“The tourism development zones in Jordan provide an excellent opportunity for international investors to join the establishment of global tourism destinations in the country, in light of the lucrative investment incentives provided by the government,” says Arwa Hyari, CEO of Jordan Free & Development Zones Group.
Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Hyari.
Can you tell us about the Dead Sea Development Zone?
The eastern shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan is truly one of the most attractive natural and spiritual sites in the world, where a new network of roads, hotels and archaeological sites is gathered. It lies about 423 metre below the sea level and is thus the lowest point on earth. Nowadays, it attracts tourists from all around the world as it attracted kings, emperors, merchants and prophets in the past.
The unique attraction of Dead Sea for global tourists lies in the fact that it is not only the lowest point on earth but also the largest natural spa for the unique healing minerals it offers and for providing the highest percentages of natural oxygen.
Where is the Dead Sea Development Zone located?
The Dead Sea Development Zone is around 55km away from Jordan's capital, Amman and is located on the shores of the Dead Sea, which are considered one of the most attractive and historic areas in the world.
What is the role of Jordan Free & Development Zones (JFDZ)?
The Jordan Free & Development Zones undertakes the development of the zone within a master plan that depends on rehabilitating the areas under its responsibility according to a well-studied time plan. In that zone, this chain also includes the existing projects on the shore of the Dead Sea as interacting parts within the new development chain.
Can you describe one of the group’s projects in the development zone?
One of the most important parts of the Dead Sea Development Zone is the Corniche District or the sea promenade. Located in the northern part of the Dead Sea and extending 2.1km, it is designated for small and medium-sized investments, with a total of sixty investment opportunities with land areas varying between one and 17 dunams (1 dunam is equal to 900 square metres). Plots for investment opportunities were defined and distributed in a way that meet the aspirations of domestic tourism and the requirements of investors, especially local investors, in terms of areas and uses, so that investments are distributed gradually in line with programmes for designing and establishing infrastructure services.
Can you tell us about the kind of Investment opportunities that the group offers?
The Dead Sea Development Zone attracts more than 200 investment opportunities in the following sectors: construction and development of 3-star hotels; served villas and hotel apartments; therapeutic and spa resorts, health clubs, treatment and rehabilitation centres; construction and development of 4-star and 5-star international hotels (on limited plots of land with large areas); restaurants and cafés; multi-use projects (including hotels, serviced hotel apartments, shops and restaurants); stores and leisure facilities; and boutique hotels
What are the other facilities the group provides to investors?
JFDZ has put forward an incentive offer for investment in the zone, which includes reducing the annual rent allowance up to (50 per cent), in addition to facilities regarding payment terms, the terms of implementation and the timetable for completing the project.
Ajloun represents the highest location in Jordan and hosts the first cable car project, which offers diversified natural landscapes of gorgeous mountains and forests. Can you tell us more about the project?
The cable car project (Telfrik) in Ajloun Governorate is considered one of the pioneering national projects that has received sublime royal patronage with the aim of contributing to the sustainable development of Ajloun Governorate and highlighting it as a distinct tourism destination with its scenic landscapes and monuments that blend originality and modernity.
The cable car project (Telfrik) in Ajloun will be about 2.5km long and has about 40 trolleys, which can be increased to 60, each accommodating up to 8 people.
Can you describe the investment opportunities in Al Suwan Development Zone and the role of JFDZ?
JFDZ took upon itself the responsibility of developing Al Suwan Development Zone by forming the first nucleus of the zone in particular and Ajloun governorate in general.
And that is through the establishment of the Ajloun cable car project, in addition to all the support services and projects associated with it, including the cable car station, the restaurant, the café and some shops in plot No. 36, and the market to market seasonal local products from agricultural and handicraft production, the restaurant and some shops in plot No. 43 as a project stimulating investment in the region, while JFDZ will provide the rest of the business opportunities, which include the hotel and conference centre in plot No. 36, and the eco-lodge in plot No. 86 with its affiliate components to partner with the private sector as feasible investment opportunities.