Elon Musk isn’t the only contender in the race to get to the red planet. Back in February, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced an ambitious project called the Mars 2117 Strategy, which aims to create an elaborate city on the Red Planet by 2117.

Now, the government of Dubai has released concept art of a city it plans to build as a practice run for its Martian settlement — and it’s sci-fi chic as hell.

Concept art of Dubai's Mars City

The idea — called the Mars Science City — is expected to span 1.9 million square feet and could cost $135 million dollars to build. According to a press release from Dubai’s government, the settlement will include “laboratories for food, energy and water,” as well as an experimental region where teams can prepare for the harsh conditions on Mars. The Mars Science City will also feature a space-themed museum with 3D-printed walls from the Emirati desert.

It’s unclear what the timeline for the Mars Science City looks like. While the concept art is truly breathtaking — like a better version of that one ride at Epcot — the UAE has a ton of work to do before it makes something like this on Earth or Mars. Currently, it plans to send its first uncrewed mission to Mars in 2020.

For now, we can all look at these gorgeous photos and dream of living on a world better than our own. A barren wasteland like Mars is looking better by the day.


If you liked this article, check out this video of a hole on Mars that could be home to martian life.

Photos via Government of Dubai Media Office