Aqaba was known as Elath in Hebrew in ancient time. It was a centre of the Edomites. Then it was Berenice to the Ptolemaic Greeks and Aila and Aelana to the Romanss. It was considered part of Palestine in medieval time, it was then Turkish property until the Arabs, led by T.E. Lawrence, captured it in 1917 and made it part of the Kingdom of Al Hijaz. It was ceded to the British protectorate of Transjordan in 1925. It was occupied by Israel from November 1956 to January 1957.
Aqaba was a major importer of Iraqi goods in the 1980s until the Persian Gulf War.