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This week on Marketplace Middle East

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

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