UAE joins race to Mars, aims to build 1st city on red planet by 2117

A conceptual design image from UAE’s “Mars 2117” project.

The United Arab Emirates announced a lofty goal Tuesday: building a human settlement on Mars within 100 years.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, announced the red planet project dubbed “Mars 2117” at the 5th World Government Summit in Dubai.

“The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge,” Maktoum said in a statement. “The landing of people on other planets has been a long-time dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”

According to the statement, the project will also focus on “faster means of transportation” to and from Mars as well as visualizing what a human settlement would look like and be able to sustain itself.

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On social media, Maktoum teased futuristic, conceptual designs from the “Mars 2117” project.

“We aspire in the coming century to develop science, technology and our youth’s passion for knowledge. This project is driven by that vision,” the prime minister tweeted.

“The ‘Mars 2117’ project will develop an Emirati and international team of scientists to push the human exploration of Mars in years to come,” Maktoum tweeted.

This isn’t the first time the UAE set its sights on the red planet. In 2015, the country announced its plans to send an unmanned probe to land on Mars in 2021.

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