Hamza Haj Hassan
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE JORDAN DEVELOPMENT ZONES COMPANY
Jordan 2016 I Tourism I Interview
BIOGRAPHY With a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering by the University of Amman, he has worked at Aqaba Development Corporation, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh and the Prime Ministry’s managing investor relations and inter-governmental coordination for mega projects.
WITHIN THE DEAD SEA DEVELOPMENT AREA, THERE ARE VARIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE ALONGSIDE THE CORNICHE DISTRICT AND THE NORTH-EASTERN SHORE OF THE DEAD SEA.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN PRIORITIES CURRENTLY?
The Dead Sea Master Plan was launched in 2011 and created a series of interconnected and publicly accessible touristic districts, each with its own activity node.
On the logistics side, a public transportation network has been planned to connect the districts with serviced public beaches and parks as well as other recreational activities. The newly conceived Corniche District will be an attractive public destination offering over 60 investment opportunities on a two-kilometer long stretch of landscaped promenade filled with housing, hotels, restaurants, plazas and sustainable green spaces along the Dead Sea shore.
JDZ has recently tendered and is in the process of constructing the entire infrastructure works necessary to facilitate the Corniche District with electricity, water and piping available to all investment plots. In addition to the Master Plan and infrastructure execution, JDZ currently offers investors with flexible and diverse investment contracts with the option to buy or lease from 30 to 90 year lease contracts, as well as a partnership model to serve investors seeking joint ventures.
Other business opportunities open to investors include BOT for renewable energy, waste management, a water treatment plant, and mixed-use real estate opportunities. In 2016, JDZ is aiming to accomplish and prioritize new objectives that include a serviced public beach, a well-organized kiosk market servicing visitors of the Dead Sea and a mixed-use project that will include a trauma center with various outlets servicing the existing hotel district.
On the CSR level, JDZ is focusing more on providing assistance to the local community through work-training programs to feed the local hotel job market, awarding hospitality scholarships, supporting the orphanage with financial assistance and to further develop the infrastructure of Suwaimeh village in the Dead Sea.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTORS?
Within the Dead Sea Development Area, there are various business opportunities available alongside the Corniche District and the north-eastern shore of the Dead Sea. These business opportunities vary in investment size and type depending on the investor preference, expertise and appetite, such as: four and five-star hotels and resorts, retail and mixed-use developments, serviced apartments, restaurants, cafés, spas, health centers, eco-lodges, recreational facilities and conference centers.
Larger land plots are also available for investors interested in establishing mega resorts alongside the existing hotel district. The Dead Sea Development Zone provides investors with several attractive start-up incentives, such as: exemption from sales tax, custom duties, social services and 5% corporate income tax, including full ownership of their business investment.
HOW CAN THE DEAD SEA DEVELOP ITS FULL POTENTIAL FOR BECOMING A CENTER FOR MEETINGS, INCENTIVES, CONFERENCES AND EVENTS?
Jordan and the Dead Sea are now capable and well-prepared to host MICE events at the highest standards. Thanks to the modern infrastructure available, the Dead Sea has become a favorable destination for hosting the most prestigious meetings and events, with the newly refurbished Queen Alia International Airport being easily accessible to both Amman and the Dead Sea.
The King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center managed by Hilton in the Dead Sea offers its visitors the biggest convention center in Jordan with a comfortable hotel room capacity to welcome 3000 people. Development plans within the coming 5 years will see this number rise to 6000 people. The Convention center includes 27 room options for events and meetings, multimedia projectors, video-conferencing, excellent sound equipment and translation services.
King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center is currently working with the neighboring hotels in the Dead Sea Area and Amman under the Jordan Tourism Board to present Jordan and the Dead Sea as a unique destination to host the finest international MICE events.