Abu Dhabi: Space tourists will be blasting off into orbit from Al Ain airport soon, according to sources.

An agreement to set up the Space Port in Al Ain is expected to be signed on Wednesday at the ongoing three-day Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE Space Agency and Virgin Galactic, a global company that has announced launching spaceships to run commercial space trips, are likely to sign the deal.

The infrastructure for the Space Port is ready and space tourists could take off from there any time in near future, said the sources who did not want to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media before the official announcement is made on Wednesday. Exact details will be announced only during Wednesday’s signing, they said.

The UAE Space Agency is expected to sign a separate deal also with Abu Dhabi Airports that runs Al Ain airport to facilitate space tourism.

As Gulf News reported earlier, discussions between Virgin Galactic and the UAE Space Agency have been going on for the last few years regarding the UAE’s potential as a space tourism location.

Space tourism is expected to be a major industry with the price of a seat on a Virgin Galactic spaceship costing $250,000 (Dh918,250). Tickets on the Virgin Galactic are already full all the way up to 2021, with more than 600 having been sold, according to reports.