Iraqi "Theme Park" planned for tourists

From todays Torygraph

Iraq plans theme park
(Filed: 19/11/2005)

With its bombs, bullets and kidnappings, it is an unlikely tourist destination. But this has not stopped officials in Iraq from unveiling plans to transform the war-torn country into a tourist haven. Plans to attract a new generation of visitors would see the conversion of Saddam Hussein's Tikrit palace complex into a theme park.

US commanders last week began moving out of the complex, which contains 19 palaces and 136 other buildings and sits on the River Tigris. It was built in 1991 following the first Gulf War and is filled with marble staircases, carved wooden doors and arabesque ceilings.

Hamed Humed Shikti, the provincial governor, plans to turn the complex into a park for tourists after he officially takes over following the departure of the US military. "First we shall open the gates to allow people to see the palaces, which have always been off-limits to the public."

Iraq has antiquities, a coastline that gets a lot of sun, and 102 airports, but any prospect of tourism has been stunted by decades of wars. However, the recently agreed constitution has fuelled hopes for a fresh start.

Other proposals include the construction of a "seven-and-a-half star" hotel in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Land for the venture has reportedly been donated by the Iraqi government, while a local businessman is providing financial backing.

Quick, book me a flight! :lol:
It has got an extremely rich cultured past but tourism?? Not a fcuking chance
Don't know how true this story is but we turned away a couple of Dutch tourists from Basra Palace during Telic 4. Bloke and his kid, they just wanted to have a look around.
A coastline?? That'll be Umm Qasr then....must be, oh, 20km worth of actual coast. And no beaches.
This has got to be a pisstake......
Well, it's in the Torygragh. Don't know how to create the link so I just copied and pasted the story. Does seem crazy though!
Not so daft. There are some very glossy brochures for holidays, not in Croatia, but in BiH, entitled "Bosnia - Your Next Adventure". The wiley Iraqis are just looking to the future. Imagine the attractions............ ummm, no, not Umm Qasr, just ummmm..............
I don't know, any student of history might like a trip to Iraq. Of course, maybe not in its present state, however, when/if things ever calm down there, it just might get some interest.
There is a civvy company who do it. They did something very similar for Afghanistan if I remember correctly.
There is a "niche" market for this sort of thing.

It has even produced its own literature, such as Holidays In Hell by P.J. O'Rourke.

O'Rourke recounts his adventures in such places as the Philippines among the Muslim guerillas. He mentions staying with a Lebanese couple near Beirut at the height of the civil war. I was amused to read that over there after dinner folks pass around their pistols to be admired by others present just as elsewhere people might break out their photo albums. I got a kick out of O'Rourke's description of being challenged by an Israeli counter-intelligence officer near the frontier as to his reason for being in Lebanon at all. "Tourism," he deadpanned.
Another good one is Political Pilgrims by Paul Hollander.

Mr. Hollander went sight-seeing in such places as North Korea and Ceaucescu's Rumania.

Parts of the book were actually funny in a macabre way. He describes attempting to go shopping in a bogus store in Pyongyang filled with "shoppers" who were only government stooges pretending to look for bargains amongst the "merchandise" which consisted mostly of useless junk and empty cardboard boxes and none of which was actually on sale.

Hollander attracted the unfriendly attention of the Rumanian secret police when he visited a museum devoted to Mr. and Mrs. Ceaucescu. These police found it unbelievable that he would voluntarily go to a museum attendance at which was compulsory for Rumanians although as a foreigner he was exempt from such a requirement.
Can I recommend "Why Come To Slaka?" by Malcolm Bradbury? :D
I remember remarking about 3 or 4 years ago that it wouldn't be long before Libya is a tourist attraction. It's happened, you can now book package holidays there.

Iraq will pass - everything does. It will recover and tourism there will happen.

That's my opinion.

Similar threads

Latest Threads