A little more than 40 years ago, Dubai was a tiny fishing village lined with dusty roads. However now it’s the largest and most futuristic city in the world, the jewel of the United Arab Emirates.
From manmade, palm tree-shaped archipelagos to jetpack-wearing firefighters and the world’s tallest building, the city has a reputation for taking on insanely ambitious projects and executing them with swiftness and expertise.
Now, the UAE has a vision to build an even crazier city—on Mars.
The UAE’s space agency, created in 2014, plans to send a spacecraft named Hope into orbit around Mars in 2021.
Mars is not an easy task. To date, only the United States has successfully landed any spacecraft on the red planet, although Russia and Europe have tried. Then there are the challenges of getting astronauts there safely, feeding them, housing them, and keeping them sane.
.9 million square-foot simulation city
The ruler has unveiled plans for a 1.9 million square-foot simulation city that will imitate real-life living on the surface of Mars. It is expected to cost a cool Dhs500 million.
3D printed wall and much more.
The plan comes complete with laboratories for food and water, a museum that displays humanity’s greatest space achievements, and 3D-printed walls created using sand from the Emirati desert.
Making big dreams come true
The nation doesn’t have its own rockets to launch, but it does have a lot of money—and a track record of making big dreams come true.
And, for better or worse, the UAE lacks a lot of the bureaucratic and political structures that can slow NASA's progress. If there's anyone who can build a city on another planet, it may be the country that's built the most extreme city on Earth.