"The Aqaba Special Economic Zone is a world class Red Sea business hub and leisure
destination enhancing the quality of life and prosperity of the community through
sustainable development and a driving force for the economic growth of Jordan" THE AQABA SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (ASEZ)
YOUR GATEWAY TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone is a major duty-free economic development node for
tourism, recreational services, professional services, multi-modal transportation, and
value-added industries in the Middle East. Aqaba offers global business opportunities in a
competitive location with a high-quality lifestyle.
The Government of Jordan has embarked on an aggressive strategy to position Jordan
within the global economy. A key initiative within this strategy is the establishment of
the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) as a liberalized, low-tax, duty-free, and multi-
sector development area. A simplified business environment has been designed with
streamlined administrative systems to attract investment and maximize private sector
participation in all aspects of the Zone operations and development.
The historic city of Aqaba – Jordan’s sole seaport – is located on the Red Sea. The ASEZ
covers approximately 375km² and includes the land borders of Saudi Arabia and Israel,
extending to the territorial waters of Egypt. The ASEZ, which incorporates the City of
Aqaba with a population of approximately 90,000 people, has all the physical and social
infrastructure and utilities required to serve a flourishing city. A STRATEGIC CHOICE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT
Strategically situated at the crossroads of four countries and three continents and
encompassing Jordan’s entire coastline, the ASEZ is served by both a deep-water seaport
and an International Airport (one of three airports in Jordan) accommodating all classes
of commercial and passenger aircrafts.
A network of modern highways connects Aqaba to the surrounding region. Jordan’s
internal highway system also allows for fast, safe, and reliable freight and passenger
transport throughout the country. Planned and existing road and rail networks further
enhance accessibility, creating a true multi-modal transport hub.
Aqaba is nestled at the base of dramatic mountains expressing the contrast between the
sea and the desert. Moreover, the coastal landscape shelters the extraordinary coral reefs
of the Red Sea. This unique environment necessitated the adoption of a comprehensive
Master Plan that includes zoning and building regulations to ensure environmentally
sustainable development while preserving Aqaba’s distinguishing character as a town of
Aqaba offers unique tourism and cultural experiences to the visitor, investor, and resident
alike. It is the only "living City" on the Red Sea with more than 5,500 years of history.
Aqaba also forms an integral part of Jordan’s Golden Tourism Triangle, highlighting the
natural and man-made wonders of Petra, the magnificent desert and cliffs of Wadi Rum,
and the stunning beaches and coral reefs of Aqaba. In short, Aqaba’s natural
endowments make it an attractive destination for tourism, thus an ideal location for
investment in this sector.
The ASEZ offers businesses and residents a planned environment consisting of high-
quality core infrastructure, facilities, and support services–all to international standards.
Well-developed utility services are readily available in the ASEZ. Electricity is provided
from a 600 MW thermal power station and a national grid. Water is abundantly supplied
from nearby aquifers, with expansion plans for desalination plants to meet future
demands. Additionally, the Aqaba wastewater treatment plant is currently being
expanded, and treated water is available for industrial uses, in addition to landscaping
Natural gas is currently being supplied to Aqaba through a 278 Kilometer pipeline from
El-Arish, Egypt to Aqaba, Jordan. The pipeline will carry 10 billion cubic meters of gas
annually to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. This will meet the ASEZA’s domestic and
Businesses locating in Aqaba will have access to the Fiber-Optic Link around the Globe
(FLAG) that passes through the ASEZ. Furthermore, advanced telecommunication
services are available at regionally competitive rates.
ASEZA Communications: High-Tech Wireless Network. As part of its world-class
infrastructure and services to investors, ASEZA has deployed a highly flexible Internet
and telecommunications connectivity solution for its various business units across the
Zone. This network provides timely access to business applications and information
systems supporting effective intra-departmental communications that enable the efficient
provision of one-stop-shop services to clients and businesses operating in the Zone.
Land in Aqaba remains available for development and plans to rehabilitate the existing
nodes will provide property developers with opportunities for technology parks, tourism
developments, residential complexes, logistics and warehousing facilities, commercial
centers, and industrial parks.
