The Aqaba Cruise Terminal, the first of its kind in the port city, opened on Monday.
Deputising for Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Administration Tawfiq Krishan attended the opening ceremony, which saw the participation of UAE Ambassador Sheikh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan and coincided with the arrival of the MSC Splendida cruise ship, which is carrying more than 2,000 visitors to Jordan.
The new cruise terminal is also the first of five mega-projects between Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) aimed at boosting the coastal city's tourism, logistics and transport sectors, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
Krishan and the UAE envoy were briefed on the terminal’s various services intended to meet the needs of international tourists visiting the Kingdom.
Under the agreement, the Abu Dhabi Ports Group will develop, manage and operate the Aqaba Cruise Terminal, which is designated for international cruise passengers visiting Jordan, specifically Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum.
The Aqaba Cruise Terminal is expected to receive more than 50 cruise ships over the next four months, bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the popular destination, which offers warm and sunny weather during the winter.
Highlighting the “deep-rooted” nature of Jordan-UAE ties, the diplomat said that operating the terminal in Aqaba is the fruit of a strategic partnership between both countries, expressing his country’s keenness to advance economic and investment cooperation and build on the existing partnerships in various fields.
The volume of trade exchange between Jordan and the UAE reached around $3 billion in 2022, the envoy said, adding that the volume of Emirati investments in Jordan exceeded $ 17 billion in the same year.
The Aqaba Cruise Terminal consists of a 700 metre pier, a passenger and baggage hall, indoor commercial spaces, prayer rooms and offices. The terminal also offers free Internet access.
The terminal will help diversify the available points of entry to Jordan, and will be an integral part of Marsa Zayed, which was developed by AD Ports Group, featuring residential and commercial spaces, food and beverage facilities, offices, hotels and leisure areas designed to boost Aqaba’s position as a regional tourism and business hub.
Besides the terminal, four strategic agreements between AD Ports Group and the ADC related to Marsa Zayed, including the development of an advanced digital Port Community System, the development and modernisation of a multipurpose port and King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, are underway.
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