Jordan woos investors with US$ 3 billion Aqaba Development

Published December 6th, 2006 - 02:51 GMT

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today announced a major new development programme in the ancient port city of Aqaba, destined to transform the region into a commercial, residential and tourism powerhouse.


The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), which has the responsibility for the development of the port city, has unveiled a US$ 3 billion tender initiative to lure international investors to the area. The two-phase project invites private investors to partner with ADC to relocate the existing port facilities 20 kilometres to the south whilst developing the vacated seafront with residential, commercial and tourism developments.


The Main Port facilities sitting at the heart of existing major urban development projects will be relocated to the southern border area with deeper waters and upgraded services with an ability to expand handling capacity for Jordan’s only port facilities. Aqaba port currently handles approximately 21 million tonnes of cargo per annum. The vacated land represents prime waterfront property on the Aqaba town corniche.


The vacated land incorporates all that Aqaba has to offer as an age-old city as well as a world-class Special Economic Zone to present residents and tourists with a vibrant and engaging city centre, and investors with lucrative, flexible and unique investment opportunities. The area is currently granted a low-tax and duty-free status, features a pristine coastline and terrain and is surrounded by some of the most spectacular historic sites to be found in the world which include Petra and Wadi Rum.


The objective of this new development area will be to create a new mixed-use waterfront neighbourhood and business district - a magnet for businesses and tourists, as well as creating new easy to access, residential suburbs.


The 200 hectacre redevelopment will create a unique living experience that will support new and existing businesses as well as the hospitality sector to provide a service core for tourists and new area residents. On the hillsides of Shmesani, a new business park will attract compatible economic uses to the redevelopment district and goes some way to highlight the flexibility of the investment package.


ADC's Chairman and CEO Imad Fakhoury said of the tender: "We have been developing the Aqaba region for some time and this final phase will enable institutional investors to develop one of the most sought after parcels of real estate in the world. Our track record speaks for itself with $2 billion in real estate Public Private Partnerships already underway. We have shown that we're willing to offer levels of flexibility and freedom as well as government support to any private development initiative. With its location Aqaba is the most beautiful blank canvas that any developer could ever wish for."


The new hotel and hospitality zone with at least three world-class beach resorts will support approximately one thousand rooms of new development with generous open space and common facilities.


An essential part of the redevelopment plan will be new freehold housing to support a resident population that will take advantage of the site’s new amenities and make this new district a lively place throughout evenings and weekends.


"We intend for the redevelopment to be sustainable and environmentally friendly in terms of energy use, conservation, and outstanding design.  It will transform the core of the city and will capture much new development due to its exceptional setting and the advantages of its location," added Fakhoury.


© 2006 Al Bawaba (

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