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A reported blog about all things Middle East and North Africa.

Star Trek comes to Jordan

An acknowledged Trekkie, King of Jordan lands billion dollar Star Trek theme park.
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Klingon Debbie Hodgins of Oshawa, Ontario hitches into Vulcan in the middle of Canada's vast western plains. A Klingon is an unexpected sight in Canada's vast western plains, among the lonely oil wells, cow pastures and wheat fields. (Michel Comte/AFP/Getty Images)

If you weren't already aware, King Abdullah II of Jordan is a huge Star Trek fan. He even appeared in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, although surely to his disappointment, he did not have any lines. And if you ever doubted just how much he likes Star Trek, you can no longer.

GlobalPost in Amman: King Abdullah II, the ultimate Trekkie

The king has used his fandom, and no doubt his considerable influence and deep pockets, to land the world's first Star Trek theme park in his own country. But will it be as authentic as the Canadian prairie town known as Vulcan?

To be built on the Red Sea — at the happy vortex of Israel, Egypt and Saudia Arabia — the $1.5 billion Star Trek park will have 17 "entertainment" areas and four hotels. The company charged with creating the theme park told AFP that it would deliver "a variety of multi-sensory 23rd-century experiences, culminating with a state-of-the-art space-flight adventure."

Wait, there will be trips to space? Oh my God. What else might there be?

If Star Trek isn't your thing, here's a couple other global theme parks that might get you going:

  • The Kingdom of Dwarves in China. The casting call went out across China in 2009, in newspapers and online: Entertainers needed for a new theme park, no special skills required. Applicants should be 18-40 years old, from any part of the country. The only stipulation? To work at the Kingdom of Dwarves, performers must be midgets.
  • Magic Land in Senegal. All that Africa's booming middle class really wanted was a damn roller coaster, and so roller coasters they received, aplenty.
  • Kingdom of Dreams in India. The Kingdom of Dreams is arguably India's most ambitious entertainment complex yet. Combining a retail-and-restaurant complex called Culture Gully, an outdoor stage for productions of the Ramayana and wedding shows, and a palatial 800-seat theater, it's Disneyland meets Bollywood.