UAE reveals details on its 100 year Mars colonization plan

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled some of the reasoning behind its plan to colonize Mars by 2117, including an overall outline of its long term approach.

“In the UAE, we live in a rough neighborhood,” Al Gergawi added. “Our neighborhood has over 100 million youth, with over 35 percent unemployment.”

This high rate of youth unemployment in the region has a well-known negative impact such as radicalisation and even terrorism, Al Gergawi explained. One of the rationales for the Mars 2117 programme, however, is to turn the circumstances of young people in the Middle East into a positive impact that engages them in meaningful goals involving education in science and technology. “This is the impact we’re betting on,” said Al Gergawi. “We want to enable the youth to play an active role in advancing the global efforts toward enhancing the Red Planet and other planetary bodies.”

…“The Mars 2117 Project is a long term project, where our first objective is to develop our educational system so our sons will be able to lead scientific research across the various sectors. The UAE became part of a global scientific drive to explore the space, and we hope to serve humanity through this project,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added.

I wish them well. The aims and approach seem to be right, though the hill they need to climb is quite steep.



  • Willi

    “so our sons will be able to lead scientific research”. Look for some feminists getting upset…

  • Dick Eagleson

    Tribal barbarian jihadists in SPAAAAAAAACE!

  • Steve Earle

    Another government-run make-work program, what could go wrong?

    How about they do a CCC type program and put them to work building parks and reclaiming the desert.

  • wayne

    Noper. Don’t wish them well, at all.

    “…serve humanity through this Project…”

    -I’m doubting that, big time.

    It’s a Cookbook!

    “It is very cold, in The Space.”
    Crown Prince His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

    oooohh, he thinks he’s the Queen of England…. I better start bowing & scraping on my knee’s, for his most royal goat-herderness.

  • Cotour

    And who will be developing and building this equipment and systems for them? Do they themselves have the capability to do so?

    Is buying it all the same as developing and building it all? Is there a qualitative difference?

    There is something “hollow facade” to about the UAE and all of their plans to me. Their cities, their buildings, their Lamborginis, their Islands etc, etc. In the end they have sand, sun, oil and money and thats about it (Oh, and Islam)

    Is being able to buy really enough?

  • DougSpace

    @Cotour, They could perhaps afford to purchase SpaceX launches. What they do with those launches (i.e. payloads) could be of their own work and, if smart, could be a significant accomplishment.

  • Tom Billings

    @DougSpace said:

    ” What they do with those launches (i.e. payloads) could be of their own work and, if smart, could be a significant accomplishment.”

    You could just possibly be onto something. The Gulf States are mostly Shia, ruled by Sunnis. The people running the Gulf States, and many of their subjects, have enough contact with industrial society, that they realize what they are missing out on. They know they must develop some means of separation from the scriptural literalists within Islam if they are to get new choices.

    Spaceflight may be something that can attract the 35% of their young males who are unemployed enough to separate them from both the Salafists *and* the Khomeinists. The women are still thought of in the traditional Kinder, Kirchen und Kuchen attitude, but they would join in as well, eventually. All of them want a way out of the cage that is the Gulf.

    What spaceflight this give them, if they push hard, is something that they could become near to the front of the pack in within a few decades. It is so far outside the agrarian culture mode that commentary on it from the Ulemma is almost non-existent. If they push hard, then both sets of Caliphate Revivalists could be left in the dust.

    As to purchasing things, …one thing they have a chance to do is to purchase the first space manufacturing facilities *made*in*Space*. *If* they can do that, then like everyone else they can buy transport up for themselves, and occupy their own facilities, and continue to build more infrastructure, and develop a reputation for good work, with no precedents for the Ulemma use as levers to interfere. That creates leverage for themselves.

    As long as they are pinned between the Salafists and the Khomeinists, with little leverage beyond being someone the industrial world will tolerate sitting on top of that Oil, their position is shaky, at best. With a position as the first entrepreneurs of Space, the Gulf Arabs could carve out a new place for themselves in industrial society as it develops throughout the Solar System.

