Abu Dhabi Ports (AD Ports) has signed a heads of terms agreement with the Aqaba Development Corporation for the development of a cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed in Aqaba, Jordan.

This is said to be the first cruise facility outside of the UAE, as well as the first facility in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, to be developed by AD Ports Group.

The terminal will function as ‘a gateway’ in the Port of Aqaba, which will receive cruise ship passengers visiting the Red Sea.

AD Ports Group also signed another agreement to manage the deployment of a Ports Community System (PCS) through its digital unit, named Maqta Gateway.

This system will handle communication between Aqaba ports and terminals operators, Aqaba Development Corporation, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), and Jordan Maritime Commission.

It will also help establish communication between customs, support services and on-land connections for the Port of Aqaba.

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The company will collaborate with the Aqaba Development Corporation for the installation of the digital system, which is said to expand the technical capacity and capabilities of Aqaba ports.

AD Ports Group group CEO Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi said: “The creation and operation of a new cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed will be a milestone for Jordan’s fast-growing cruise and tourism sector and is the first of many enhancement projects that we have planned.”

Aqaba Development Corporation CEO Hussein Alsafadi said: “Through their ambitious development of ports in Abu Dhabi and around the world, they have demonstrated their ambition and ability to evolve and drive growth in the maritime sector.

“Developing the cruise terminal in Aqaba will significantly support the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, which will expand of the scope of onsite facilities and services.”

Last December, AD Ports announced the completion of the second phase of development at Delma Port in the UAE.