The plan is already in the works, complete with a concept design for a mini city, to be built by robots.
Though space exploration usually conjures up visions of Russia and the U.S., the UAE has a long history of high-profile, futuristic technological developments, for everything from artificial islands to the world's first rotating skyscraper and 3D printing.
This time, however, the Emiratis are in no rush: their project is called Mars 2117 and media have praised them for not being overambitious, unlike, some say, Elon Musk and NASA, with their plans to start sending people to Mars some time over the next few decades. As one author points out, neither SpaceX, nor NASA have the money needed to advance space transportation technology quickly enough.
The Emiratis, however, are starting slow, from square one. According to a press release from the government of Dubai, the initial stage of the project will focus on developing the skills and expertise necessary to move forward. This stage will in effect involve a change in the educational system of the emirate, to enable future generations to sprout the engineers who will take the project further.