UAE to Build $136 Million Mars Science City

United Arab Emirates Mars Science City. (Credit: UAE)

DUBAI, UAE (UAE PR) — Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have launched the Mars Science City project.

The AED 500 million [$136 million] city will cover 1.9 million square feet, making it the largest space stimulation city ever built and will provide a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars.

Interior of United Arab Emirates Mars Science City. (Credit: UAE)

The project, which was unveiled at the annual meetings for the UAE government in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, 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 in them a passion for exploration and discovery.

The walls of the museum will be 3D printed, using sand from the Emirati desert.

Interior United Arab Emirates Mars City. (Credit: UAE)

At the meetings, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, “The UAE seeks to establish international efforts to develop technologies that benefit humankind, and that establish the foundation of a better future for more generations to come. We also want to consolidate the passion for leadership in science in the UAE, contributing to improving life on earth and to developing innovative solutions to many of our global challenges.”

He continued, “The UAE is a great country with vision and understanding of the challenges we face and the rapid changes our world is experiencing. We believe in the potential of space exploration, and in collaborating with global partners and leaders in order to harness the findings of this research and movement that seeks to meet people’s needs and improve quality of life on earth.”

  • windbourne

    Cool, but if they were going to be the LEAST bit realistic, it would at Antarctica, and they would have small nuclear system to provide electricity/heat.
    As it is, this now nothing more than another earth 2 type project.

    Though I do have to say, that I’m impressed with UAEs push into everything that they are doing.
    While they are a group of kingdoms, at least they are putting their citizens and future first, as opposed to what we now witness in America.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    My bet is the UAE is interested in developing a terraforming of a different nature. Maybe they’ll perfect cooling first, then move onto heating. Perhaps climate engineering will be the Islamic world’s entry into the modern sciences with a homegrown technology.

  • windbourne

    careful there.
    The ORIGINAL islamic world science and math was the core of Europe’s rise into science.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Note, I did say “modern”. 🙂

  • Paul451

    “viable and realistic model”

    {sigh} Domes. Does no-one know how to do basic science. Domes are terrible pressure vessels. As are regolith floors.

  • windbourne

    good point.

  • ThomasLMatula

    But they look so very cool and science-fiction like. I bet the entertainment firms will line up to shot movies there😊

  • ThomasLMatula

    Or when climate change from all the oil they made money on makes outside living and farming impossible in the region they will just live inside 🙂

    As for Antarctica, the Antarctic Treaty Systm would make something like this nearly impossible to do. They might get away with a research base for a few hundred, but cities designed for thousands? No, there would be objections from everywhere.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I do appreciate what it means when I use an ALGORITHM to solve some ALGEBRA, to compute an AZIMUTH, to slew a telescope to BETELGEUSE. …. Yeah, they were a powerhouse, but those threads are running mighty thin in the Islamic world today. Their glorious past is helping us far more than it’s helping them. In fact I’d say we’ve co-opted their heritage as our own to the same degree they’ve made a deliberate decision to reject it generation after generation.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, but the Mongul invasion and raise of the Ottoman Empire put an end to it. The survivors mostly fled to Italy, hence the Renaissance.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Oh, interesting statement. I thought the Italians reached out to the Islamic world as they had not only their own science but ties to the old classical world. What names should I do some reading on of Islamic refugees helping kickstart the Renaissance in Italy?

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Just what I was thinking. The Saudi solution is to buy farms overseas. Saudi also did a massive buyout of the Saudi agri-community a few years ago. So they’ll need something like this. Terraforming the Empty Quarter would be a perfect nation building experience for them.

  • duheagle

    Only partly true. And Arabs had nothing to do with that. Islam was an Arabic invention, but the age in which Islam led in science and math was due to the work of Turks and Persians who had adopted Islam – and not always as a result of conquest. These folks had also aced the Arabs out of control of Islam pretty early on and kept that control until about a century ago.

  • duheagle

    Other than the risible would-be jibe about America, yes. The remaining tribal barbarians of the world are going to have to get with the technical civilization program at some point. Good to see at least a few of the Arabs figuring this out and moving that way on their own. I’m certainly not going to complain about an Arab leader with interests beyond what is normative for his peers – e.g., making trouble in the rest of the world and buggering beardless boys.