UAE to have space port
Tourists will be able to journey to outer space via Abu Dhabi as part of a deal by a local investment group to take a stake in the worldâ€™s first commercial space travel operator, the two companies said yesterday.
Aabar Investments said it plans to build a space port in Abu Dhabi, capital of the seven-member United Arab Emirates federation, after agreeing to buy about a 32 percent stake in the holding company of Virgin Galactic for $280m, valuing the business at around $900m.
Aabar expects to spend another $100m on a small satellite launch facility and will gain exclusive regional rights to host Virgin Galactic tourism and scientific research space flights, it said.
â€œThe significant partnership not only falls in line with Abu Dhabiâ€™s larger plans to inculcate technology research and science at a grassroots level but also complements its aim to be the international tourism capital of the region,â€ Khadem Al Qubaisi, chairman of Aabar, said.
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