Industries located in Aqaba benefit from Jordan’s preferential access, for products of
Jordanian origin, to WTO member states and numerous Arab Countries. Products
manufactured in Jordan enjoy duty-and quota-free access to the US market through the
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ), and to the
European Union through the Euro-Jordanian Association Agreement.
Locating in Aqaba offers businesses the distinct competitive advantage of having access
to one of the region’s most skilled, productive, and competitively paid labor forces.
Overall, Aqaba’s strategic location, infrastructure, unique natural and human assets,
broad market access, and business-friendly environment offers investors a springboard to
a variety of regional markets and the global economy. THE AQABA SPECIAL
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) is the statutory institution
empowered with regulatory, administrative, fiscal, and economic responsibilities for the
The ASEZ is governed by six ministerial-level Commissioners each responsible for a
major area of regulatory or operational activity. The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Law
simplifies all procedures, licenses, and approvals enabling the Authority to provide a
business-friendly environment from one single location in Aqaba.
ASEZA is deeply committed to maintaining Aqaba at the competitive forefront as an
international investment hub. ASEZA offers investors a streamlined investment
environment and encourages private sector participation in all aspects of the Zone's
development and operations. This ensures the provision of world-class infrastructure and
services to Aqaba's investors, residents, and visitors alike. ASEZA is Committed To Providing:
• A one-stop investment center that serves as single point of decision making in
order to facilitate business start-up and smooth operations.
• A world-class business environment that maximizes private sector participation in
a duty-free, tax advantaged, and continuously improving investment climate.
• A model approach to governance and environmentally sustainable development. ATTRACTIVE BUSINESS
• 5% flat tax on net business income, except banking, insurance, and land transport
services which are subject to prevailing Jordanian income tax.
• Exemption from sales tax on final consumption of goods and services, except for:
- A 7% sales tax limited to the final consumption of selected goods.
- A 7% sales tax on hotel, restaurant and car rental services.
- A special tax on alcohol and tobacco.
• No social services tax.
• No taxes on distribution of dividends and profits.
• No annual land and building taxes on utilized property. Duty-Free Imports:
• Exemption from custom duties and sales tax/VAT on all imports to the
ASEZ (except for motor vehicles, which will be exempted subject to a
special regulation). Market Access:
• Duty-free and quota-free access to manufactured products of Jordanian origin to
the largest consumer markets in the world- the United States and the European
• Preferential market access for products of Jordanian origin owing to:
- WTO membership and other trade agreements.
- Free trade protocols with numerous Arab countries.
• No restrictions on sales to the Jordanian customs territory, other than payments
of regular Jordanian national duties and taxes.
- To improve the quality of life for all community members
- To create, regulate and sustain a globally competitive investor friendly environment
- To optimize the efficient utilization of entrusted resources in harmony with the Master
Plan to internationally recognized practices
- To effect a transparent and accountable corporate structure, governance and culture that
synergizes the activities of the ASEZA team
• Streamlined and simplified business registration and licensing procedures,
through the ASEZA Investor One-Stop-Shop.
• No foreign equity restrictions on investment in tourism, industries, retail and
other commercial services.
• No restrictions on repatriation of capital and profits.
• No foreign currency restrictions. Labor and Immigration:
Through the ASEZA Investor One-Stop-Shop
• Simplified and liberal foreign work permits and visa regime.
• A project may employ up to 70% foreign workers. Land
• Land may be leased for a period of up to 50 years, renewable in special
• Land may be purchased for hotels, health, educational, residential, and
commercial buildings, including multi-use tourism complexes, warehouses and
public service facilities. In this case, a Land Transfer tax will be collected, 4% is
paid by seller and 6% is paid by buyer.
• Land maybe also purchased for industrial uses only in the Aqaba International
Industrial Estate (AIIE) MASTER PLAN AND VISION
The Aqaba of the future is envisioned as an oasis for commerce, a premium destination
for tourism, an incubator for modern technology, and a center for environmental research
Aqaba’s unique attributes necessitated the adoption of a comprehensive master plan by a
distinguished consortium of international experts to make this vision a reality. The plan
includes measures to ensure environmentally sustainable development and the
preservation of Aqaba’s distinguishing character as a town of historic importance.
