Abu Dhabi Ports, which operates ports, industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, has partnered with the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) to establish a state-of-the-art cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed in Aqaba, Jordan.
It will be the first terminal to be developed by Abu Dhabi Ports in Jordan and its first cruise facility outside the UAE. The new terminal will serve as a gateway in the Port of Aqaba that will receive cruise ship 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.
The Heads of Terms agreement, which is the first in a series of strategic partnerships with Abu Dhabi Ports, was signed during a visit to Abu Dhabi by a delegation from Jordan, led by Mr. Nayef Altheeb, chief commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.
Abu Dhabi Ports will also manage the implementation of an advanced port community system, which will oversee communication between Aqaba ports and terminal operators, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba Development Corporation, Jordan Maritime Commission, customs, support services and on-land connections for the Port of Aqaba.
“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, Abu Dhabi Ports 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.”
Leveraging its extensive expertise as a global facilitator of trade and logistics, Abu Dhabi Ports will work closely with the ADC to deploy the digital system to expand the technical capacity and capabilities of Aqaba ports.
Mr. Hussein Alsafadi, CEO of ADC, said, “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 tourist destinations within Jordan. This cooperation will also promote our tourism offerings, create new jobs, and strengthen Aqaba’s status as a major regional hub.”