Desert sand will be used
Spending Dh500million, the UAE will build a Mars City - the largest space stimulation city ever built in the world and a realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars.
His Highnesses Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; jointly launched the ambitious Mars Science City project which will cover 1.9million square feet on the sidelines of the annual government meetings which began in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The Mars Science City structure will be the most sophisticated building the world, and will incorporate a realistic simulation environment replicating the conditions on the surface of Mars.
The city will consist of several domes, with innovative construction techniques providing support for the structures. The project encompasses laboratories for food, energy and water, as well as agricultural testing and studies about food security in the future.
Sheikh Mohammed 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.
"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."
He added: "The new project is another step in the UAE's leading contributions to the global science movement; we seek to set an example and motivation for others to participate, and contribute, to humanity's march into space."
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said: ""We have great confidence in our national work teams, and Emirates Mars Mission prove that our youth are trustworthy and capable of achieving national ambitions."
Desert sand will be used
The science city will also have 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.
This project will include advanced laboratories that stimulate the red planet's terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation. It seeks to attract the best scientific minds from around the world in a collaborative contribution in the UAE to human development and the improvement of life. It also seeks to address global challenges such as food, water and energy security on earth.
A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, in cooperation with internationally renowned architects Bjarke Ingels.