AD Ports Group workshop focuses on the Red Sea ecosystem


The workshop explored the latest research on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea conducted by New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Marine Science Station (MSS), an inter-university research institute run by the University of Jordan and the University of Yarmouk.

It was attended by the Department of Environment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and professors from the MSS.

Through field assessments and extensive research, AD Ports Group seeks to understand the marine ecology of the Red Sea and how infrastructure could enhance marine biodiversity in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Mitigation of the impact of developments including the Aqaba cruise terminal

This underscores AD Ports Group’s commitment to protecting marine life in Aqaba and mitigating the environmental impact of coastal developments, including its Aqaba cruise terminal. This facility is one of five strategic mega-projects agreed with Aqaba Development Corp. in December 2021 to advance the coastal city’s tourism, logistics, transport and digital infrastructure sectors.

As part of the process, AD Ports Group is collaborating with local institutions, namely ASEZA and MSS, to access relevant research on the Red Sea.

“Conducting sustainable and environmentally friendly operations where our projects are located is at the forefront of our priorities,” said David Gatward, Director of Engineering and Technical Services, AD Ports Group. “For this reason, the NYUAD-MSS-ASEZA Collaborative Capacity Building Workshop is an essential learning exercise that will guide how we design, build and operate ports and marinas. It also facilitates close collaboration with our local partners, raises awareness of the Red Sea’s remarkable coral reef system and ensures the preservation of these biologically and economically valuable resources.

“Combining global best practices for coral relocation with the successful Khalifa Port project,” continued Gatward, “our team of experts is ready to build the capacity of local cadres and equip them with methods and techniques pioneering and innovative ways to safeguard Aqaba’s marine wildlife ecosystems for future generations.’

Home to thriving marine life

“The Gulf of Aqaba is home to thriving marine life with hundreds of species of coral and fish inhabiting its waters,” said Dr. John A. Burt, Environmental Studies Program Leader and Associate Professor of Biology, NYUAD .

“Creating an environment where this marine life can continue to survive, if not thrive, as Aqaba’s coastal development develops is paramount. Our recent visit gave us an excellent opportunity to assess the marine ecology of the Red Sea first hand, as well as to meet local specialists to share our experiences in the Persian Gulf and gather information specific to the Red Sea that will support conservation and sustainable development. forward.”

In addition to Aqaba Cruise Terminal, a world-class facility for international cruise passengers wishing to visit Jordan, particularly Aqaba, Petra and Wadi Rum, AD Ports Group’s strategic agreements with Aqaba Development Corp. include Marsa Zayed, Maqta Ayla for the development and operation of an advanced port community system, the multipurpose port of Aqaba and the rehabilitation of King Hussein International Airport.

All aim to help position Aqaba as a major regional destination and create jobs, investment and economic development.


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