Abu Dhabi Ports Set to Build First Cruise Terminal in Jordan

Aqaba's waterfront (Are G Nilsen / CC BY SA 3.0)

Published Sep 19, 2021 11:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

Abu Dhabi Ports Group (AD Ports) has signed an agreement to build and run a new cruise terminal at the Port of Aqaba, Jordan. 

Aqaba, located at the head of the Red Sea gulf of the same name, is Jordan's sole seaport. The new AD Ports cruise terminal will be the first of its kind in the country. 

“The cruise terminal will serve as a gateway in the Port of Aqaba that will receive cruise ship passengers visiting the Red Sea, in addition to serving as a major attraction for the residents of Aqaba,” said AD Ports in a statement. 

The new terminal will be part of the long-running Marsa Zayed master-planned redevelopment project in Aqaba. The massive project relocated Aqaba's industrial port facilities to a new complex on the city's southern periphery in order to make room for an urban, multi-use waterfront development. 

Cruise ships have called at Aqaba's old Main Port cargo pier for some time, but the new terminal will provide better amenities for passengers. It will also be AD Ports Group's first cruise terminal built outside of the UAE. 

As part of the agreement, AD Ports will also be setting up a digital Ports Community System (PCS) to coordinate communication amongst all of Aqaba's port operators, along with government stakeholders like the Jordan Maritime Commission, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and the Aqaba Development Corporation. 

The corporation hopes that the new terminal will help attract cruise passengers from the Mediterranean basin and Europe, who typically visit the port in order to tour the country's Golden Triangle area. "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 tourism destinations within Jordan," said Hussein Alsafadi, the CEO of the Aqaba Development Corporation. 

Top image: Aqaba's waterfront (Are G Nilsen / CC BY SA 3.0)