The UAE on Tuesday revealed plans to build a city called Mars Scientific City, a Dh500 million project that will simulate life on Mars.
The announcement was made on the first day of the Annual Government Meetings (AGM) in Abu Dhabi.
The Dh500 million City will cover 1.9 million square feet, making it the largest space-simulation city ever built and will provide a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars.
The project encompasses laboratories for food, energy and water, as well as agricultural testing and studies about food security in the future.
The science city will also boast a museum that displays humanity’s greatest space achievements, including educational areas meant to engage young citizens with space and inspire a passion in them for exploration and discovery. The walls of the museum will be 3D printed, using sand from the UAE desert.
“We are seeking a better life and education as well as a stronger economy and the internationally most sophisticated infrastructure for generations to come,” said His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“The late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan established a state and entrusted us to continue working to become the world’s best country,” said Shaikh Mohammad, who chaired the annual meetings along with His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
They also chaired a meeting attended by the UAE’s Crown Princes to enhance cooperation between federal and local governments.
The meetings involved 30 teams who are laying the foundations for the UAE’s Centennial 2071.
“We place a great trust upon our national cadres, and the Mars Scientific City project is yet another evidence that proves the capacity of our youth in achieving national aspirations,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said.
He added: “The UAE’s progress and prosperity is a collective responsibility, however our development plans and strategies are, we will not reach our goals unless we collaborate our efforts and work as one team.”
The Mars Science City project falls within the UAE’s objectives to lead the global scientific race to take people to Mars and is part of the Mars 2117 Strategy, launched during the fifth World Government Summit, which seeks to build the first settlement on Mars in the next 100 years.
This project will include advanced laboratories that stimulate the red planet’s terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation.
It seeks to attract the best scientific minds from around the world in a collaborative contribution in the UAE to human development and the improvement of life. It also seeks to address global challenges such as food, water and energy security on earth.
The plan for the Mars Science City project include an experiential element, which will involve a team living in the simulated red planet city for one year. It is hoped the experience will form an important reference model for future innovation around sustaining life in a hostile planetary environment. A range of experiments are to be devised, which will lead to innovation around self-sufficiency in energy, water and food.
The Mars Science City structure will be the most sophisticated building in the world and will incorporate a realistic simulation environment replicating the conditions on the surface of Mars.
The city will consist of several domes, with innovative construction techniques providing support for the structures. A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, in cooperation with internationally renowned architects Bjarke Ingels.