It will be the first facility to be developed by AD Ports Group in the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan and its first cruise facility outside of the UAE
AD Ports Group has signed four strategic agreements and a Head of Terms Agreement (HoT) with Jordan’s Aqaba Development Corporation for the development of tourism, logistics, transport, and digital infrastructure within Aqaba.
The signing ceremony took place in Aqaba in Jordan in the presence of Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, representing Dr Bisher Al Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan; Ahmed Ali Mohammed Al Baloushi, UAE Ambassador to the kingdom; Dr Mohamad Al-Ississ, Minister of Finance; Eng. Khairy Amr, Minister of Investment; and Dr Nawaf Tall, Minister of State for Follow-up and Government Coordination; and Eng. Nayef Ahmad Bakheet, chief commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, chairman of Aqaba Development Corporation, along with a number of officials from both sides.
The agreements were signed by Hussein Ali Alsafadi, CEO, Aqaba Development Corporation; and Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, group CEO, AD Ports Group.
The strategic partnerships concern the development of Marsa Zayed, a cruise terminal, and the development of an advanced digital Port Community System, in addition to Head of Terms agreements to explore the development and modernisation of a multipurpose port and King Hussein International Airport.
The agreement is in relation to the development of a land area of 1.2 million sqm in Phase 1 of the development of the 3.2 million Marsa Zayed area by AD Ports Group, which 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, AD Ports Group will develop, manage and operate a new cruise terminal in Aqaba, which will serve as a gateway for passengers visiting the Red Sea.
Maqta Gateway, the digital arm of AD Ports Group, has signed a joint venture agreement with Aqaba Development Corporation establishing ‘Maqta Ayla’ to develop and operate an advanced Ports Community System (PCS). The system will oversee the communication between the Port of Aqaba and terminal operators, as well as the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Aqaba Development Corporation, Jordan Maritime Commission and other stakeholders within the Port’s ecosystem. The system is expected to complete around two million digital transactions per year, generate considerable cost and time savings for stakeholders and customers, reduce CO2 emissions and streamline services.
Bakheet said: “The agreements and HoT on the development of Marsa Zayed and a cruise terminal, exploring the modernisation of a multipurpose port, the development of King Hussein International Airport, and the establishment of ‘Maqta Ayla’ for digital systems, 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.”
Al Shamisi, commented: “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.”
Alsafadi stressed the importance of this collaboration and strategic partnership which will help in creating investment and job opportunities, as well as foster the role of Aqaba as a key regional hub in trade, logistics, and maritime and air transportation.
Dr Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, head of the Digital Cluster- AD Ports Group, said: “As a result of these partnership agreements, Aqaba’s cruise, logistics and shipping sectors will have to access a broad range of innovative technologies that support optimised services across land, sea and air. Digitalisation will introduce important efficiencies and eliminate risks from the supply chain, with a fully integrated platform that delivers the best possible customer experience.”