AD Ports Group, Aqaba Development Corporation inaugurate Aqaba Cruise Terminal
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AD Ports Group, Aqaba Development Corporation inaugurate Aqaba Cruise Terminal

AD Ports Group, Aqaba Development Corporation inaugurate Aqaba Cruise Terminal

The new terminal marks the launch of the first of five strategic mega projects planned between AD Ports Group and Aqaba Development Corporation

Aqaba cruise terminal inauguratedAqaba cruise terminal inaugurated - AD Ports Group to operate and manage it

Jordan’s first and sole cruise terminal was inaugurated in Aqaba, coinciding with the arrival of the cruise vessel MSC Splendida, which carried more than 2,000 visitors to Jordan.

The new Aqaba Cruise Terminal marks the launch of the first of five strategic mega-projects planned between AD Ports Group and Aqaba Development Corporation to advance the coastal city’s tourism, logistics, and transport sectors.

Read: AD Ports Group signs multiple agreements for tourism and maritime enhancement projects in Jordan

Under the agreement with Aqaba Development Corporation, AD Ports Group will develop, manage and operate the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, which is an entry point for people looking to visit Jordan, specifically Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum.

Increasing tourism prospects

Over 50 vessels are scheduled to dock at the Aqaba Cruise Terminal over the next four months, bringing thousands of visitors to the country.

The terminal comprises a 700-metre quay wall, passenger and luggage hall, indoor retail spaces, free Wi-Fi, prayer rooms, and offices.

The ultra-modern facility is a one-stop-shop for multiple government stakeholders serving the cruise business.

Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “The inauguration of the Aqaba Cruise Terminal reflects the ongoing cooperation and strategic partnership between the two brotherly nations, propelling them to new heights. As the first and only facility of its kind in the country, the Aqaba Cruise Terminal not only offers an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the fast-growing cruise industry but also enables us to share our longstanding expertise in operating leading-edge cruise terminals while supporting AD Ports Group’s international growth strategy by leveraging Aqaba’s pivotal location and vast potential as a regional hub on the Red Sea.”

Engineer Nayef Fayez, the chief commissioner of ASEZA, chairman of Aqaba Development Corporation, said: “At ASEZA, we remain committed to transforming the city of Aqaba into a competitive investment, commercial and tourism destination on the Red Sea, and the successful inauguration of the Aqaba Cruise Terminal today aligns with these endeavours. We thank our partners at AD Ports Group for believing in the vast potential of Aqaba and for sharing our ongoing efforts to stimulate and enhance sustainable economic activity at one of Jordan’s most vital gateways.”

Building on a partnership

As a successful model of public-private partnership, the Aqaba Cruise Terminal is an important part of AD Ports Group’s Marsa Zayed, a mega mixed-use waterfront project comprising residential, retail, F&B, commercial and office spaces, hotel and leisure areas that are designed to bolster Aqaba’s status as a regional tourism and business hub.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, MD and group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: “This new facility seeks to elevate Aqaba’s travel experience and leverage its prime location and growth potential to attract tens of thousands of international visitors to explore Jordan’s top attractions, thereby adding economic value to the coastal city while establishing its position as a destination of choice in the Levant region. We thank our valued partners, namely Aqaba Development Corporation and ASEZA, whose partnership continues to be instrumental in enhancing Aqaba’s position as a leading tourism and business hub.”

Besides the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, four strategic agreements are planned between the two entities regarding Marsa Zayed, Maqta Ayla for the development and operation of an advanced Ports Community System, Aqaba Multipurpose Port and the development, management, and operation of King Hussein International Airport, which collectively will help position Aqaba as a major regional destination, as well attract investment and bring economic development.

Hussein Safadi, CEO of Aqaba Development Corporation, said: “This strategic partnership serves as a testament to the steadfast collaboration between Jordan and the UAE, firmly positioning Aqaba as a major player within the global arena while helping promote national plans and driving economic prosperity. Not only that, but the subsequent digital transformation resulting from this partnership will also foster a new ecosystem that significantly enhances the resilience of Aqaba’s maritime sector.”

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