Why is a Martian City Being Built in Dubai

05 November 2017

Lab Chat

What Dubai lacks in some areas, it certainly makes up for in innovation and exciting developments. The latest project in the UAE city is a massive Martian environment… But why? Read on to see why Dubai will soon be home to a Mars Science City, and how it will work. 

Simulating space 

While Dubai is known for its extravagance, it won’t be building the Martian city just for show. Instead, its purpose is to provide a model environment where life on the surface of Mars can be realistically simulated. Designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels, the Martian city is expected to cost about $135 million and will cover just less than 2 million square feet – approximately 30 football fields.  

So, what can we expect from this Mars-like environment? As well as a museum of humanity’s biggest and best space achievements, there will be educational areas to inspire visitors. The Science City will also be complete with laboratories dedicated to improving life on Mars. Specialised areas for researching food, water and energy will be included, where scientists can focus on these three key requirements for future colonisation of the red planet. 

Life on Mars 

It’s hoped the space city will attract the best scientists from around the world – and it’s all part of the UAE’s Mars 2117 Strategy. By the year 2117, they want to have established a base on Mars that can house as many as 600,000 people. That’s more than enough to house all of the UAE nationals currently living in Abu Dhabi. 

In the less distant future, the UAE plans to launch a space probe to orbit Mars. In 2020, the Hope probe will begin its three-year journey around the planet, allowing scientists to study its environment in much more depth. 

Other Mars missions 

The UAE isn’t alone in its ambitions to establish life on Mars. The Mars One mission also wants to create a permanent settlement for humans on the red planet. Their plan includes a number of unmanned missions to Mars, which will set up a habitable area before trained crews will be sent – with a view to them staying on the planet. 

Space X founder Elon Musk has also been vocal about his desire to get people to Mars, with plans to colonise the planet in the next five years. Their BFR spacecraft is expected to be launched in 2022, with four making flights to Mars in 2024. 

Download PDF

Get in touch and stay in touch...

Join our mailing list and receive the ARABLAB newsletter and event updates.