The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled a new project that aims to establish the first city on Mars by 2117, in collaboration with specialized international organizations and scientific institutes.

The “Mars 2117 Project” was announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the sidelines of the 5th World Government Summit, currently being held in the Emirate.

“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,” said Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid.

via HH Sheikh Mohammed on twitter

Sheikh Mohammed said his country was one of the world’s leaders in space science investments, adding that it aims to accelerate the research in this area. “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,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

According to a statement released by the Dubai government media office, the project is set to be developed and executed in partnership with major international scientific research institutions. The project will initially focus on preparing the human cadres able to achieve a scientific breakthrough to facilitate the arrival of humans to the Red Planet over the next decades, the statement said.

In July 2014, the UAE announced it would create a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.

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