I think Damascus is more suited for a weekender from the Gulf.The city is unique in many ways,atmosphere,heritage ,history charm from the past and entertainment.
the boutique hotels,and the many Damascene restaurants makes very special weekend.
i leave it for others to elaborate,
Petra is definitely just as interesting but considering the distances and travel from Amman to Petra and back, it could be quite a rush for a weekend depending on your arrival and departure times.
I therefore agree with Syriafullbottle, that Damascus would be better for a weekend getaway and there are more things to see and do in Damascus.
Whatever you decide, have a great time.
I dont think walking round Petra for hours in August is a good idea at all. There are many interesting historical places in Jordan but the heat will be awful in the Summer.
You could discover the historical sights of Damascus within the Old City, all within a short walk of each other and some interesting places just a short drive from Damascus in the cool mountains.
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