The city lies at Jordan's southernmost point, on the Gulf of Aqaba lying at the tip of the Red Sea. Its strategic location is shown in the fact that it is located at the crossroads of the continents of Asia and Africa, while bordering Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Benefiting from its location and status as Jordan's special economic zone, Aqaba's economy is based on the tourism and port industry sectors. The economic growth in Aqaba is higher than the average economic growth in the country. Under the special economic zone status some investments and trades are exempted from taxation, as a result, new resorts, housing developments, and retail outlets are being constructed. New projects such as Tala Bay and Saraya al Aqaba are constructed aiming at providing high-end vacation and residential homes to locals and foreigners alike.
- Marsa Zayed a $10 billion is the largest mega mixed-use development project ever envisioned in both Jordan and the region. Marsa Zayed will host facilities including residential neighborhoods, commercial outlets and amenities, entertainment venues, financial and business facilities, and a number of hotels. Additionally, the property will feature marinas and a cruise ship terminal. Marsa Zayed will encompass 6.4 million square meters of built-up property.
- Saraya Aqaba, a $1.5 billion resort with a man made lagoon, luxury hotels, villas, and townhouses that will be completed by 2017.
- Ayla Oasis, a $1.5 billion resort around a man made lagoon with hotels, villas, an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman. It also has an Arabian Venice theme with apartment buildings built along canals only accessible by walkway or boat. This project will be completed by 2017.
- Tala Bay, Tala Bay was developed in a distinctive architectural style that blends Jordanian and regional architecture with total cost of US$680 million. Another distinguishing feature of this single community resort is its two-kilometer private sandy beach on the Red Sea.
- The Red Sea Astrarium (TRSA), the world's only Star Trek themed park, worth $1.5 billion will be completed by 2014. The park will span 184 acres (74 ha) will include "technologically advanced attractions, five-star accommodation, captivating theatrical productions," and night-time spectacles. The project will include four hotels and provide 500 job opportunities in the coastal city.
- Port relocation. Aqaba's current port will be relocated to the southernmost part of the province near the Saudi border. Its capacity will surpass that of the current port. The project costs $5 billion, and it will be completed by 2013.
- Aqaba will be connected by the national rail system which will be completed by 2013. The rail project will connect Aqaba with all Jordan's main cities and economic centers and several countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria.
- The Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) handled a record 587,530 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2008, an increase of 41.6% on the previous year. To accommodate the rise in trade on the back of the increasing popularity of container shipping and the stabilising political situation in Iraq, the Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC) has announced plans for a new port. The port relocation 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the south will cost an estimated $600m and will improve infrastructure, while freeing up space for development in the city. Plans for upgrading the King Hussein International Airport (KHIA) and the development of a logistics centre will also help position Aqaba as a regional hub for trade and transport.
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