AD Ports Group has signed a heads of terms agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation that will see AD Ports Group take on the establishment of a cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed in Aqaba.
According to a press release, this will be the first facility to be developed by AD Ports Group in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its first cruise facility outside of the United Arab Emirates.
The new terminal will serve as a gateway in the Port of Aqaba that will receive cruise ships passengers visiting the Red Sea, in addition to serving as an attraction for the residents of Aqaba with a wide range of tourism, commercial, and entertainment services.
A further heads of terms agreement was also signed, stating that AD Ports Group – through its digital arm, Maqta Gateway – will manage the implementation of an advanced Ports Community System, which will oversee communication between Aqaba ports and terminals operators, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba Development Corporation, Jordan Maritime Commission, customs, support services and on-land connections for the Port of Aqaba.
Leveraging its expertise as a global facilitator of trade and logistics, AD Ports Group will work closely with the Aqaba Development Corporation to deploy the digital system to expand the technical capacity and capabilities of Aqaba ports.
The agreement was signed during a visit by a senior delegation from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan headed by Eng. Nayef Ahmad Bakheet Altheeb, chief commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority to Abu Dhabi and is the first of a series of strategic partnerships with AD Ports Group.
“We are pleased and proud to sign this strategic agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation. 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,” said Group CEO of AD Ports Group, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi.
“In addition, as part of our continued commitment to support the growth of Jordan’s maritime industry, AD Ports Group, through its digital arm, Maqta Gateway, 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,” he added.
CEO of Aqaba Development Corporation, Hussein Alsafadi, said that they were “pleased” to be cooperating with AD Ports Group.
“(T)his agreement which falls in line with the wider cooperation between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Through their ambitious development of ports in Abu Dhabi and around the world, they have demonstrated their ambition and ability to evolve and drive growth in the maritime sector. Developing the cruise terminal in Aqaba will significantly support the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, which will expand the scope of onsite facilities and services,” he noted.
“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,” Alsafadi added.
He said that they were “confident” that through their cooperation with AD Ports Group and Maqta Gateway, Aqaba Development Corporation will be able to “keep pace with the rapid developments of digitization in the transport and logistics sectors, as well as enhance our digital systems with the aim to provide world-class services for port users in Aqaba.”