The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled plans for a robot-built city on Mars by 2117. The project was announced on Tuesday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and vice president of the UAE, at the Fifth World Government Summit, which is being held in the Emirate.
He said: "Mars 2117 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."
An artist’s impression of the city (Dubai Media Office)
According to a statement released by the Dubai government media office, the project is set to be developed in partnership with international scientific research institutions.
The project will first establish the scientific breakthroughs required to enable a manned mission to Mars over the next decades, the statement said. It will start with an Emirati scientific team and will be extended to include international scientists and researchers.
The breakthroughs include developing faster means of transportation and how life could be supported on the hostile, oxygen-free surface of the planet.
In July 2014, the UAE announced that it would create a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed added that the UAE was among the top nine countries in the world in terms of the amount invested in space sciences, and that this rank would increase in the future. Â
He said: "Human ambitions have no limits, and whoever looks into the scientific breakthroughs in the current century believes that human abilities can realise the most important human dream."