The UAE on Tuesday announced plans for a AED500 million ($136 million) project to build a city that simulates life on Mars, Arabian Business reported.
During the annual UAE Government meetings, the Mars Scientific City project was described by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as an “extraordinary national project”.
According to tweets, the city will be spread across 1.9 million square feet and will replicate conditions for human settlement on the Red Planet.
The announcement is the latest in the UAE’s Mars 2117 project which was launched by Sheikh Mohammed in February at the World Government Summit in Dubai, with an aim to build a “miniature city on Mars in the next 100 years”.
It aims to focus on parallel research into exploring means of mobility, housing, energy and food as well as speeding up the time it takes to travel to the planet.
At the time, Sheikh Mohammed said: “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. The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”
In November 2016, Sheikh Mohammed approved the final designs of the UAE’s Mars Hope probe which is scheduled to reach the Red Planet in 2021.
He gave the green light to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes, the Arab world’s first Mars probe.