Despite the challenges, there have been some significant recent advances in Amman's real estate market. The first is the $5 billion Abdali Project, which will include hotels, residential, business, and retail space. The 227,000-square-kilometer Abdali Mall, which received the Cityscape Global 2016 emerging markets awards for best constructed retail project, opened in May 2016 as part of the larger Abdali mixed-use complex. Kuwait's United Real Estate Company constructed the mall, which is operated by Abdali Mall Company. Abdali has dedicated 34% of its area to residential use, 23% to retail, 19% to commercial space, 16% to hotels, and 8% to medical projects.
Jordan Gate Towers, a long-delayed building, also made progress. After an eight-year hiatus, construction on the two-tower, $400 million building began in 2016. With a 44-story and a 37-story tower, the project will be the capital's tallest building when completed in the second half of 2018. The mixed-use complex is situated near the city's Sixth Circle area.
Meanwhile, in May 2017, the JD50 million ($70.5 million) Abdoun Towers project was launched. The towers will be mostly residential in nature, with some retail space incorporated. They will be built on a 45,000-square-metre plot. Elsewhere, the JD40 million ($56.4 million) Golden Gate complex in the city of Um Uthaina broke ground in May 2017. The project will include residential and office space, as well as three retail vaults. Manazel Amman is being constructed on a 300,000-square-metre plot only ten minutes from the airport, using the new development corridor that extends out to QAIA. It will include 1253 apartments and villas. This is the developer Manazel's first venture beyond the UAE. Jordan's apartment sales also increased in mid-2017, with 3670 units sold in July, the highest monthly number since late 2016.
Outside of the city, the Ayla mixed-use development project on the northern beaches of Aqaba is being built with a focus on high-end residential and commercial facilities. The master developer of the project, Ayla Oasis Development Company, handed over 150 first-phase duplex residences to their owners in August 2016, and by the end of the year, 70% of finished units were inhabited by Jordanians. However, the April and June 2017 inauguration of direct flight connections between Aqaba's King Hussein International Airport and Dubai, Beirut, and Cairo is anticipated to increase non-Jordanian citizens' presence. The Hyatt Hotel Aqaba, which will open in the first half of 2018, will be the first hotel on the Ayla site. It will include an 18-hole championship golf course, a 9-hole golf course, and a golf academy. By the time Ayla is completed, four more hotels will have opened, in addition to 3000 residential apartments and 20,000 square metres of commercial retail and food and beverage establishments.
With a new housing action plan addressing affordable housing issues and increased government attempts to stimulate the market, the sector may see a short- to medium-term boost. National economic development is anticipated to gain from new trade agreements with the EU, while the possibility of reopening Jordan's border with Iraq also lends optimism to the country's economic future, perhaps boosting the real estate market. While cost concerns – most notably the cost of land, as well as zoning and tax problems – continue to impact the industry, Jordan remains a significant market in the region over the long term, and is expected to continue attracting significant investments.