Aqaba drawing on Turkish experience for tourism development — official

CEO of Aqaba Development Corporation reviews projects in port city

(Photo: Twitter)
A depiction of the Marsa Zayed development project in Aqaba. (Image: Twitter)
AMMAN — Jordan is taking action to implement the Turkish tourism model in the city of Aqaba, presenting several types of tourism at a single destination, the Anadolu news agency reported.اضافة اعلان

Hussein Safadi, CEO of the Aqaba Development Corporation, said that Turkey is a “pioneer” in the field of tourism, and that the Turkish model "should be applied in some cases in Aqaba".

Turkey is famous for integrating a variety of tourism categories, including recreational tourism, medical tourism, exhibition tourism, adventure tourism, marine tourism, investment tourism, and sports tourism, he said.

The Aqaba Development Corporation has a strategy to attract more investments through signing agreements with Turkey in several fields, with the aim of boosting the Kingdom’s port city, according to the CEO.

Cooperation with TurkeySafadi said that efforts have been made to strengthen the strategic cooperation between Turkey and Jordan — contributing to the establishment of a Turkish Airlines office at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba and regular flights between the port city and the Mediterranean country.

Furthermore, some Turkish investors have established industrial projects in Aqaba, which are now “considered among the most successful projects" in the city, Safadi said.

Turkey is "a pioneer in the tourism industry and has created a model for itself that must be applied at times in the Aqaba region".

"We maintain continual contact with the chambers of commerce and with some entities from the private sector in Turkey in order to cooperate and benefit from the great Turkish experience, especially in industry and logistical expertise, as well as tourism," he said.

Turkey is "a pioneer in the tourism industry and has created a model for itself that must be applied at times in the Aqaba region," the CEO added.

The role of the corporationThe Aqaba Development Corporation is the investment arm of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, and it is concerned with developing basic facilities, attracting investments, and working to develop the Aqaba region in terms of public services and the development of projects that create job opportunities.

The main vision of the corporation is to work to attract and develop industry and investments from outside Jordan, to establish factories in Aqaba, provide the largest possible number of job opportunities, and enhance the role of Aqaba as a competitive industrial and logistical center in the region.

Safadi also noted that the corporation "focuses on tourism investments, by which we mean all aspects of tourism: exhibition tourism, conference tourism, traditional and sports tourism..."

In addition, “through the Aqaba Authority, we are working to create vocational training centers at the highest levels to train the country's youth on the latest principles, enabling them to work outside Jordan and in Aqaba."

“Through the Aqaba Authority, we are working to create vocational training centers at the highest levels to train the country's youth”

In light of the changes the world is witnessing in terms of energy, climate change, and political and economic conditions that affect the activity of freight, ports, and ships, Safadi stated that "logistical issues are very important".

"We keep abreast of global developments in terms of logistics and storage of goods, and facilitate the arrival of goods to Jordan, so that we can be competitive at the regional and international levels in the field of shipping, ports, and logistics," he said.

Partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports Group The corporation is currently in the final stages of discussions on an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Ports Group to develop the port city’s King Hussein International Airport, the CEO said.

Furthermore, in January, “we opened the first cruise ship terminal in Aqaba, the Aqaba Cruise Ship Terminal.”

The terminal project came about through an investment of more than JD10 million ($14 million), and the Abu Dhabi Ports Group is in charge of managing and operating it.

“50 cruise ships will dock at this terminal over the next four months, bringing thousands of tourists who will visit the Aqaba Special Economic Zone and other tourist areas such as Petra and Wadi Rum," Safadi said.

The station is part of the Abu Dhabi Ports Group’s Marsa Zayed project, a huge venture covering an area of 1.2 million square meters including residential, commercial, and entertainment facilities and infrastructure developments.

"We are now in the process of setting a timetable to start developing this huge project," Safadi said.

Other key agreementsThe corporation has also been busy with other development plans. "We signed an agreement with the global APM Terminals Group to develop the container port under an investment of $242 million," Safadi noted.

"We are fortunate to host the headquarters of Maersk International, a logistics and shipping academy in the Aqaba region, to train the country's youth and attract students from other countries,” he said. “We consider this an achievement.”

Implementation of the project is expected to begin in the next few months, he said.

A submarine Google cable will pass through Aqaba, which will serve as a link between Europe and Asia

Another deal was signed last year with a private Jordanian company to establish a world-class data center, he said.

Furthermore, a submarine Google cable will pass through Aqaba, which will serve as a link between Europe and Asia.

The Royal visionWith Aqaba serving as Jordan’s only sea port, Safadi stressed the role of the Royal vision to make the city a world-class business hub and leisure destination while supporting the local community.

He pointed to the active follow-up by HRH Crown Prince Hussein to enhance the city’s role as a regional tourism, investment, and logistical center.

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