    Will it work?? I dunno, but it’s a better use for their money than buying Lamborghinis that are bashed up within a year of purchase.

  • LocalFluff

    Tom Billings
    The arapes want rockets only in order to nuke their eternal enemies in Israel, Europe, America, India, the entire non-muslim world. The definition of islam is that everyone must be forced to slavery. They have a primitive stone age bedouine culture and resist fanatically to evolve it in any way, since 1,400 years. To manufacture things does not exist in their very limited repertoire. There exists no real industry in arape countries, just oil and some simple assembly of finished parts. No natural science research is pursued in the Middle East outside of Israel. Their engineers are not tought by any researchers.

    Some Westernized billionaire sheikhs might have plans like what you describe, but they are hopelessly out of touch with their people. The radical majority wins all elections in the region, Turkey being the last example, and are taking power violently in many other countries. Saudi Arabia, that spends more than Russia on its imported military which has proven to be useless in Yemen useless military, is on the verge of collapse.

  • Garry

    Keep in mind that the UAE is unique within the muslim world; 85 percent of its population is from elsewhere, and in many ways it’s the most permissive, making it a real interesting mix. Last time I went there, I saw a woman wearing a miniskirt, followed by another woman wearing the full black abaya and showing only her eyes. When they say “in our neighborhood,” they mean surrounding countries; the unemployment rate, etc. does not apply to them. Muslims can go to Dubai and do things they can’t elsewhere in the region.

    That said, there’s a lot of dirty money there from around the world, like it used to be with the Swiss banks (much of the property on Palm Island is owned by corrupt despots from around the world, and sometimes their minor children).

    The sheik has also been known to be a bit of a loose cannon; when his plans don’t work out financially and he doesn’t have the money, he just goes with it (with burj dubai, the world’s tallest building, he just announced publicly that he was unilaterally changing the financial terms to his creditors, and the sheik of Abu Dhabi quickly stepped up and paid his creditors).

    One of the reasons it has so many foreign residents is because all the manual labor is done by Indians, Pakistanis, Philippinos, and others who are attracted by jobs, but in many cases live effectively as slaves. The hundreds dying building the stadium for the world cup in Qatar highlight examples of abuses some of these foreign workers have to endure.

    I don’t expect this project to be achieved as planned, but I don’t know that we can assume it’s because of the same reasons and for the same motivations as it would be with Iran, for example.

  • wayne

    I’m with LocalFluff on this.
    It’s a made up country, with made up citizens, and imported servants, ruled by an absolute monarchy with dubious genetic heritage.

  • LocalFluff

    Here’s an arab i Qatar who understands at least the backwardness problem with his culture’s societies:
    “We don’t produce a single nail(!) in the cars we drive.”
    “Professionality must be followed in everything. If you kill, do it properly. And if you slaughter, do it properly!”

    (I hope the subtitles aren’t a Bad Lipreading joke.)

  • wayne

    HS Students Name Award Winning Rocket ‘Trump’ Because It ‘Conquers All’
    (Victory Christian Center School Model Rocket Team visits W.H.)

  • Alex

    @Wayne: I viewed your video. Strange! Is this the future of USA, all are black or own other colors, only a very few Whites?

  • wayne

    don’t freak out, yet!

    This is a private Christian school (Kindergarten-12th grade) run by a Church, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Tuition is like $6-7K/year. These aren’t “poor downtrodden exploited minorities,” they all self selected to go to this school, (400 students) their parents can afford it & wanted them in this school, and they are noted for stressing STEM type academic subjects, including model rocketry.

    Beware– I encountered an imitation bogus website, masquerading as the real school website, when looking them up on BING.
    (weaponized America/Trump-Haters, no doubt.)

  • ken anthony

    By 2020 the architecture for getting to mars will have been demonstrated. After that, anyone with the money ($150m to $300m for up to four people) will be able to go to mars. Ticket prices will drop with volume and experience. Once a colony is established it will be even easier for those that follow. If they focus just on living and quality of life, science and exploration will become trivial. Industry will be the natural result of individual pursuits.

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