Dubai heads to Mars, announces 2117 colonisation plans



  • Dubai and the UAE aren’t just shining a light on the future, they’re building it, and now their latest ambition is to colonise Mars


Earlier this week Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined Elon Musk, Boeing, and NASA ,who recently showed off their new Mars habitat concept and Mars mining robot, in announcing his plans to colonise Mars within the next 100 years under a project dubbed “Mars 2117 Project.”


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“The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality,” he said, “the new project 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.”

However, while the UAE are busy unveiling and embracing everything from robot police and sky taxis to Hyperloop networks, and now colonies on Mars you can’t help but think that the latter two, which have Elon Musk’s fine fingerprints all over them already – namely because he famously invented the Hyperloop and then announced plans to colonise Mars himself – is the emirates latest attempt to out gun, out think and out awesome the rest of the planet. Elon Musk style… and that might be no bad thing.



Dubai has already invested $5.4 billion in its UAE Space Agency (USA), created in 2014, which was originally proposed as a Pan-Arab Space Agency similar to Europe’s ESA, who’ll start building a Moon base this year, that works in partnership with the National Centre of Space Studies of France and the UK Space Agency.


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The UAE’s first launch is planned to for 2021 in the form of a probe that will be sent ahead to scout the red planets martian surface and initially the Mars 2117 project will begin with an Emirati team of scientists before expanding internationally, a statement said. Over the coming decades it will explore how to travel to the planet faster, as well as how to meet human needs for food, transport and energy on Earth’s neighbour.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, award winning Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank working between the dates of 2020 and 2070, is described as "The Adviser behind the Advisers." Regularly featured on AP, CNBC, Discovery and RT, his ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past five years as one of the world's foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive future. A rare talent Matthew sits on the Technology and Innovation Committee (TIAC) for Centrica, Europe’s largest utility company, and his recent work includes mentoring XPrize teams, building the first generation of biocomputers and re-inventing global education, and helping the world’s largest manufacturers envision, design and build the next 20 years of devices, smartphones and intelligent machines. Matthew's clients are the who’s who of industry and include Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, BOA, Blackrock, Bentley, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, Du Pont, E&Y, HPE, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, UBS, the USAF and many others.


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