In pictures: 5 things to know about... The UAE's race to space
Updates to the national space exploration programme were unveiled at a recent conference in Dubai
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai is a firm advocate of the need to explore space. National satellite development: UAE scientists are working on their third observation satellite, KhalifaSat, to capture the highest resolution images ever taken by a UAE satellite of earth, when it’s launched into orbit in 2018. UAE Mars 'Hope' mission: The Arab world’s first space probe will launch in 2020 and enter Martian orbit by early 2021 — the year of the UAE’s 50th anniversary – to study the planet’s atmosphere and the reasons for the corrosion of its surface. Mars 2117 strategy: The 100-year plan to build a colony on Mars begins by building the UAE Mars Science City in Dubai that will simulate living conditions on the Red Planet. The AED500m domed city will cover 1.9m sq ft. UAE Mars Science City: UAE scientists will build a two million sq ft domed city to solve the energy, water and food challenges that will be faced in a zero-gravity climate. The AED500m research centre will simulate living conditions on Mars. Astronaut programme: The UAE plans to deploy its own astronaut space flight by 2018 to take six Emiratis to the international space station (ISS) in low earth orbit, with research findings gathered from the Mars Science City.