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Atlas of Jordan

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Myriam Ababsa

Chapter ten - Jordan Mega Projects for Water, Energy and Transportation

Transport Policies

Myriam Ababsa

Texte intégral

1During the private investment boom from 2006 to 2008, and as part of the Greater Amman master plan, the Jordanian government undertook a programme to modernize the country’s roads, ports and railways. The most costly project was the redevelopment of the port of Aqaba, at a cost of over a billion dollars, followed by the construction of Amman’s new international airport, under the supervision of Aéroports de Paris, with funding from Kuwait (Noor Financial Investment Company) and Jordan (EDGO Group), to double passenger traffic from its 5.4 million passengers per year in 2011.

2The road network was improved around Amman (Amman Ring Road) at a cost of 160 million JD, financed by the World Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the European Investment Bank. The widening of the airport road (80 million JD) began in 2010 and is almost complete. Several real-estate projects (private universities, private sports clubs and gated communities) along the airport road resulted in unprecedented land speculation; over ten years the average price of land rose from 40-50,000 JD to 130-200,000 JD per dunum (0.1 hectare). Jordan is a crossroads between Turkey (and consequently Europe), Syria to the north and Saudi Arabia and Egypt to the south (fig. X.18). This route has become more important than the traditional second route between Iraq and Palestine, which was interrupted by the creation of Israel to the west in 1948, and has slowed considerably since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The town of Ma‘an was particularly affected by the downturn in Iraqi traffic, and the ensuing economic problems led to the 1998 and 2002 uprisings that struck the town. The policy of opening-up the governorates of Kerak, Tafila and Ma‘an is based on the creation of highways and special economic zones.

Figure X.18 — Main Transportation Projects.

Figure X.18 — Main Transportation Projects.

3Finally, in May 2010 the Ministry of Transport unveiled an ambitious project for a 1,080 km long railway system, with three lines; to connect the Gulf countries to Europe via the Turkish, Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi railway networks in the North, but also to connect Europe to East Africa via the Egyptian railway network. A century after the commissioning of the Hijaz Railway (in 1908, 620 km of rails which are no longer used), this over two-billion dinar project is eagerly awaited by the Jordanian public. Three lines are planned: an eastern route from the Syrian border to Saudi Arabia via Zarqa (JD 740 million), a north-south route running through Irbid, Mafraq, Zarqa, Amman and Aqaba (JD 1.4 billion) and a third route from Mafraq to the Iraqi border (JD 273 million). On a smaller scale, a light railway line is planned, linking Zarqa to Amman, that is desperately needed since 60,000 inhabitants travel from Zarqa to Amman on a daily basis (the journey will cover 26 km with 12 stops) (Oxford Business Group, 2010, p.98).

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure X.18 — Main Transportation Projects.
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© Presses de l’Ifpo, 2013

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