The first and only cruise terminal in Aqaba was inaugurated with the arrival of the cruise vessel MSC Splendida carrying more than 2,000 visitors to Jordan.
The new terminal marks the launch of the first of five strategic mega-projects planned between AD Ports Group - the global facilitator of logistics, industry and trade - and Aqaba Development Corporation to advance the coastal city’s tourism, logistics and transport sectors.
Under the agreement with Aqaba Development Corporation, AD Ports Group will develop, manage and operate the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, a facility for international cruise passengers looking to visit Jordan, specifically Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum. The terminal comprises a 700-metre quay wall, passenger and luggage hall, indoor retail spaces, free Wi-Fi, prayer rooms and offices.
Over 50 vessels are scheduled to dock at the Aqaba Cruise Terminal over the next four months, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the popular winter-sun destination.
Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said, “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.”
Nayef Fayez, 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.”
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 drive 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.”
Besides the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, four strategic agreements are planned between AD Ports Group and Aqaba Development Corporation 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.