—Will Preserve and Protect Environment
at Dead Sea Project—
WASHINGTON, D.C., Apr. 15—The International Finance Corporation (IFC)
has approved a loan of up to US$15 million and an equity investment of
up to US$3 million in Zara, a tourism company in Jordan, to develop two
hotel-and-business complexes in Amman and the Dead Sea. Suitable steps
have been taken to ensure that both projects will be environmentally sustainable
and that coastal and water resources at the Dead Sea project will be preserved
The first project is a 312-room hotel and business complex in Amman, comprising
44 apartments and well-equipped exhibition and conference facilities, which
will be managed by Hyatt International. The second project is a wellness
center and a 231-room hotel complex on the north-eastern shore of the Dead
Sea, combining medical and recreational facilities, which will be managed
by Mövenpick. The Dead Sea project will be the first hotel of international
standard to be built on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.
The projects will comply fully with World Bank environmental guidelines.
This is particularly critical for the Dead Sea project where environmental
protection is key to the success of the wellness center. The Dead Sea complex
will serve as a model for future tourism projects.
The projects will make a significant contribution to the Jordanian economy
in terms of foreign exchange generation, the creation of 600 direct jobs
as well as many more indirect jobs, increased activity in the local construction
industry, upgrading of local personnel skills at the hotels and additional
spending by tourists outside the hotels.
“The hotel in Amman would be geared primarily to the business market while
the Dead Sea project would capitalize on the unique therapeutic properties
of the Dead Sea,” said Mr. André Hovaguimian, Director of IFC’s Central
Asia, Middle East, and North Africa Department. “Both hotels are expected
to benefit from Jordan’s growing tourism industry, which attracts local
and other foreign leisure guests and taps into a large and growing European
The project’s sponsor, Zara, was established in 1994 as a public shareholding
company. Zara’s shareholders include the Cairo-Amman Bank, the second
largest commercial bank in Jordan, its Chairman, Mr. Talhouni, and a number
of financial institutions and Jordanian investors.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
To date, IFC has invested US$186 million, including US$70 million for the
account of participants and US$116 million for its own account, in 10 projects