HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, November 23 /PRNewswire/ --

The Space Investment Company of Dubai has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center(R) to open and operate as many as three new Space Camp(R) and Aviation Challenge(R) resident camp programs in the Middle East, North Africa and Indian sub-continent.

"This is an effort to keep our students and our region on the forefront of technology," said Ghazi A. Al Ibrahim, Executive Chairman of the Dubai based Space Investment Company. "The opportunities and associated technologies of space are essentially untapped," he added.

The agreement provides for the creation of Space World Arabia, which will include a Space Camp and Aviation Challenge campus, on or near the Arabian Gulf in one of the Gulf Council Corporate (GCC) states for the Middle East region. Current plans call for the Arabian Gulf location to open in 2010 at a site to be determined by the end of this year.

"The frontiers of space are open to all nations, and this step today will help insure the people of that entire region are excited about the opportunities available to them," says Larry Capps, the Space & Rocket Center's CEO. "They will take a leading role in preparing the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and explorers. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Mr. Al Ibrahim and share his vision and excitement of bringing the Space Camp experience to the region" he added.

"That's what attracted me to Space Camp," Al Ibrahim says. "Looking ahead to the next generation, they are the ones who will actually begin the exploration of space. The time to prepare them is now."

Space Camp is regarded as the world's premiere educational resident camp program, using a space science curriculum to generate excitement for math and science among students. Camp programs are typically one week long focusing on teamwork, space science history, and training for a simulated space shuttle mission. Aviation Challenge is modeled after the type of training military fighter pilots are subjected to. Trainees spend a week learning water and land based survival skills as well as training in the cockpit of an FA-18 Super Hornet simulator.

Al Whitaker, Media Relations Manager of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, +1-256-721-7160, media@spacecamp.com