The biggest emirate in the UAE is closer than ever to have its own spaceport which will eventually reduce the flight journey to the US to just one hour.

Virgin Galactic, the company behind this ambitious project, has appointed a senior executive responsible for establishing the other existing Virgin spaceport in New Mexico, US, for setting up the new base in Abu Dhabi.

According to Virgin, Steve Landeene – the man in question – will be supervising the whole process: from choosing the right location to its eventual operation.

This is obviously a great step for the UAE’s capital, which apart from increasing its tourist appeal, will be a science, technology and higher education hub.

Virgin Galactic announced in February that it is ready to test spacecraft beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, starting suborbital commercial flights in 2013 or 2014.

These suborbital flights – which could reduce the journey between the US and the UAE to just one hour – are aimed to a select club of passengers who have to pay a deposit of $200,000 in advance. Earlier this year Virgin received its 500th customer payment. Who was be the lucky astronaut wannabe? Two and a Half Men’s Ashton Kutcher.

For a less extravagant option, but nevertheless luxurious, book now with Kenwood Travel a holiday to Abu Dhabi.

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