Aqaba Divers Association officially established
In April 2009, the USAID-funded Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) Program started working to establish business associations to better enable the business environment in Aqaba to attract more investments and economic opportunities.
The ACED Program began working with Aqaba divers to create an official umbrella to provide support and overcome obstacles for Dive shops. The efforts led to the establishment of the Aqaba Divers Association (ADA), which will organize the sector and benefit tourism and diving industry in Aqaba.
The Association founders received technical assistance from the ACED Program which provided them with consultants who prepared the Association business plan and helped them to apply for official registration at the Ministry of Social Development. In April 2010, the ADA was registered officially under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment. The Association now has twelve members, and is looking to expand the membership base.
In October 2010, the Association had its first General Assembly meeting and seven members were elected as the Board of Directors. The first mission of the board is to prepare the Scope of Work for the Association and get all the formal documentation ready.
The ACED Program will continue to support the Aqaba Divers Association. An ACED Program grant to ADA will cover its operational expenses, including four permanent staff. In addition, the grant will cover initiatives and activities to be performed by the ADA in protecting marine environment and the plantation of new Corals in the Gulf of Aqaba. By the end of the grant, the Association will become financially and operationally sustainable, provide more value-added services for its members, and support the development of Diving institutions and industry in Aqaba.