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Trekkies May Soon Be Flocking To The Middle East

Braden Holly |
August 3, 2011 | 6:20 p.m. PDT

Assistant News Editor

Aqaba, Jordan.  Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Aqaba, Jordan. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
“Star Trek” fans may be in luck; rather than having to “go where no man has gone before,” soon they will simply have to get themselves to a theme-park in Jordan.

The Red Sea Astrarium will be located on a planned 184 acres in the coastal town of Aqaba and is scheduled to open in 2014.

A number of parties have invested in the development of the park, though the largest investment by a Jordanian is being made by King Abdullah II, according to the National, a newspaper based in Abu Dhabi.

Apparently King Abdullah II is a “trekkie” and is even reported to have made a cameo appearance in an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager”.

However, if “Star Trek” fans are looking forward to having a theme-park on the caliber of Disneyland, they’re bound to be disappointed.

The planned total investment of the project is about $1.5 billion, a humble amount when compared to the investments made by Disney and Universal, according reporting by the National.

Nor will the theme-park be exclusively based on the “Star Trek” intellectual property.

The park will also feature fine dining, shopping and all the amenities of a five-star resort, as well as pavilions intended to educate visitors about green energy and local history.

The park will feature a “Star Trek” themed “space flight adventure”, according to MSNBC.

The recent upheaval in the Middle East has had a detrimental effect on tourism throughout the region, with tourism in Jordan down 14 percent this year, according to USA Today.

However, perhaps by 2014 the social upheaval of the Arab Spring will have settled and Jordan’s new theme-park could become a powerful draw for tourists, bringing revenue to the small country while also creating jobs for locals.

Perhaps if tourists find themselves all “trekked out” in Jordan, they could visit some of the country’s historical landmarks and natural wonders, such as: the Roman Ruins at Jerash, the Dead Sea, or one of the "new seven wonders of the world", Petra.


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