Aabar to team up with Virgin Galactic; Construct spaceport in Abu Dhabi

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An illustration of the proposed UAE spaceport. Photo - Emirates Update

It is said that today?s investment is tomorrow’s well-being. Aabar Investments, an investment company in Abu Dhabi, owned by Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Investment (IPIC being the major shareholder) also believes in the same. The global investment company, founded in 2005, aims to develop an oil and gas business and use it to explore and encourage development.

Handling a wide range of projects in the past, such as the Formula One and many others in the automobile industry, Aabar has lately invested in other projects too, which may not be very profitable to them, but it makes excellent business sense.

According to a data revealed by MarketWatch, Aabar made significant other investments in the first half of this year. In May, it bought $850 million of shares in Glencore International, purchased as part of the commodity trading firm’s initial public offering, giving Aabar a 1.4% stake. Aabar’s parent company IPIC on Monday said it would meet with fixed-income investors later this week in Europe and next week in the U.S. ahead of a possible bond sale. According to the preliminary bond prospectus, IPIC’s profit for the first six months of the year surged to $1.16 billion, compared with $414 million in the first half of 2010.

Aabar and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic have been partners since 2009. Virgin Galactic, a space enterprise, is Virgin group?s commercial space line. Aabar being a stakeholder of Virgin has boosted its stake from 31.8% to 37.8%, by adding around $110m to it.


Virgin Galactic is interested in building a spaceport in Abu Dhabi, as soon as they get requisite approvals from the US authorities. Aabar had committed before hand, keeping the future vision for Abu Dhabi in mind to invest in Virgin for a small satellite launch capability and the building of a spaceport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE.

Aabar, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, is actively participating in constructing a spaceport in Abu Dhabi that will help the region to take space technology to a completely new level and improve the tourism and commercial aspects of the UAE. Scientific developments and discoveries are bound to occur while new talents are going to be on the pathway to discovery.

The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) and Bigelow Aerospace have already signed a memorandum of understanding at the beginning of this year for establishing a next generation spaceflight programme for Dubai and the UAE. These two organisations will primarily work to influence scientific, commercial and educational benefits of ?orbital human spaceflight? ? which have been enjoyed by other nations in the past.

Abu Dhabi aims to reach greater heights and shed its image of just being an oil producer. The government, with active participation of the private sector, is working to make the city the next technological hub that inspires and aims the welfare of the world.

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