The Gulf of Aqaba Created by seismic activity along the Afro-Syrian Rift, the Gulf of Aqaba is a deep narrow body of water, bordered by Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and is one of the hinges connecting the Asian and African continents. The gulf extends 180 km from Eilat and Aqaba and joins the Red Sea at the Straits of Tiran, with its widest point spanning 28 km. Israel's gulf shore extends only a few kilometers, from the city of Eilat to the border with Egypt at Taba. Jordan's shore reaches some 20 km in length, extending to the Saudi border opposite Marsa al Muqabila in northern Sinai. Egypt enjoys the longest gulf border, which stretches some 170 km between Taba and the Straits of Tiran. NOTE: Slides 1-4 must be manually advanced
The Gulf of Aqaba is a natural transshipment area. Proposals to enhance the area’s capacity as a logistic gateway between Asia, Europe and Africa on an international scale and between the Maghreb countries and Persian Gulf on a regional scale, have been presented by the Jordanian, Israeli and Egyptian governments. These proposals include upgrading the Port of Aqaba and road access to it, establishing an “inland port” logistic center connecting transport, manufacturing and storage facilities in the Aqaba-Eilat region, creating international passenger and commercial airports at Aqaba/Ein Evrona and Ras el Naqeb, establishing border and trans-border production zones at Eilat/Aqaba and Ras el Naqeb, and extending rail service between Red and Mediterranean sea ports.
An Agreement on Special Arrangements for Aqaba and Eilat between Israel and Jordan was signed in 1996. This Agreement stipulates that Israel and Jordan will cooperate on issues relating to both towns including: environmental management, pest control; flood management; town zoning and land use policies; energy and natural resources; emergency response services; and the promotion of binational and multinational events, such as music festivals, sporting evens, etc. The Agreement also calls for the establishment of a Special Tourism Zone in the region, in which cross border tourism will be encouraged by simplifying crossing procedures, a binational Special Economic Zone, and a binational Red Sea Marine Peace Park.