Arabtec wins $1.55bn contract to build Jordan theme park

20 January 2014

Red Sea Astrarium to be located in Aqaba

Dubai-based Arabtec Construction has won a AED5.7bn ($1.55bn) contract for construction of Jordan’s first themed tourist destination.

The Red Sea Astrarium will be an integrated entertainment, hospitality, and leisure resort located in Aqaba. Spanning 184 acres, the development will offer four international luxury hotels offering over 2,000 rooms. These include a themed boutique hotel, a 5 star hotel, a family leisure hotel, and a hotel specialising in meetings and conferences.

The entertainment park will also feature retail, dining and entertainment waterfronts overlooking a man-made lagoon. The waterfronts will have a number of unique entertainment attractions including a 4D cinema, Adventure Centre, Theatre, Water park and a signature Star Trek immersive experience, created in collaboration with Paramount Parks & Resorts and CBS Consumer Products.

“We are pleased to be involved in this important project which will further boost the Jordanian economy and enhance the country’s attraction as a tourist destination,” says Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, managing director and chief executive officer of Arabtec Holding. “We are already actively involved in two major projects in Jordan and look forward to expanding our presence there to take advantage of Jordan’s huge potential.”

The UK’s Arup will perform infrastructure design and engineering works on the project, while US-based architectural firm Callison has been engaged to work with locally headquartered Rubicon Group Holding and its team, including Paramount Parks & Resorts and CBS Consumer Products, to masterplan and create a world class destination resort.

Construction work on the project is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2014, with the third quarter of 2017 targeted as the soft opening date. A ground-breaking ceremony for the development was held last May.

Arabtec is currently working on two projects in Jordan: the St. Regis Amman hotel and phase one of Saraya Aqaba development. The latter project includes four international hotels managed by Jumeirah International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as well as Souk Saraya, a beach club, offices, a convention centre and Wild Wadi water park, in addition to a part of the residential units, infrastructure, utility buildings and staff accommodation.

The contract for the Red Sea Astrarium pushes Arabtec’s backlog to nearly AED40bn, the company says.

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