The United Arab Emirates said it planned to build the first city on Mars in 100 years.
Among all the private organizations and governments competing to get to Mars, the United Arab Emirates wants to be first. The country said that it’s planning to build the first city on the red planet in 2117.
On Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Emir of Dubai, announced the plan, named “Mars 2117”. Al Maktoum said “We aspire to great things, so my brother Mohammed bin Zayed [the first president of the UAE and crown prince of Abu Dhabi] and I today decided the UAE will join the global effort to send humans to Mars”
The UAE’s space agency was only founded in 2014, is considered an inexperienced endeavor, however, the small nation has an abundance of ambition.
Sheikh Al Maktoum added “Mars 2117 is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge.” Although he didn’t specify the plan, he said it would include partnership between governments and other organizations.
The UAE is planning send Hope, a spacecraft that will orbit Mars in 2021, as a first step in the venture.
The UAE’s vision for its “mini city” isn’t as small as some might imagine. Saeed Al Gergawi, manager of the scientific and research committee of the World Government Summit held in Dubai said: “The city is approximately the size of Chicago. It has a population of 600,000” Gergawi also stated that governments need to come together and involve the United Nations in order for the endeavor to succeed.
During the race to Mars, space exploration has turned more and more toward private companies. Dutch entrepreneur, Bas Lansdorp, privately founded Mars One in 2011 by, which has aimed to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars by 2032.
Billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, announced his plan to inhabit Mars using unique and sophisticated technology called the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System.
Before anybody can live on Mars, humanity must first make their way to the Red Planet. Despite attempts by Russia and Europe, the U.S. is still the only country that has landed a spacecraft on Mars. Long before the UAEs 2117 goal, former President Barack Obama planned for a Mars mission, last year he announced a “clear goal” to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.