King visits Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority
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His Majesty King Abdullah II on Thursday was updated on achievements of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) over 2008 as well as future ventures in this southern city. The King, who chaired ASEZA Commission Board meeting , stressed need to exert further efforts to attract more foreign investments and proceed with ambitious tourism projects. ASEZA's Chief Commissioner, Hosni Abu Ghaida, updated the King on the authority's accomplishments in attracting investments and to ensure involvement of the local community into its overall development scheme. Abu Ghaida noted Aqaba was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2011and this achievement needs concerted efforts by all concerned institutions to take advantage of this new development. Abu Ghaida added ASEZA has undertaken an enormous effort to promote Aqaba as a world tourist destination and underlined a new media campaign has been launched to market not only Aqaba, but Wadi Rum and the ancient city of Petra in Europe. In 2008, he added, the number of tourists flocking to Aqaba exceeded 442 thousand as ferry tourist service was upgraded. Abu Ghadia said investment ventures signed last year included an Aqaba port development scheme, construction of the Aqaba oasis and a tourism resort as well as building two universities in this city. Those projects, he said, will be carried out over the next ten years at an estimated cost of over $14 billion.

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