The project that was talked about yesterday was unveiled Saturday: A 5 Billion dollar new city north of Aqaba. What’s interesting in the announcement is that this development seems to be more ‘middle class’, stressing the positive social effect of the project. Also note the ‘3 to 5 star hotel’ bit. Projects on the beach all seem to be going in the super-luxury direction. This project sounds like an attempt to balance things. I read elsewhere that the project is supposed to “strengthen people’s ties to Aqaba”, encouraging them to settle there.
In any case, this is big news. If this materializes, Aqaba will really be on it’s way to make waves in the region.
I have not seen a ‘artist’s impression’ of the new project on the net. But I guess there will be one soon enough.
This is what the Jordan News Agency Petra had to say about it:
Amman, Apr. 8 (Petra) A U.S. $5 billion integrated development city project has been launched in Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) by the holding Horizon company for development in partnership with ASEZA.”Our partnership with ASEZA to launch this giant project of a model city embodies interaction of great expertise and promote the principle of joint ownership to reflect the distinguished feature of foreign investment in Aqaba,” said Horizon Board Chairman Baha’aeddine al-Hariri.
The positive socio-economic results of this project will help realize Aqaba objectives for prosperity and progress, Hariri added in a press conference on Saturday. The project is located on a 13.5 million square meters plot of land in the northern part of Aqaba about 11 kms away from the Red Sea shore. It will be completed in several stages within a period of 10 years and is expected to create 50,000 jobs. The project will help other sectors to prosper as it includes banks, a central commercial area, recreation and cultural centers, light industries complexes, villas and multistory buildings overlooking an artificial lake, public parks, three to five star hotels and many other service facilities. “We are moving forward to create ASEZA as a tour and business attraction,” said ASEZA President Nader al-Thahabi.