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This week on Marketplace Middle East

updated 4:54 AM EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
The final journey of space shuttle Discovery marks the emergence of private firms entering space exploration.
The final journey of space shuttle Discovery marks the emergence of private firms entering space exploration.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Middle East is rising as a hub for air travel and aviation technology
  • MME visits the factory floor of Abu Dhabi's Strata which recently unveiled $1 billion deal with Boeing
  • MME sits down with George Whitesides, president and CEO of Virgin Galactic

(CNN) -- IN FOCUS: Abu Dhabi's aerospace ambitions

The Middle East is fast becoming a major hub for air travel and aviation technology. Recently the world's leading aircraft companies gathered in Abu Dhabi for the Global Aerospace Summit. At the summit, Strata, a division of Abu Dhabi's development fund, Mubadala, unveiled a $1 billion deal with Boeing to build airplane parts of carbon composite. MME spends a day on the factory floor.


FACETIME: George Whitesides, President & CEO, Virgin Galactic

This week marked the final voyage of the space shuttle and it was to a museum. The United States retired its space shuttles last year due to a lack of funding. Now, the private sector has stepped into space exploration. Virgin Galactic was one of the first and for a price tag of $200,000, you could be on your way to space. MME sits down with the man behind the out-of-this-world experience, George Whitesides.

Marketplace Middle East airs weekly at the following times (all GMT):

Thursdays: 1545,

Fridays: 0845,

Saturdays: 0615,

Sundays: 0515, 1545

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