King Abdullah II of Jordan, who once made a cameo in a Star Trek: Voyager episode, has given the go ahead for a new US$1.5bn Red Sea Astrarium project to be built in the coastal city of Aqaba in Jordan that will feature Star Trek elements as part of its futuristic focus. Renewable energy will power the park to help lower its carbon footprint.
Beam me to Jordan …
Global entertainment powerhouse Rubicon Holding is partnering with Paramount Recreation, a division of Paramount Pictures, and the global architectural firm Callison to create The Red Sea Astrarium (TRSA), a 184-acre themed entertainment resort in Aqaba that will feature a Star Trek Centre sure to attract a few die-hard Trekkies.
Boldly going where no entertainment resort has gone before, construction of the park is on track to start in 2012, with TRSA opening in 2014. It will have 17 entertainment zones and four hotels and is destined to create about 500 jobs during the green build.
With the overall TRSA featuring digital animated content and location-based attractions, it is aiming to serve as a model for green energy, as the park will host renewable technologies throughout the facility as well as having a "future" pavilion where visitors can learn about alternative energy sources, ranging from solar and wind energy to greywater harvesting.
To capture the essence of the rich historical tapestry of influences that have helped shape the Middle East, the park will look to the future, which is where Star Trek will come in to the equation.
Having obtained a licence from CBS Consumer Products, TRSA will host a Star Trek-themed space flight inspired by the 2009 motion picture Star Trek, which Paramount Recreation is developing.
23rd-century Star Trek themes
The Star Trek-themed centre itself will deliver multi-sensory 23rd-century experiences that will include a space-flight adventure, which the developers say will include "immersive entertainment experiences".
On its Facebook page, Rubicon says the overall park will focus on early civilisations, exploring Babatean, Babylonian, Romanian and British influences. "This is a region very rich in history and culture which the park will attempt to bring out to the surface."
Click on the official Star Trek website to see an interview with former Star Trek actor Connor Trinneer, pictured, who recalls his Enterprise days. Image courtesy of StarTrek.com
Main photo: Depiction of The Red Sea Astrarium project, Jordan’s take on Disneyworld, the building of which will begin next year, creating 500 jobs in the process, and embracing clean tech in the build