The National, an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, has drawn attention to reports that the King Abdullah II Fund for Develoment is one of the investors in a $1.5 billion project to build a new theme park in Jordan's coastal town of Aqaba with a Stark Trek experience being a key attraction.
According to the resort's developer, Amman-based company Rubicon Group Holding, the Red Sea Astrarium will be "themed around the idea of Jordan as a crossroads of civilisations."
In addition, the project "will deliver a variety of multi-sensory 23rd-century experiences, culminating with a state-of-the art space-flight adventure" based on the 2009 "Star Trek" film.
The King Abdhullah II Fund for Development was set up by the Monarch in 2001 to "encourage innovation and growth in Jordan's public and private sectors", states the king's website.
The project, The National notes, won't be the first time King Abdullah has ventured into the "Stark Trek" universe. His Highness is, afterall, a renowned "Trekkie". In 1995, the paper points out, he made a brief cameo in an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager." On Twitter, Riyadh-based Twitter user Wael Alroumi has unearthed the footage to prove it (King Abdullah is the "science division officer" with green shoulder pads who doesn't say anything, The Atlantic notes):
Jordan's tourist industry has been badly affected by the protests in the Middle East this year. Rubicon Chief Executive Randa Ayoubi told The National that more investment was needed to promote Jordan as a tourist destination.
"Jordan has a lot to offer and we have never really as a country capitalised on it well enough," she said. "There's no 'Brand Jordan' out there.
"We need to work on that -- getting the brand out there, telling people what's on offer."
CORRECTION NOTICE: An earlier version of the story wrongly stated the King of Jordan had invested in this project. The investment was made by the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and not the Monarch himself and this has been updated in this article.