Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018

Aqaba joint venture invests $629 million in expansion


(By Kate Carlisle)
Rome, June 13 - Jordan's Red Sea development Aqaba
- a liberalized, low-tax, duty-free area that is scaling up the
ladder of business and leisure hubs - is ready to get started
expanding its hospitality features, said developers Saraya Aqaba
on Thursday.
A $629-million contract for an international joint venture
led by Arabtec Holding PJSC (Arabtec) was signed by Saraya Aqaba
Real Estate Development Company, the Consolidated Contractors
Company (CCC) and Drake and Scull Construction LLC (DSC), three
key players in the local, regional, and international
construction industry.
Saraya Chairman Ali Hassan Kolaghassi and members of the
Board of Saraya Aqaba attended the signing ceremony when the
contract was signed by General Manager of Saraya Aqaba Soud
Soror, Regional Managing Director of Arabtec in Jordan Samer
Abu-Hijleh, Regional Managing Director of CCC in the UAE Walid
Salman and Managing Director of Drake and Scull Construction
Saleh Muradweij.
The strategic alliance among the three companies is based
on Equal Joint Venture (EJV) terms, Saraya said.
"The signing of this contract coincides with the
anniversary of the royal accession to the throne. In this
occasion, we dedicate this achievement to His Majesty King
Abdullah II as a realization of his greater vision for the Aqaba
Special Economic Zone," Saraya's Kolaghassi told ANSA.
The burgeoning autonomous area in Aqaba is poised to bloom
much as the super-chic northeastern Sardinian resort of Porto
Cervo has over the last three decades.
Just a stone's throw away from the Petra archeological
site and Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon, the
development for business travellers and tourists alike
gracefully combines Mediterranean charm and Middle Eastern
"This contract is indeed a major milestone towards
achieving Saraya Aqaba's vision and aspirations. It also
reflects our unequivocal commitment to making a genuine
contribution to the development of Aqaba and the Kingdom at
large, through boosting economic activity and tourism,"
Kolaghassi said.
Arabtec Managing Director and CEO Hasan Abdullah Ismaik
emphasised that the "vital project is one of Jordan's largest in
the tourism sector".
"The three companies, who are part of the joint venture,
are experts in their respective fields, with a strong track
record of high-quality and timely delivery to global standards.
We are fully committed to making this project a success for
Aqaba and for Jordan," Ismaik said.
"The project will also provide significant opportunities to
engage with local suppliers and contractors to further support
the growth of Jordan's construction and economic sectors
overall," Ismaik added.
The process to select the contractors has "been long," Soud
Soror, general manager of Saraya Aqaba said.
"We invited a number of internationally accredited
contractors to tender for the project. In addition, we managed
to raise the company's capital, propelling Saraya Aqaba to the
ranks of the largest corporations in Jordan by market
capitalization," Soror said.
He added that Saraya had promised to make a "substantial
capital increase, and to select a highly qualified contractor
who can deliver the work to the specified terms of quality and
time line and we have delivered that promise".
"Now it's time for hard work on the ground in order to
translate our vision to a living reality knowing that this
project will provide more than 3,000 jobs during the
construction phase in addition to more than 1,500 jobs once it
is operational, hopefully in early 2016," Soror emphasized.
Phase one of the project will be delivered within 28 months
from the date of signing the contract.
It will include four international hotels managed by
Jumeirah International, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide,
as well as beach club Souk Saraya, offices, a convention center
and Wild Wadi water park managed by Jumeirah International.
The plans also include residential units, further
infrastructure, utility buildings and staff accommodation.

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