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Ayla project is among the best in the world - Greg Norman
October 10, 2012

Greg Norman, one of the world's most respected and sought-after golf course designers, visited Jordan for the first time to inspect the progress of construction at Jordan's first 18-hole grass golf course which is being developed by Ayla Oasis Development Company in Aqaba.

In a press conference attended by the Minister of Tourism, Nayef Al Fayez, and the Chief Commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Dr. Kamel Mahadin, and Ayla's Chairman Khaled Masri, and covered by a group of international, regional and local media including Worldwide Golf, the No.1 golf magazine in the Middle East, Greg Norman said: "The scale and quality of this project is phenomenal and I believe that the entire setting and unique design, places it among the best in the world, from my 40 years experience, and has the potential to put Jordan on the world golf map in the future."

Norman also applauded ASEZA's and Ayla's vision and commitment towards developing a signature golf course in Aqaba which will become a worldwide attraction, not only for the sport of golf but also for tourism in general.

His Excellency, Nayef Al-Fayez, added that having a Greg Norman Signature Golf Course in Aqaba will enhance Jordan's position in the Tourism sector and will complement the efforts towards developing the sector in general. He commented: "Jordan is considered to be one of the pioneering countries in historical, medical, religious and conference tourism. The ability to establish an international world-class golf course in Jordan will make the process of attracting new regional and international amateur golfers far easier, which will, in turn, enhance the Jordanian position on the international tourism map."

Dr. Kamel Mahadin stressed that the championship golf course is one of the main development requirements of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone masterplan, and that the commitment of Ayla to develop the golf course to the highest international standard, using one of the world's leading designers in Greg Norman, confirms Ayla's vision and commitment and adds to their accomplishments.

Dr. Kamel also pointed out the importance of golf in diversifying and distinguishing tourism in Aqaba, which will contribute to the overall success of all the projects under development in the zone.

After a comprehensive site visit and inspection with Greg Norman that lasted most of the day at the Ayla development, Managing Director of Ayla, Sahl Dudin, confirmed that the golf course will be completed within the first phase of the project in early 2015. The first phase deliverables include The Marina Village, which holds the main activities and commercial centre open to the public. The Village complex will also contain a Hyatt Regency Hotel and Boutique Souk Hotel plus unique residential apartments which will complement the overall infrastructure. An integral part of the development are the Ayla lagoons, which add 17km of new shoreline to Aqaba from a small stretch over the Gulf of only 235 metres.

As a world-class player Greg Norman won 91 international titles, including two British Open Championships, plus 20 US PGA Tour titles. He was World No.1 for 331 weeks during the 1980s and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

As a golf course designer he has created 78 courses around the world and Greg Norman Golf Course Design has a further 39 projects currently at various stages of development. Almost half of the courses Greg Norman has created have since become venues for international Championship Tour events.

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