Abu Dhabi Ports Group has signed four strategic agreements and a Head of Terms Agreement (HoT) with the Aqaba Development Corporation to support the development of tourism and other sectors within Aqaba.
The strategic partnerships concern the development of a cruise terminal to enhance the capability of Aqaba as a cruise destination, as well as logistics, transport, and digital infrastructure.
The redevelopment of the port in Aqaba into a cruise port will be called Marsa Zayed. Phase 1 of the development will include 1.2 million sqm of land, with the total development encompassing 3.2 million sqm.
It will include a cruise terminal, tourism, leisure, residential and other projects. The development is planned to position Aqaba as a major Red Sea destination of choice.
Under this Agreement, which builds upon a Head of Terms Agreement announced earlier in the year, Abu Dhabi Ports Group will develop, manage and operate the new cruise terminal, which will serve as a gateway for passengers visiting the Red Sea.
“We have found a key partner in AD Ports Group, which has the vision, expertise and track record necessary to develop world-class port and cruise and digital infrastructure,” said Nayef Ahmad Bakheet, Chief Commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Chairman of Aqaba Development Corporation.
“The agreements and HoT on the development of Marsa Zayed and a cruise terminal… represent a significant addition to our efforts that aim to develop Aqaba region, and enable rising volumes of visitors to come and experience the Golden Triangle of Jordan, with our unique tourism offerings of Wadi Rum, Aqaba and the ancient city of Petra,” he added.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “This strategic alliance will boost the wider efforts of the leadership of Abu Dhabi to drive trade and tourism with our neighbours in the region, and to develop world-class infrastructure to expand global reach.”
“Collectively, these mega-projects represent one of the most significant integrated transport, logistics and tourism development programmes announced in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in recent years,” he added.
Abdulla Al Hameli, Head of Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster, AD Ports Group said the Marsa Zayed project would include real estate development projects, tourist residential complexes, hotels, chalets, commercial centres and theme parks.
“This significant project contributes towards positioning Aqaba as a major tourism and business destination in the region,” he said.