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KING ABDULLAH OPENS NEW QUEEN ALIA AIRPORT TERMINAL!
AMMAN - His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday opened the Queen Alia International Airport's (QAIA) new passenger terminal.
His Majesty inaugurated the terminal during a ceremony at the airport in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania, senior officials, and diplomats. Also Thursday, the King met with Jin-Yong Cai, Chief Executive and Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and commended the corporation's partnership with several Jordanian companies to help the country implement its development goals.
King Abdullah also lauded the IFC's contribution in financing the QAIA expansion project, a Royal Court statement said.
The IFC is the investment arm of the World Bank; so far, it has contributed around $1 billion to projects implemented in the Kingdom.
Planning Minister Jafar Hassan also met with the IFC official and reviewed plans to increase IFC investments in the Kingdom.During the inauguration ceremony on Thursday, Transport Minister Alaa Batayneh said the new terminal was poised to become the new gateway to Jordan, highlighting its role in boosting the country's economy and strengthening commercial exchange."The old terminal is no longer capable of meeting the rising demand and turnout by passengers... opening the new terminal is a milestone for Jordan and will help meet passengers' requirements," said the minister.
The new 103,000-square-metre terminal can handle 12 million passengers annually, compared with the old terminal's 3.5 million-passenger capacity, according to the Airport International Group (AIG). The number of gates will be developed gradually to meet demand towards the 12 million passenger target.In the terminal's first phase, seven new contact stands and one temporary remote boarding lounge, will come into operation, serving 7 million passengers. "Additionally, demolishing the airport's [old] terminal will trigger another phase of the expansion plan, catapulting the total capacity to 9 million passengers per year," according to the AIG, which is the consortium responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of the airport.
Batayneh noted that the daily flight capacity at the airport will increase from 110 in 2006 to a projected 180 in 2018, while the number of destinations from and to the airport rose from 40 in 2006 to 61 in 2012. He said AIG has so far invested JD500 million in developing the airport, adding that the total cost of investment in the project will reach JD700 million once the development has been finalised and the capacity of the terminal has been increased.
AIG Chairman Nazim Al Qudsi said the group will launch a fund to implement a series of initiatives to benefit the local community.
He added that AIG will send 100 beneficiaries of Al Aman Fund for the Future of the Orphans to umra (the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) next week.
The terminal was designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster, who designed the new Wembley Stadium in London, among other international landmarks.The new terminal's roof design is inspired by bedouin tents and is composed of 127 concrete domes.There are 64 check-in counters at the new building and six conveyor belts in the baggage claim area.Under a build, operate and transfer deal signed with the AIG in 2007, the government will gain ownership of the airport after 25 years, and receives 54.4 per cent of revenues for the first six years and 54.6 per cent of gross revenues for the remainder of the term.
JORDAN'S TOURISM HORIZONS CONTINUE TO EXPAND: ISTANBUL-AQABA ROUTE!
Amman - Thanks to the efforts of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) and USAID Jordan Tourism Development Project, Jordan's tourism is about to gain a significant boost from increased direct flights between Aqaba and Istanbul. The new route gives millions of visitors direct access to Jordan's southern port along with a superb location to three of the country's key tourism attractions.
"The launch of Turkish Airlines Aqaba flights marks a historic moment for Aqaba; the first foreign international network carrier to make scheduled flights to Aqaba airport. Tremendous opportunities for tourism trade for Aqaba will emerge and be utilized through the Turkish Airlines network of 97 countries and 215 cities. Tourists and business men will have the convenience to travel directly to and from Aqaba from all around the world. With support of ASEZA, JTB, USAID and representatives of the tourism industry we will help develop tourism and trade in Aqaba," said Sedat Orman, Turkish Airlines General for Aqaba.
Jordan's tourism sector, including tour operators and hotel representatives, received first-hand information about how this will impact tourism in Jordan and the sector can capitalize on the new route to grow business. The new route connects to key source markets for Jordan, including Turkey and countries in South America and Scandinavia, both of which were recently identified by Jordan's sector as promising potential markets to be tapped into. Increasing the number of visitors to Jordan can further boost the positive impact of tourism on the country's economy.
