ADC’s investor roadshow in Abu Dhabi highlights investment opportunities in several high-growth industries in Jordan’s Aqaba


An exclusive investor roadshow organized in Abu Dhabi by Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the central development arm of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), was an overwhelming success highlighting investment opportunities for UAE-based and international investors.
The tremendous response from global investors expressing interest and intent to invest in Aqaba underlines the strong value proposition offered by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. It includes exceptional benefits for them in a thriving tourism and business hub, underscored by easy access to world-class ports and airports.
Held at Erth in Abu Dhabi, the “Aqaba – It’s Happening” roadshow showcased investment value propositions in Jordan’s picturesque coastal city of Aqaba, in developments such as the Al Matal High Lakes, a 2.5 million sq.m entertainment and recreational community overlooking the northern beach; and a Hotel & Retail Complex, envisaged as a vibrant hub featuring four-star accommodations, diverse shops, restaurants, entertainment options, and state-of-the-art office spaces.
Investors also had the opportunity to explore options in the South Central District, which integrates residential spaces, retail establishments, premium hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, and a tech and gaming park. Another key opportunity is investing in the Aqaba International Exhibition Center, a premier venue for exhibitions, trade shows, and significant private events on a land area of over 170,000 square meters and a built-up area of 35,000 square meters.
For investors looking beyond conventional businesses, the Aqaba International Racetrack is a promising destination. It is an FIA grade 3 certified track featuring a main racetrack, karting track, low-friction center, and car vaults.
Several investors have expressed interest in the Agri-Tech Corridor, which features advanced indoor farming, food production units, fisheries, and intelligent agriculture. Many also expressed interest in the 140,000-square-meter Aqaba Filming & Media Hub, which has comprehensive production facilities, sound stages, a backlot, production office spaces, and vocational training centers.
Addressing the participants, Hussein Safadi, CEO of Aqaba Development Corporation, said: “Aqaba is the gateway from Jordan to the entire Middle East and North Africa region as well as to strategic European cities. Underlining the vision of His Majesty King Abdullah II for the country, Aqaba has evolved as a global tourism and business hub and continues to expand on the growth opportunities it offers. In addition to an array of benefits for investors, they can benefit from the strategic location, world-class infrastructure, effortless connectivity, and access to the digital-savvy young Jordanian talent pool, making it one of the most promising investment destinations of the future.”
Najib Faris, CIO of Aqaba Development Corporation, added: “With several investors from the UAE, the wider GCC, and across the world already having a strong operational presence in Aqaba, we are now showcasing diversified investment choices, especially in the industries of the future. Aqaba’s strategic location makes it a cost-effective investment destination, enabling investors to expand their footprint in new markets.”
Several experts at ADC and other investors highlighted the advantages and future growth opportunities offered by Aqaba. Among those who addressed the event was Abdulla Al Ansari, Director of Real Estate – International Office – AD Ports Group, who delivered a presentation on Marsa Zayed, a mega mixed-use waterfront project, including high-rise residential towers, retail, recreational, entertainment, business and financial districts, and several branded hotels. Several marinas will add to the current berthing capacity, transforming Aqaba into a premier yachting destination and a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal, becoming one of Jordan’s touristic landmarks and a welcoming gateway to Aqaba.
Abdulrahman Alnuaimi, Key Accounts Manager at Maqta Gateway, Digital Cluster of AD Ports Group, provided a detailed overview of the Maqta Ayla, a JV between Maqta Gateway, the digital arm of AD Ports Group, and Aqaba Development Corporation. The joint venture company will revolutionise Aqaba’s port operations by implementing an advanced Ports Community System (PCS) that leverages Maqta Gateway’s expertise.
Omar Nashashibi, Director of Revenue and Business Development at Al Ayla Oasis Development Authority, highlighted the investment opportunities at Ayla, a 4.3 million sqm inspirational waterfront destination committed to environmental sustainability by protecting the integrity of its marine and wildlife, recycling its water resources and harnessing solar energy for power. Ayla features world-class hotels, dream homes, and a thriving marina, all adding to residents’ lifestyle choices and creating value for investors.
Eyad Abu Khorma, CEO Of Aqaba Digital Hub, provided an overview of the new project to position Aqaba as a digital hub. Jordan’s first and only IXP, Aqaba Digital Hub, is the country’s largest carrier-neutral 6MW data center and one of the largest in the MENA region. Adopting a neutral and open access policy, the Tier III data center offers an array of services, including an open-access submarine cable landing station, cloud services, long-haul telecommunications services, a carrier-neutral Internet exchange point, expanded fibre networks, and satellite services.
At the event, Aqaba Development Corporation signed an agreement with Creatinc for the Aqaba Creative Escape. This creative hub will drive the growth of the digital, innovative, and esports industries. Shadi Alhasan, CEO of Aqaba Creative Escape, provided an overview of the project, which is the first comprehensive ecosystem for all creative needs featuring seven dedicated zones, including residential, co-working spaces, creative studios, restaurants, a hospitality academy, sports zone, and glamping, apart from an Agritech lab and game development studios.
“From welcoming local and global creative talents looking for a creative residency destination to adventure travellers seeking glamping experiences in natural settings to corporate groups seeking team-building retreats and events in a natural environment, and more, the Aqaba Creative Escape is the go-to destination for investments, relaxation, creative pursuits, and innovative enterprises,” said Shadi Alhasan.

Advantages of investing in Aqaba
Investors have a wide range of benefits, such as no foreign equity restrictions, no foreign currency restriction with full repatriation of profits and capital, zero income tax on stored transit goods and re-export, zero custom duties, discounts on handling fees for transit goods, and handling costs for containers exported from ASEX, and customs duty exemptions on vehicles.
Jordan also provides a focal point for access to global markets through a range of free trade agreements, including the Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement with 17 Arab nations, the Association Agreement with the European Union, agreements with the US, Singapore, and the European Free Trade Association, and a Preferential Trade Agreement with the UK. Jordan has also been a member of the World Trade Organization since 2000.

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