SMART: Sustainable Management
of Scarce Resources
in the Coastal Zone

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JORDAN: Gulf of Aquaba coastal zone

The case study area in Jordan is the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, covering all of the 37 km of coastal zone in the North-Easterly part of the Gulf. The area is bordering Israel in the North-west, and Saudi Arabia in the South, with Egypt (Taba) just across the Gulf: It is a small coastal strip with a mountainous hinterland of wadis, but of considerable strategic importance for the country.

In the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, there is an obvious conflict between the demands of different, and conflicting land use: transportation (the only harbour of the country, import and export by trucks to Saudi Arabia), heavy industry including dust generating loading activities of phosphates, and tourism compete for the limited land resources. With only about 30 mm of annual precipitation, all available water is currently from non-renewable groundwater resources: ambitious plans for desalinisation will change that equation.

Aqaba and its hinterland

Lush greenery using recycled waste water

excess irrigation: water seeps from the ground

A few large hotels dominate the shoreline

The currently only 5 start hotel

but the shipping activities affect the view ...

Heavy industry competes for land, and

trucks and shipping limit recreational use.

backstreet views ..

suggesting room for improvements

local beaches

outside the hotel complexes

low land use intensity

along local beaches

idyllic local boat harbour

and crumbling sidewalks

South shore (Lana bay)

with a big tourist resort under construction

Royal Diving Club, South shore

off-season quiet


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