It was announced today that construction will begin next year on a complex to be known as the Red Sea Astrarium in Aqaba, Jordan, on the Red Sea. Aqaba is a resort town of approximately one hundred thousand residents and is next to Eilat, Israel, both on the Gulf of Aqaba. This one and a half billion dollar complex will include four hotels and more than a dozen Disney-esque amusement attractions.
The centerpiece to this site will be a Star Trek-themed entertainment complex which will include a space flight simulator. So, you may ask… what is the connection here? Why Star Trek? The answer is found in Jordan’s reigning monarch, King Abdullah II.
King Abdullah II, now forty-nine, became king in February of 1999 when his father, King Hussein, passed away after having been on the throne for more than forty-six years. He retains quite a bit of power over the Jordanian government, a constitutional monarchy, and is married to the popular Queen Rania of Jordan
In addition to dealing with all of the affairs of the Jordanian state, King Abdullah II is indeed a trekkie. He is such a trekkie that he actually made a non-speaking appearance in 1996 on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager [season two]. If you blink you might miss him, but you can watch it here. King Abdullah II is the one in green.
The 184-acre complex is scheduled to open in 2014. Number one – make it so!