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Press Release | 15-12-2019

Ayla: 2019 Overview

A year of development and achievements.

Ayla Oasis moves towards 2020 with confidence built on 15 years of hard work, initiatives and commitment to foundational values. During these years, Ayla achieved a modern, urban and national project that became a symbol of sustainable development, where architectural innovation mixes with the cultural, social and human structure.

Ayla became a beacon of modernisation and excellence, and a cornerstone of integrated development built on harmony between state-of-the-art technologies, contemporary designs, authenticity and legacy, with a commitment to national priorities and a high sense of responsibility towards the community.

2019 was a distinguished year in the life of Ayla, as it took a leap of development to become an active and lively community, mixing touristic and real-estate activities with entertainment and sports.

This positively reflected on the local community and economy, contributing to transform Aqaba into a hub for tourism, commerce and major events, and to enrich a behaviour of openness and tolerance to differences.

Achievements and General Scheme

In 2019, Ayla announced the completion of phase one by opening Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort offering 286 modern rooms and suites to be the second Hyatt hotel in Jordan.

After successfully delivering the keys of 150 Island Apartments to their owners, Ayla celebrated the new owners of 180 unique Golf Apartments near the waterfront, with their view of the 18-hole championship golf course designed by the legendary golfer Greg Norman.

Ayla also expanded its offerings in 2019 to include an integrated range of supporting services, providing its residents and guests with everything they need. Ayla signed agreements with innovative groups and Jordanian businesses to offer their retail services in the Marina Village, of those we name Akkawi Group, Rawhi Pharmacy, Eat Group “Deeritna”, Heroes, Melange coffee house, “Kalha”, Books@cafe, Hands Gifts and Events, and many more.


Tourism and Entertainment

Ayla supported both the efforts of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (Aseza) in attracting 1 million tourists to Aqaba, through the scheduled and charter flights from 12 European cities to Aqaba, in addition to cruise ships and the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in attracting 5 million tourists to Jordan. It did so by promoting its touristic facilities and attractions like the world-class golf course, beach clubs and Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort, and by organizing entertainment, sports and cultural events.

All of this affected the local economy and income resources of the local community.

Ayla also played a key role in increasing hotel occupancy in Aqaba, which reached a peak compared to previous seasons and hit a 90% mark during major events like Jordan Mixed Golf Tournament, which was the first tournament of its kind in the world, where 123 male and female golfers representing 26 countries competed for the same prize. In addition to an extraordinary musical event for the Arabic recording artist Amr Diab.

All of this came as an initiative by Ayla to promote the touristic product Aqaba offers through national and international promotional campaigns and events, and hosting local, regional and international major sports tournaments such as golf, running, swimming, cycling, triathlons and duathlons.


Major Sports Events

Since it launched its operations, Ayla contributed to the sustainability of touristic offerings in Aqaba by providing a platform for sports activities and events, especially water sports and golf.

From the 4th until the 6th of April 2019, Ayla organized the first-ever mixed golf tournament in the world, which had many sports and economic benefits, as 123 male and female golfers competed for three days on the same course under the eyes of hundreds of golf enthusiasts, influencers and media people.

In September 2019, 86 amateur and professional golfers from 24 nationalities participated in the Golf MENA Tour “The Journey to Jordan” as part of the MENA Tour golf tournament for the Middle East and North Africa.

Ayla ended the year by organizing the final tour of this tournament. All of these special events helped promote Aqaba’s unique touristic offerings among the sports community and placed Aqaba on the international golf map.

On a separate note, Ayla’s fourth continental Asia Triathlon Cup ASTC 2019 was a great success with the participation of hundreds of athletes from many countries.

Aqaba’s Ayla Asian Triathlon and Duathlon race is one of the tours of Asia’s Cup and the Asia Triathlon and Duathlon Championship.

As for the local sports activities, they ranged from Ayla’s Dead2Red Cycling Race from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, and Ayla’s Red Sea Half Marathon in collaboration with the Jordanian Marathons Association, to running, swimming and cycling races for adults and children.


Community Responsibility

Ayla never seized to adhere to its community responsibility strategy, resulting in measurable results whether in giving back from the development’s profits or empowering and including segments of the community with less income and actively contributing to the social, cultural and environmental change and activities.

It always believed in economic empowerment as a basic tool for solving two major problems, unemployment and poverty. Acting upon this belief, Ayla launched its initiative of an employment program to place 20 male and female students from local universities on a specialized career path every year, to build their capacities and provide them with quality experience to prepare them for the market, increase their knowledge and help them financially until they graduate.

Ayla celebrated the graduation of 300 students enrolled in the youth empowerment program in Aqaba and its surrounding communities, where they benefited from the different segments of the program like capacity building, awareness, life orientation and soft skills.

The program that was done in partnership with the Jordan River Foundation and executed by Queen Rania Center, held 28 training workshops for parents to help them understand what’s new and allow them to ensure a better lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Ayla continued its house-repair program that started in 2014, to repair and maintain tens of houses of underprivileged people in Aqaba, in its efforts to positively affect their lives under the slogan “you can turn their home into their paradise”. This program is carried out in collaboration with specialized national foundations.

Women empowerment is also on Ayla’s list of priorities, and in collaboration with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development, Ayla helped give tens of women from the local community, vocational training like home-made foods, soap making and weaving.

They were also trained on how to develop marketing plans, production lines and budgeting. All of this contributed to the economic empowerment of these women.

55% of Ayla’s community responsibility programs are dedicated to activities that empower women and help them become productive. Five years ago, Ayla started a collaboration with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development – Princess Basma Center for Development/Aqaba to build the capacity of training facilities, creating packaging lines and integrated marketing plans.


Sustainability and Nature Protection

Ayla continues to achieve its vision for Green development, preserving nature and keeping the environment safe by generating electricity through solar panels to power the pumps used to draw seawater into its lakes with a daily volume of 1 million cubic meters.

The generated electricity is also used to desalinate seawater to be used in watering the golf course and to cover the electricity needed for services with 6 megawatts of clean energy.

Ayla also carries out programs to protect natural resources, it sponsors 1700 coral reefs, provides a suitable environment for fish and sea life, and hosted 20 migrating swans after being mistreated.

These programs and many more are developed in collaboration with concerned organizations like the Ministry of Environment, Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Aqaba Bird Observatory, The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan and Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority.

It also participated in programs for recycling, reducing emissions and environmental awareness, in addition to supporting national and international campaigns like Clean the World in collaboration with The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan, International Earth Hour, and enlisting Ayla’s beaches in the Blue Flag program for environmental awareness and education, which is applied in 38 countries.


Opportunities, Training and Habilitation

In 2019, there was 267 job opportunities at Ayla Oasis Development Co. and its sister companies, 320 at Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla Resort, and thousands of non-direct job opportunities during the building and initiation phase, whether in real estate development or tourism activities, in addition to commercial and transportation sectors, logistic and entertainment services and sports activities.

As for Makarem Academy in Ayla, it trained and prepared tens of workers from the local community in the different hospitality areas, as well as courses for workplace skills like the English language, to prepare them for available job opportunities.