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Jordan Breaks Ground On Trek-Featured Theme Park

The project will cost $1.5 billion, and employ 4,000 people

Space the Final Frontier ... in Jordan.

The Middle Eastern country, with a population of just over 6.5 million people, will soon be the home of a new theme park that will feature as one of its attractions, Star Trek.

The unveiling of the layout was held over the weekend for the $1.5 billion project by Kamel Mahadin, the high commissioner of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority. It will include 16 special attractions, all designed by Jordan-based Rubicon Group Holding, except for one, which is licensed and designed by Paramount Pictures featuring the USS Enterprise and her crew.

"The entertainment resort will undeniably transform the Aqaba region and make it a high-end tourism hub for Jordan," Mahadin said, according to Hotelier Middle East. "It will do so whilst telling stories from our regional culture, integrating alternative energy sources and promoting the development of the entertainment industry in Jordan."

Tourism has been a big problem for Jordan in recent years in light of the economic recession and political instability in surrounding countries. At one time, it accounted for more than 10 percent of the country's total economy.

But how does Star Trek mix in with what Jordan is doing? That's not entirely clear, but one thing is for certain -- the country's leader is a Trekkie. King Abdullah II of Jordan loves Trek so much that he actually made a cameo in an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager" in 1996 while he was still a prince. The king is a major investor in the theme park, which is expected to employ 4,000 people in the city of Aqaba where more than 100,000 people live.

The site will also have four hotels and a large shopping district. It is not clear when the park will be completed and opened, but likely not until 2016 at the earliest.

Source: Hotelier Middle East


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