Port Aqaba-Petra (Jordan) receives first cruise ship with ~4000 tourists

   January 2, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Port Aqaba (Petra, Jordan) on Monday, January 2nd, received the first cruise ship of the New 2023, MSC Splendida, which carried ~4000 passengers from a variety of European and Arab countries.

According to the President of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Nayef Fayez, 90 cruise ships were expected to dock in Aqaba this current year. Fayez stressed the importance of cruise tourism in the growth of the Kingdom's tourism industry.

He added the authority was prepared to offer the required infrastructural services for domestic and international tourism, noting that a cruise passenger terminal was scheduled to open this month in the old port in order to simplify/expedite procedures for visitor entry. Tourism in 2022 was "promising" in comparison to the previous year as Aqaba, and the Kingdom in general had recently witnessed reinvigorated tourist activity.

Port of Aqaba (Petra, Jordan)

Port Aqaba is Jordan's only seaport. It is owned and operated by Aqaba Port Corporation.

In September 2021, AD Ports Group (Abu Dhabi Ports Company) and Aqaba Development Corporation signed a letter of intent for building a new cruise terminal at Marsa Zayed Port.

  • The new terminal will become Port Aqaba's principal cruise ship terminal, and during no-ship days will serve as an event space/attraction for domestic tourists and residents, with numerous commercial and entertainment venues and services.
  • By this agreement, AD Ports (thru its subsidiary Maqta Gateway) will install and manage a PCS-Ports Community System (digital platform/intranet based on Maqta PCS/mPCS) connecting Aqaba Port Authority with its terminal operators, Aqaba Economic Zone Authority, Aqaba Development Corp, Jordan Maritime Commission, Jordan Customs.
  • The deal was signed by Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi (AD Ports Group's CEO) and Hussein Alsafadi (Aqaba Development Corporation's CEO).

In December 2021, AD Ports Group signed four agreements with Aqaba Development Corporation for the development of the new Marsa Zayed Port (land area 3,2 km2/1,24 mi2) and for building a new cruise terminal.