(MENAFN - Jordan Times) His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday checked on the progress of investment projects in Aqaba, stressing his support for investors and the need for a real partnership between the private and the public sectors.
During the visit to Aqaba, he laid the cornerstone for the new port in the southern part of the city, a Royal Court statement said.
The first stage of the port project, to be set up at a cost of JD200 million, will provide logistic facilities and bring up the port's handling capacity, in accordance with international standards, thus turning Aqaba Port into a regional maritime hub.
Also yesterday, the King checked on the progress of work at the Ayla Oasis tourist project on the northern shores of the city and the Saraya Aqaba project, which has been put on hold recently due to financing problems.
At the site of Saraya, the King was briefed by the company's chairman, Ali Kolaghassi, on the steps the company will take to complete the project, which entails the development of 634,000 square metres at a cost of around 1 billion.
The project will be relaunched before the end of this year, according to Saud El Srour, the company's director. The firm's board will convene this month to raise its capital to JD300 million, Srour added.
At the site of the Ayla Oasis project, King Abdullah was briefed by the company's CEO, Sahil Doudin, on the progress of work.
The Ayla Development project consists of lagoons with a total area of 750,000 sq.m. and the project is expected to add around 17 kilometres of shoreline to the port city of Aqaba.
The first stage of the project, including infrastructure works, costs around JD450 million, of which JD250 million has already been spent on the project.
During a meeting with local, Arab and foreign investors, the King listened to their views on investment conditions in the region, the challenges facing them, and their proposals on the best means to overcome these challenges.
At the meeting, attended by Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, the King stressed the need to eliminate all obstacles facing investors and build up the partnership between the public and the private sectors. He also urged investors to promote Aqaba as a tourism attraction and an investment hub that enjoys a high level of competitiveness.
The investors attending the meeting represented real estate, logistics, ports, maritime transport and tourism, and industrial sectors.