Star Trek is getting a theme park. Just don’t look for it in the United States. Jordan’s King Abdullah II is getting into the theme park business in the nerdiest way possible – by investing in a $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park on the Gulf of Aqaba.
The National reports that the King, a well-known Trekkie, has partnered with Middle Eastern and American investors to create the Red Sea Astrarium, which will feature a massive “space-flight adventure” ride based 2009’s “Star Trek” film reboot.
The park will likely feature some Trekless attractions as well. Rubicon Group Holdings, the company that will oversee the park, has rights to the “Pink Panther” and several popular Arabic-language animated characters.
King Abdullah II has recently been in the news discussing potential political reforms that could arise out of the Arab Spring movement, but this has apparently not kept him away from the politics of the Federation. This is nothing new: The King actually had a non-speaking role on Star Trek in the ’90s. He’s the one in green.
The massive park is set to be built near Aqaba, where the borders of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel almost touch, a spot that is somewhat difficult to get to, so it would be unsurprising if the park’s construction led to the creation of more tourist-friendly infrastructure.
Aqaba is currently a fairly quiet place, but it has the makings of a resort town. The beaches are beautiful, the diving off the coast is excellent, and it is only a day away from the ancient city of Petra, which makes the announcement of the Astrarium good news for both indoor and outdoor kids.
And unlike China’s Joyland ripoff of Blizzard game World of Warcraft, the Star Trek theme park in Jordan is to be fully licensed.