AD Ports Group (ADP) has signed four agreements and a Head of Terms Agreement (HoT) with Aqaba Development Corp (ADC).
These agreements will result in ADP supporting Aqaba’s development of tourism, logistics, transport and digital infrastructure, including the building of a new cruise terminal.
The partnerships concerns the development of Marsa Zayed, a cruise terminal, and the introduction of a digital port community system, in addition to HoT agreements to explore the development and modernisation of a multi-purpose port and King Hussein International Airport.
A 1.2 mill sq m land area in phase 1 of the development of the 3.2 mill sq m Marsa Zayed site by ADP will include a cruise terminal, tourism, leisure, residential and other projects.
ADP will develop, manage and operate the new Aqaba cruise terminal, which will serve as a gateway for passengers visiting the Red Sea.
In addition, ADP’s digital arm, Maqta Gateway, has signed a joint venture agreement with the ADC establishing Maqta Ayla to develop and operate a ports community system (PCS).
The PCS will control the communications between the Port of Aqaba and terminal operators, as well as the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), ADC, Jordan Maritime Commission and other stakeholders within the port’s ecosystem.
It is expected to handle around 2 mill digital transactions per year, generate considerable cost and time savings for stakeholders and customers, reduce CO2 emissions and streamline services, ADP said.
The agreement will also see ADP collaborate with the ADC to develop Aqaba’s King Hussein International Airport, to enable increasing volumes of international and domestic tourism, to ensure a seamless journey for passengers transiting between the airport and the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, while enhancing air logistics and expanding Aqaba’s air network connectivity.
HE Eng Nayef Ahmad Bakheet, Chief Commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and ADC Chairman, said: “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.
“The agreements and HoT on the development of Marsa Zayed and a cruise terminal, exploring the modernisation of a multi-purpose 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,” he said.
Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, ADP Group CEO, added: “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.
“Working with our partners in the Aqaba Development Corp, these ambitious projects will significantly expand the facilities available to travellers and businesses via sea, land and air. This in turn will help grow the trade and tourism sectors, while strengthening Aqaba’s status as a major regional hub and support the kingdom’s economic development plans,” he said.
Abdulla Al Hameli, ADP’s Head of Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster, commented, “We are excited to partner with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority for the development of a land area of 1.2 mill sq m, comprising 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.”
Dr Noura Al Dhaheri, Maqta Gateway CEO, Head of the Digital Cluster at ADP, also commented: “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.”