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Theme parks: Global Architecture Firm Callison Partners with Rubicon Group Holding on Destination Resort in Aqaba, Jordan


Global architecture and design firm Callison has partnered with Rubicon Group Holding to create a 184-acre themed entertainment resort in Aqaba, Jordan. The Red Sea Astrarium (TRSA) will be a family destination, attracting visitors from across the Middle East and around the world. The estimated $1 billion project is scheduled for a 2014 opening.

RelatedJordan unveils plan for $1bn theme park  / Aqaba’s Marsa Zayed first phase launched

“The opportunity to lead the design on such a remarkable project is a dream-come-true for the entire RGH family. We are honored, elated, and proud to have our Themed Entertainment team in charge of moving this project forward.”

Callison was retained by Rubicon Group Holding, a diversified global entertainment organization, to master plan and design the next generation themed resort. Located in the coastal city of Aqaba, the resort will include hotels, restaurants, shops, performance venues and themed attractions. A new “Star Trek” adventure ride will be part of the entertainment offerings and is being developed by Paramount Recreation and CBS Consumer Products.

The project is being helmed by Callison’s Mark Ludtka, Principal in Charge and Bill Lacey as Design Principal. The design team will be a collaboration across offices in the U.S. and the Middle East. Callison’s scope of work includes project vision and master planning through design development.

“Callison has participated in the growth of the Middle East since 1992 with large scale projects such as TRSA, ” said Callison Principal Bill Lacey. “Rubicon Group Holding is renowned as a global leader in themed entertainment and we are honored to be a strategic partner in creating this iconic destination.”

The project was announced last week by Randa S. Ayoubi, CEO of Rubicon Group Holding at the Jordanian-American Business Forum, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in a special signing ceremony attended by business leaders from Jordan and the United States. Callison Principal Bill Lacey attended the ceremony in Jordan.

“TRSA will be a destination showcase in an extraordinary part of Jordan, ” said Ms. Ayoubi. “The opportunity to lead the design on such a remarkable project is a dream-come-true for the entire RGH family. We are honored, elated, and proud to have our Themed Entertainment team in charge of moving this project forward.”

“Callison is committed in delivering world-class design and service offerings, ” said John Jastrem, Callison Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are focused on providing our clients with first in-class services through our global network, ensuring we have top-tier talent and infrastructure in place as we optimize our global delivery in key growth areas.”

About Callison

Callison is an international architecture and design firm specializing in mixed-use, residential, retail, healthcare, corporate, mission critical, financial and hospitality in markets worldwide. With offices in Seattle, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Scottsdale and Shanghai, Callison is one of the largest design firms based in the United States with 800 professional staff. Callison creates places that amplify market share for Fortune 500 companies and international leaders with a design approach that drives business goals. For more information please visit, Facebook, Twitter or our website. Subscribe to our RSS feed by copying and pasting into your RSS reader.

About Rubicon Group Holding

Rubicon Group Holding is a global entertainment organization devoted to the development and production of digital CGI & traditional 2D and 3D animated television, film, Web-based and mobile content; the realization of themed entertainment experiences; the production of digital education and professional development resources; the creation of video games and Web-based applications; and the merchandising of entertainment brands through licensed consumer products.

Led by Randa S. Ayoubi, Chief Executive Officer, Rubicon employs over 300 employees in four locations – Jordan (Amman), the U.S. (Los Angeles), the Philippines (Manila) and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) – and has established itself as a leading creative force for the design, production and distribution of compelling entertainment and instructive media across multiple delivery platforms.

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