AD Ports Group and Aqaba Development Corporation Sign Agreement for Tourism and Maritime Enhancement Projects in Aqaba – Jordan

New Cruise Terminal to be Developed by AD Ports Group as Part of Strategic Plan to Enhance Maritime and Tourism Sectors

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Sept 19, 2021: AD Ports Group, a leading facilitator of trade and logistics, has signed a Heads of Terms agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation that will see AD Ports Group take on the establishment of a state-of-the-art cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed in Aqaba.

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 United Arab Emirates.

The new terminal will serve as a gateway in the Port of Aqaba that will receive cruise ships passengers visiting the Red Sea, in addition to serving as a major attraction for the residents of Aqaba with a wide range of tourism, commercial, and entertainment services.

A further Head of Terms agreement was also signed, stating that AD Ports Group, through its digital arm, Maqta Gateway, will manage the implementation of an advanced Ports Community System (PCS), which will oversee communication between Aqaba ports and terminals operators, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Aqaba Development Corporation, Jordan Maritime Commission, customs, support services and on-land connections for the Port of Aqaba.  

Leveraging its long-standing and extensive expertise as a global facilitator of trade and logistics, AD Ports Group will work closely with the Aqaba Development Corporation to deploy the digital system to expand the technical capacity and capabilities of Aqaba ports.

The agreement was signed during a visit by a senior delegation from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan headed by Eng. Nayef Ahmad Bakheet Altheeb, Chief Commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority to Abu Dhabi and is the first of a series of strategic partnerships with AD Ports Group.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “We are pleased and proud to sign this strategic agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation. The creation and operation of a new cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed will be a milestone for Jordan’s fast-growing cruise and tourism sector and is the first of many enhancement projects that we have planned.

“In addition, as part of our continued commitment to support the growth of Jordan’s maritime industry, AD Ports Group, through its digital arm, Maqta Gateway, is leveraging its digital expertise to implement a robust Port Community System at the Aqaba ports ecosystem that will accelerate the exchange of goods and elevate commerce to new heights.”

Hussein Alsafadi, CEO, Aqaba Development Corporation said: “We are pleased to be joining forces with AD Ports Group with this agreement which falls in-line with the wider cooperation between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Through their ambitious development of ports in Abu Dhabi and around the world, they have demonstrated their ambition and ability to evolve and drive growth in the maritime sector.

“Developing the cruise terminal in Aqaba will significantly support the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, which will expand of the scope of onsite facilities and services.

“It will also facilitate the movement of cruise ship passengers arriving from countries across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, who typically visit the Golden Triangle of Jordan. Stretching from the desert landscape of Wadi Rum to the sandy beaches of Aqaba and the ancient city of Petra, the Golden Triangle is considered by many to be among the top tourism destinations within Jordan. This cooperation will also promote our tourism offerings, create new jobs, and strengthen Aqaba’s status as a major regional hub.

“We are confident that through our cooperation with AD Ports Group and Maqta Gateway, we will be able to keep pace with the rapid developments of digitisation in the transport and logistics sectors, as well as enhance our digital systems with the aim to provide world class services for port users in Aqaba”.


Photo Caption: AD Ports Group and Aqaba Development Corporation Head of Terms Signing Ceremony.  

About AD Ports Group:

Established in 2006, AD Ports Group today serves as the region’s premier facilitator of logistics, industry, and trade, as well as a bridge linking Abu Dhabi to the world. Part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy, AD Ports Group’ vertically integrated business approach has proven instrumental in driving the emirate’s economic development over the past decade.

Operating several clusters covering Ports, Industrial Cities & Free Zone, Maritime, Logistics, and Digital, AD Ports Group’ portfolio comprises 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, and more than 550 square kilometres of industrial zones within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and ZonesCorp, the largest integrated trade, logistics, and industrial business grouping in the Middle East.

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About Aqaba Development Corporation

Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the central development arm of the ASEZA, was launched in 2004.

ADC is owned by the Government of Jordan and ASEZA and is mandated to build new infrastructure and required superstructure, expand existing utilities, create necessary business enablers and manage/operate key facilities for ASEZ.

ADC owns the ports, airport and strategic parcels of land, as well as the development/management rights for these assets and for key infrastructure and utilities. It strives to develop these assets and optimize private sector participation in their development and management so as to stimulate the economy and promote growth and development of ASEZ and, thus, Jordan.

ADC has launched a number of enabler projects aiming at supporting the business environment in Aqaba. Enabler projects include but are not limited to Aqaba International School, Labor Housing Villages and Aqaba Stadium. Moreover, ADC has formed a number of public private partnerships through B.O.T or JVs such as Aqaba Container Terminal, Aqaba Air Cargo Terminal, Aqaba Ports Marine Services and Aqaba National Real Estate Project. This has resulted in enhancing services provided and increasing efficiency as well as generating revenue for both ADC and its partners.

Since the launch of ASEZ in 2001, Aqaba has witnessed a considerable increase in its population. Additionally, the value of committed investments in Aqaba has exceeded USD 20 billion mainly in multibillion USD real-estate/ tourism development projects. Such developments include Marsa Zayed, Ayla Oasis, Saraya Aqaba and Tala Bay. Moreover, other major investments include Aqaba International Industrial Estate (AIIE), National Real-Estate Company (NREC) and other mega projects in the fields of transport, logistics services, education and tourism.

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