AD Ports appoints architects to draw up master plan for Jordan’s Marsa Zayed project

Project aims to drive trade and tourism in Aqaba and expand infrastructure for travellers and businesses

AD Ports Group has signed agreements to expand across the Mena region. Reuters

AD Ports Group appointed Jordanian architects Dar Al Omran and Maisam Group to draw up the master plan for the Marsa Zayed project in Aqaba.

The appointment comes after AD Ports Group signed several partnership agreements with the Aqaba Development Corporation in December 2021 to develop tourism, transport, logistics and digital infrastructure in the area, the Abu Dhabi company said on Friday.

The Dar Al Omran and Maisam Group consortium will develop the master plan for a total land area of 3.2 million square metres across the Marsa Zayed site, AD Ports said.

The site will consist of several districts comprising residential communities, retail shops, commercial and office space, hotels, food and beverage outlets and leisure areas.

“AD Ports Group lays great importance on developing the project in co-operation with leading local companies,” said Abdullah Al Hameli, chief executive of economic cities and the free zones cluster at AD Ports Group.

“The Marsa Zayed development, along with other strategic projects under way in Aqaba, will boost the wider efforts of the leadership of Abu Dhabi and Jordan to drive trade and tourism in the region and to develop … infrastructure to significantly expand the facilities available to travellers and businesses via sea, land and air.”

AD Ports Group, which made its debut on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in February after raising Dh4 billion ($1.1bn) from the sale of its shares, is looking to expand across the Mena region.

It signed two deals in March to develop and operate ports in Egypt.

The company signed a preliminary agreement with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals, the commercial arm of the Egyptian Ministry of Transportation, to jointly oversee the development and operation of Ain Sokhna Port on the Gulf of Suez.

AD Ports also signed an agreement with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals and the River Transport Authority to collaborate on three projects — building and operating a river port in Minya, managing and operating warehouses in Damietta, and equipping, managing and operating passenger lines in Greater Cairo.

It also entered a deal with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals last November to develop and operate a multipurpose terminal at Safaga Port on the Red Sea, and struck an agreement in September with the General Company for Ports of Iraq to explore investment opportunities in the country.

AD Ports Group signed five joint partnerships with the Aqaba Development Corporation last year. Photo: AD Ports Group

As part of the agreements signed with the ADC last year, AD Ports will jointly develop the King Hussein International Airport, Marsa Zayed cruise terminal and an advanced digital port community system, in addition to developing and modernising a multipurpose port.

The cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed will serve as a gateway for passengers visiting the Red Sea. It will be the first project to be developed by AD Ports Group in Jordan and its first cruise terminal outside the UAE.

The Marsa Zayed site will be lie close to a modernised multipurpose port, AD Ports said.

It is “set to become a prime location for local and international investors, looking to lease, own or jointly develop serviced plots in the mixed-use and entertainment development”, the Abu Dhabi company said.

AD Ports Group, which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, operates 10 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, more than 550 square kilometres of economic zones within ZonesCorp and the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.

The group also manages 55 per cent of the industrial zones in the country.

Updated: April 29, 2022, 8:57 AM