AD Ports Group has expanded its regional footprint by signing four strategic agreements and a Head of Terms Agreement (HoT) with the Aqaba Development Corporation to support the development of tourism, logistics, transportation, and digital infrastructure in Aqaba.
H.E Eng. Nayef Ahmad Bakheet, Chief Commissioner, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Chairman of Aqaba Development Corporation 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 modernization 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.”
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “This strategic alliance will boost the wider efforts of the leadership of Abu Dhabi to drive trade and tourism with our neighbors 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 programs announced in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in recent years.
“Working with our partners in the Aqaba Development Corporation, these ambitious projects will significantly expand the facilities available to travelers 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.”
Hussein Alsafadi, CEO, Aqaba Development Corporation 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.
Abdulla Al Hameli, Head of Industrial Cities & Free Zone Cluster, AD Ports Group said, “We are excited to partner with the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority for the development of a land area of 1.2 million sqm 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.”
Saif Al Mazrouei, Head of Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to play our part in the development of the Port of Aqaba and the new cruise terminal, drawing on our expertise in the cruise sector and our experience in providing advanced services across the supply chain.
“We are confident that this cooperation will prove beneficial for both sides, as it combines Aqaba’s significant growth potential as a cruise destination and a regional hub on the Red Sea with AD Ports Group’s leadership in providing advanced services and infrastructure for cruise passengers and cargo ships.”
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.”
Eng. Mohammad Al-Sakran, Executive Director, Transport & Logistics, Aqaba Development Corporation, noted: “This strategic partnership will promote Aqaba as a major player in the region’s supply chain. The digital transformation resulting from this partnership will also create a new ecosystem that will enhance the resilience of the maritime sector in Aqaba”.
The signing ceremony took place in Aqaba in Jordan in the presence of H.E. Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, representing H.E. Dr. Bisher Al Khasawneh, Prime Minister of Jordan; H.E. Ahmed Ali Mohammed Al Baloushi, UAE Ambassador to the kingdom; H.E. Dr. Mohamad Al-Ississ, Minister of Finance; H.E. Eng. Khairy Amr, Minister of Investment; and H.E. Dr. Nawaf Tall, Minister of State for Follow-up and Government Coordination; and H.E 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 four strategic agreements and a Head of Terms Agreement were signed by Hussein Ali Alsafadi, CEO, Aqaba Development Corporation and Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO, AD Ports Group.
The strategic alliances include Head of Terms agreements to investigate the development and modernization of a multipurpose port and King Hussein International Airport, as well as the development of an advanced digital Port Community System.
Marsa Zayed Land Agreement
The agreement is for the development of a 1.2 million sqm land area in phase 1 of AD Ports Group’s 3.2 million sqm Marsa Zayed region, which would comprise a cruise port, tourism, recreational, residential, and other developments. Aqaba will be positioned as a key Red Sea destination of choice as a result of the development.
Cruise Terminal Agreement
AD Ports Group will develop, manage, and operate a new cruise terminal in Aqaba, which will serve as a gateway for travellers visiting the Red Sea, under this agreement, which builds on a Head of Terms Agreement announced earlier this year.
Maqta Ayla, New Joint Venture
Maqta Gateway, AD Ports Group’s digital arm, has established “Maqta Ayla” as a joint venture with Aqaba Development Corporation to build and run an innovative Ports Community System (PCS). The system will manage communication between the Port of Aqaba and terminal operators, as well as the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the Aqaba Development Corporation, the Jordan Maritime Commission, and other stakeholders in the Port’s ecosystem. The system is intended to execute about two million digital transactions every year, saving stakeholders and customers significant money and time while also reducing CO2 emissions and streamlining services.
HoT on the Development and Modernisation of a Multi-Purpose Port
The Aqaba Development Corporation and AD Ports Group are collaborating on the development and modernization of a multi-purpose port with world-class capabilities for Ro-Ro, general cargo, grain, and animal handling as part of the HoT.
Development of King Hussein International Airport Agreement
The agreement will see AD Ports Group collaborate with Aqaba Development Corporation on the development of King Hussein International Airport – Aqaba, allowing for increased volumes of international and domestic tourism, a seamless journey for passengers moving between the airport and the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, as well as improved air logistics and increased air network connectivity in Aqaba.