Photo: The later Professor Meghji of Tanzania plants tree at Peace Park during Peace Throgh Tourism Conference in Jordan, o=rganized by ATA- IIPT.. From Africa Travel Magazine Archives
THOUSANDS 'GATHER AT THE RIVER' FOR EPIPHANY CELEBRATIONS
Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan - Biblical birthplace of Christianity - will be setting for ceremonies honoring Jesus' baptism; Orthodox, Protestants and Catholics to celebrate together On the banks of the Jordan River in this peaceful settlement &endash; one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the last century, identified as the biblical location where John the Baptist lived, preached and baptized &endash; several thousand Christian faithful will gather on Friday, Jan. 12 to commemorate the baptism of Jesus. Ceremonies have only been possible here within the last decade, when land mines were cleared and excavations began following the peace treaty with neighboring Israel in 1994. Now, local followers join with pilgrims from around the world to continue the tradition of old to gather at the holy spot where Jesus was revealed as the Light of the World. Continued
Images of the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, carved from the rock over a thousand years ago, have long been most people's first impression of Jordan. But while Petra is indeed one of the most stunning attractions in the Middle East, Jordan offers so much more for the modern traveller.
A well-travelled bridge between sea and desert, east and west, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrasts, from the Jordan Valley, fertile, ever changing, to the remote desert canyons, immense and still. Visitors can explore splendid desert castles, gaze in awe at the haunting wilderness of Wadi Rum, or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea.
HISTORY & CULTURE
There is no mistaking the fact that Jordan is a Kingdom steeped in history and culture. From the moment you arrive, you get a sense of its rich heritage, all around are remnants of ancient civilizations long since past, yet they still remain, stamped into the very fabric of this amazing Kingdom and etched into the soul of the people who live here.
JORDAN TOURISM BOARD
Bayan Holding Company announced the official opening of the state-of-the-art Royal Village head office and sales centre and unveiled the final master plan and model for the landmark development, located in the centre of Amman. This key milestone follows the laying of the foundation stone for Royal Village under the patronage of and in the presence of King Abdullah II in November 2005.
A key component of the $1.25billion Royal Metropolis project in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Royal Village, is one of the most technologically advanced and energy-friendly gated residential communities. Royal Village is being promoted by Bayan Holding Company, a joint venture between Gulf Finance House (GFH), Kuwait Finance & Investment Company (KFIC) and its clients, with a capital of more than $410 million.
The new on-site Royal Village head office was officially opened at a high-profile formal ceremony under the patronage of Dr. Marouf Al Bakhit, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Jordan, and was attended by Minister of Economy and Trade, Sharif Al Zu'bi, senior dignitaries, VVIPs, government officials, Bayan Holding Company management, clients, investors and media.
Esam Janahi, Chairman of Bayan Holding Company and Chief Executive Officer and board member of GFH, said: "The opening of the Royal Village head office marks a major milestone in the ongoing progress of the project. "
In addition to the head office, the new on-site state-of-the-art Sales Centre will serve as a fully integrated sales and support facility for the developers.
Consisting of audio-visual and model display areas, it will be equipped to host guests, investors, events, press conferences, meetings, and will facilitate site tours.
Janahi added: "Through Royal Village, we aim at creating a well designed, secure and luxurious environment which will appeal to individuals seeking to identify with an exclusive and fashionable lifestyle. Thus, with Royal Village opening for sales, GCC Nationals and residents will have the opportunity to own a second home in Jordan. Additionally, we envisage and are confident of a strong response for this project from high net worth individuals, especially Jordanians living overseas who are keen to invest in their home country."
Abdul Rahman Al-Saeed, board member of Bayan Holding Company and Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KFIC said: "Royal Village is a unique development that will complement the efforts of the Kingdom of Jordan, under the capable leadership of King Abdullah II and with the support of Dr. Marouf Al Bakhit, the Prime Minister, to optimally leverage the country's strengths and positively contribute to accelerating its economic growth."
Key facilities and amenities at Royal Village will include a club house, parks, landscaped gardens, a shopping mall, a multi-screen cinema theatre, tennis courts, state-of-the-art infrastructure, energy efficient solar solutions, fibre-optic cabling and a central gas distribution network amongst others.