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UAE Firm Is Sending One Lucky Emirati Into Space Onboard Virgin Galactic Ship

Apr 20, 2014 2:00 pm

Skift Take

We wouldn’t be surprised to see other corporations starting big-time promotions that end with a lucky winner going to space for free.

— Samantha Shankman

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Reed Saxon  / AP Photo

This Sept. 25, 2013 file photo shows British entrepreneur Richard Branson at the Virgin Galactic hangar at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, Calif. Reed Saxon / AP Photo


One lucky citizen of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates could soon get the chance to be rocketed into space.

Government-backed Aabar Investments on Sunday announced the start of a competition to award an Emirati a free spot aboard Virgin Galactic‘s spaceship when it begins ferrying space tourists briefly into space.

The UAE is a seven-state federation that includes Dubai and the federal capital Abu Dhabi.

Contest details have yet to be worked out. But it appears the large numbers of expatriates who far outnumber the local Emirati population aren’t eligible.

Virgin Galactic has not set a firm start date to begin taking paying passengers on its suborbital flights. Aabar is a partial owner of the company along with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

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