Abu Dhabi to Get Spaceport as Part of Virgin Galactic Investment Deal


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 world’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.

“The significant partnership not only falls in line with Abu Dhabi’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,” Khadem Al Qubaisi, chairman of Aabar, said.

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