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Space Tourism 

RICHARD BRANSON BRINGS COMMERCIAL SPACE TRAVEL TO DUBAI

Looking for a lifetime opportunity to fly into space? Now Dubai offers you that as well. A call to the Dubai-based travel agency Sharaf Travel can help you get there, albeit at a price of Dhs. 200,000.

Namira Salim a resident of Dubai has signed up to become one of the first people from the UAE to sample the delights of space tourism. She will be one of 100 people to fly into space on Virgin Galactic - Sir Richard Branson's space tourism initiative under his global Virgin brand.

With the Gulf having the potential to become a highly profitable region to book space tourism flights, due to its prevalence of high net worth individuals, the Dubai-based travel agency has just been selected as the UAE general sales agent for Virgin Galactic.

"We are literally pushing new frontiers in the history of mankind by making commercial space travel a possibility," Sir Richard Branson said. Till date 44,000 people have applied to join the six-member crew of the inaugural flight from New Mexico in 2008.

"Space is somewhere to take your fiancee and even get married. In our lifetime we also hope to open space portal hotels," Sir Richard said in Dubai.

Virgin Galactic is set to launch its first manned flight in late 2009, according to Salaf Sharaf, chairman of Sharaf Travel. The launch site will likely be in the southwestern United States, with each trip featuring three hours in space.

Sharaf Travel's selection as the exclusive ticket sellers for the Galactic service in the region follows a year of courting the UK-based airline for the position, Sharaf said. Virgin first entered the Dubai market in 2006, when it began operating commercial flights from London to Dubai.

'The potential is huge because this is something entirely new, it's the first space tourism in the region, and a totally new concept," Sharaf said.


Source : GoDubai

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