The Gulf of AqabaCreated by seismic activity along the Afro-Syrian Rift, the Gulf ofAqaba is a deep narrow body of water, bordered by Israel,Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and is one of the hingesconnecting the Asian and African continents. The gulf extends180 km from Eilat and Aqaba and joins the Red Sea at the Straitsof Tiran, with its widest point spanning 28 km. Israels gulf shoreextends only a few kilometers, from the city of Eilat to theborder with Egypt at Taba. Jordans shore reaches some 20 kmin length, extending to the Saudi border opposite Marsa alMuqabila in northern Sinai. Egypt enjoys the longest gulf border,which stretches some 170 km between Taba and the Straits ofTiran. NOTE: Slides 1-4 must be manually advanced
The Gulf of Aqaba is a natural transshipment area. Proposals toenhance the area’s capacity as a logistic gateway between Asia,Europe and Africa on an international scale and between theMaghreb countries and Persian Gulf on a regional scale, havebeen presented by the Jordanian, Israeli and Egyptiangovernments. These proposals include upgrading the Port ofAqaba and road access to it, establishing an “inland port”logistic center connecting transport, manufacturing andstorage facilities in the Aqaba-Eilat region, creatinginternational passenger and commercial airports at Aqaba/EinEvrona and Ras el Naqeb, establishing border and trans-borderproduction zones at Eilat/Aqaba and Ras el Naqeb, andextending rail service between Red and Mediterranean seaports.
An Agreement on Special Arrangements for Aqaba and Eilatbetween Israel and Jordan was signed in 1996. This Agreementstipulates that Israel and Jordan will cooperate on issuesrelating to both towns including: environmental management,pest control; flood management; town zoning and land usepolicies; energy and natural resources; emergency responseservices; and the promotion of binational and multinationalevents, such as music festivals, sporting evens, etc. TheAgreement also calls for the establishment of a Special TourismZone in the region, in which cross border tourism will beencouraged by simplifying crossing procedures, a binationalSpecial Economic Zone, and a binational Red Sea Marine PeacePark.