JORDAN PROJECTS FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

Jordan 2019 | AQABA | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Marwan Shennara, COO of Jordan Projects for Tourism Development (JPTD).

Marwan Shennara

What are the most recent developments and upcoming plans for Tala Bay, the flagship project of JPTD?

We started the development of Tala Bay in 2002, and by 2005 the beautiful Tala Bay residence was ready to welcome guests and owners. And upon completion of this project in 2016, Tala Bay offers apartments, villas, chalets, and cabanas and is considered to be the only gated community on the Red Sea shores in Aqaba that is fully operating. By 2008, we had the first functioning property, a five-star hotel with the largest private beachfront in Aqaba and 336 rooms. The second property was the four-star Marina Plaza, with 266 rooms. The future plans are to add another 2,000 hotel rooms to Aqaba.

Within tourism, what specific sub-segments need to be further developed?

We need to evaluate and improve the infrastructure in Aqaba, specifically land transport and public transportation because these are essential factors for tourism and development in Aqaba. Developing the Aqaba center itself and enriching it with other outlets and commercial areas is really important for Aqaba, which is still considered to be small in comparison to other destinations like Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Investment in having institutes and universities train people in the tourism sector is essential for Aqaba's development. The potential is huge because there are large tracts of lands that are still empty and need development. For example, we have been approached by a French institute that wants to build a school and train people in Aqaba. Tala Bay owns a large piece of land that we want to utilize in order to best help Aqaba's development. ✖