The master plan is built around five development zones to ensure a predictable and
competitive environment for business ventures, quality lifestyle, and unspoiled natural
surroundings. MAIN DEVELOPMENT ZONES
The town of Aqaba will retain its presence as a coastal enclave-blending traditional and
contemporary forms. Development in the town will center around the corniche–a
continuous pedestrian promenade along the waterfront. A traditional Middle Eastern
Souk filled with local handicrafts, textiles, and the aromas of spices and incense will
provide enjoyable shopping for residents and tourists alike. The corniche - a destination
in and of itself - of the Main Port will include a lagoon resort community, beach hotel
district, and a public beach area in the palm grove. 2.The Port Areas
A retail and entertainment complex will center around Aqaba’s Inner Harbor - where
cruise ships and ferries will dock, and diners can enjoy a café on the waterfront. The
remainder of the Main Port will be transformed into a new urban, mixed-use waterfront
Port operations of the Main Port will be relocated to the Southern Industrial Zone, and
the container Port will be expanded as needed. 3.Coastal Zone
Private sector-led development is transforming Aqaba’s southern coast into a tourist
haven of long sandy beaches. Hotels and residential villas will stand at the base of the
mountains with the sea at their doorstep. SCUBA divers can submerge to the coral
gardens below the surface of the sea, with a marine science center helping protect the
beach and coastal areas.
A continuous pedestrian and bicycle trail will run the length of the coast for morning
rides or afternoon sunset strolls. 4.Southern Industrial Zone
A natural mountain buffer separates the coastal tourist area from the Southern Industrial
Zone. Port terminals will be expanded, and an emphasis will be placed on clean
operations of the power station and factory sites. 5. Airport Industrial Zone
The King Hussein International Airport, which is operating under the Open Sky policy
as of May 2003, lies on a large expanse of flat land north of the main town. The airport
will soon provide direct runway access to cargo, warehousing, and logistics operations.
The airport sits astride the Aqaba International Industrial Estate (AIIE), designated as
Qualifying Industrial Zone with duty-free and quota-free access to the U.S. market. The
AIIE is a privately managed initiative offering interested firms world class
infrastructure and amenities within a streamlined operating environment.
Land uses in the Zone include warehousing, logistics, distribution, light manufacturing,
hi-tech industries, showrooms, and smart-office complexes.
• Three, four and five star hotels and resorts
• Timeshare condominiums
• Theme and leisure parks
• Golf courses, marinas, and cruises
• Duty-free shopping malls and Souks
• Retirement villages
• Exhibitions and convention centers Industries:
• Agricultural chemicals and fertilizers
• Dead Sea cosmetics
• Electronics and electrical appliances
• Engineering workshops
• Automotive assembly
• Textiles and garments
• Food related industries Services:
1. Location-Based Services
• Cargo handling
• Aircraft overhaul and conversions
• Equipment storage and auctions
• Freight forwarding and integrated logistics
• Warehousing, cold storage, and transshipment
2. Professional Services:
• Engineering consulting
• Information Technology: software development data conversion, remote
processing, CAD/GIS digitizing, vectorizing, and medical transcription
• Call centers and claims processing
• Medical centers for long-term recovery and rehabilitation
• Conversion and repair of small vessels
• Printing and publishing: Arabic translation and offshore English production
• Internet service providers
3. Infrastructure and Land Development
• Real Estate development: industrial parks, technology parks, warehousing parks,
business incubators, and residential complexes
• Independent power providers
• Water desalination
4. Privatization Opportunities:
• Municipal services
• Selected port and airport operations
Business Development & Marketing Directorate
Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority
P.O. Box: 2565 Aqaba 77110, Jordan
Tel: + 962 3 203 5757/8
Fax: + 962 3 203 0912
- VISION STATEMENT
- A STRATEGIC CHOICE FOR YOUR INVESTMENT
- Mission Statement
- MASTER PLAN AND VISION
- MAIN DEVELOPMENT ZONES