main providers: Cable & Wireless (Internet: http://home.cwjamaica.com/), Jamaica Online (Internet: www.jol.com.jm) and Infochannel Ltd (Internet: www.infochan.com).

Post Office

Airmail to Europe takes up to four days. Post offices open Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: www.dw-world.de) to request.



Protestants (62.5%) (especially Seventh-day Adventists (10.8%), Pentecostals (9.5%, Baptists (7.2%), etc.); Catholics (2.6%); Jews, Muslims, Hindu and Baha’i communities as well as Rastafarians who believe in the divinity of the deceased emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassi (Ras Tafari).

Social rules of conduct

General: Outside of Kingston, life is pretty relaxed, the people are hospitable and open. African culture and music are omnipresent, the English influence from the colonial era is just as unmistakable. Often one comes across signs that announce Jah Lives (“God Lives”, Jah is the Rastafarian name for God). Marijuana possession can result in jail terms and expulsion. Above all, one should not try to smuggle marijuana out of the country, face prison terms.

Manners: The usual forms of courtesy should be observed. You shake hands in greeting. Many Jamaicans are very hospitable and it is not uncommon to be invited to dinner. In this case, a small gift is appropriate. People should be asked before they are photographed.

Clothing: During the day, casual wear is common, swimwear and shorts belong on the beach or swimming pool. Evening wear ranges from casual in Negril to formal in other tourist areas where a jacket and tie may be expected for dinner during the winter season. In summer the cloakroom is more casual.

Smoking: Generally speaking, smoking is permitted everywhere in Jamaica. However, designated non-smoking areas should be observed. Some hotels offer smoking and non-smoking rooms.


Area code +1 876 Area (square km) 10,991 Population 2,950 210 Population density (per square km) 268 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 110