Tharwat Almasalha

COMMISSIONER OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND INVESTMENT OF THE PETRA

DEVELOPMENT TOURISM REGION AUTHORITY

Jordan 2016  I  Tourism  I  Interview

BIOGRAPHY With a bachelor and master’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Phd in Land, Water and Environment, he has worked in Housing & Engineering Directorates in Jordan’s army, former professor at Mu’tah University and Private Essra University. retired as rank of Colonel.

OUR AIM IS TO DIVERSIFY OUR TOURISM PRODUCT AND EXPERIENCES TO ATTRACT DOMESTIC, ARAB AND INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS TO THE REGION.

IN YOU OPINION, WHAT ARE THE MOST ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN PETRA?

There are a variety of investment opportunities available in the Petra region. The Master Plan 2015-2030 launched by Petra Development Tourism Region Authority aims to increase the number of tourists to around 1.5 to 2 million tourists annually, therefore, there is a need to increase the available number of rooms in Petra Region from the 2,200 currently available to about 7,000 rooms to meet the future demand.

 

Petra Development Tourism Region Authority prepared an investment map for the region which includes 25 investment projects and other opportunities that have been spatially distributed to all areas in the region to ensure sharing the development’s benefits to all the communities in the Petra region.

 

Petra Development Tourism Region Authority is also working on the development of the Archeological Park with an area of 270 km2 or about 30% of the area of the whole Petra Region. The area contains attractive development opportunities and we are preparing a plan focused on sustainability and diversification of the experience to visitors so that they can visit the archaeological site without negatively affecting it.

 

Our aim is to diversify our tourism product and experiences to attract domestic, Arab and international tourists to the region. Petra region accounts for more than 85% of Jordan’s tourism visits.

WHAT KIND OF INCENTIVES DOES PDTRA OFFERS TO FOREIGN INVESTORS?

The PDTRA Law offers many advantages and incentives for investments in the Petra Region. Through the law, investors are granted the same privileges than other Development Zones in the Kingdom as described in Jordan Investment Law.

 

Investors are exempted from taxes except 7% sales tax, 5% income tax for any investment project and general taxes are reduced to zero on good services that are purchased or imported for operating purposes for the registered companies within the region.

 

Investors will also benefit from sales tax exemption on forklifts and vehicles used for the transportation of 10 or more employees from and to work under the rules issued for the purpose as well as full repatriation of profits and capital, smooth registration and licensing procedures and no restrictions on transferable foreign currency and capital.

 

WITH A GROWING NUMBER OF TOURISTS, WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING THE REGION’S INFRASTRUCTURE?

PDTRA will act responsibly in every possible way to protect the archaeological, cultural and natural treasures of the area and to foster and maintain development in a sustainable way. At the same time the PDTRA will always act in the best interest of the people of the region and will strive for social equality and equal opportunities for all citizens of the region alike.

 

PDTRA is working to develop infrastructure in the region by working on several issues. We are preparing the Land Use Maps specified in the master plan for the Region which outlines the different land uses and identify tourism investment areas such as hotels, resorts and others.

 

A buffer zone area around the archeological site have also been prepared to protect the site while allowing for ecotourism investment opportunities which are environmentally friendly taking in consideration the sensitivity of the archaeological park. Many infrastructure projects in the region were launched so that the region can benefit from continuous development and investments.

 

PDTRA is working on a transportation plan and traffic solutions in the region which is one of the outcomes of the master plan to create an efficient transportation system for visitors to the region from the moment they arrive, through their visit to the archaeological park and to reach their resorts or hotels.