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Virgin Galactic, Aabar Investments plan to send Emirati into space

Companies announce competition that will see winner gain place onboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

An Emirati will win the chance to travel into space as part of a nationwide competition being launched by Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments. The prize winner will be given a place onboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo when it begins running commercial trips into space.

The tickets are currently worth USD 250,000 each.

Virgin Galactic and Aabar Investments are co-owners of Virgin Galactic, which was founded by Sir Richard Branson to make commercial space trips viable.

“The specifics of the competition are being finalised but this is an ideal way for us all to give something back to the community of the UAE, says Virgin Galactic CEO and President, George Whitesides.

“Without the support of Aabar Investments, this programme would not be where it is today.  We are on the precipice of achieving our first goal – our first flight to space – which is expected to take place later this year.”

Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company is the parent company of Aabar Investments and will be involved in running the competition.