Arabian Nights on Mars?

Dear 2120,

I have to admit that I didn’t see this coming. The United Arab Emirates are now self-appointed contenders in the interplanetary space race, aiming to establish a UAE settlement on Mars by 2117:

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.

With little to no space-faring capabilities (to the best of my knowledge), the UAE could be biting off more than they can chew.

Then again, maybe this is very literally old news to you? Maybe you’re actually on Mars speaking Arabic in a UAE settlement as you’re reading this? I can tell you that this seems an exotic if not unlikely turn of events here in 2017. Still, stranger things have happened, I guess.


In 1955, it was pretty much unthinkable that Japan would overtake the rest of the world in technology and become what sci-fi author, William Gibson, calls: ‘the default setting for the future.’ Back to the Future, a corny but enjoyable sci-fi movie, illustrates the surprise of the power-shift perfectly when time-travelling Marty McFly tells an incredulous Doc Brown that, in the future, Japan is ‘where all the best stuff is made.’

Who knows, maybe it’s time for Elon Musk to eat some Arabian space dust. In which case: peace be upon the United Arab Emirates Mars settlement of 2120.

Hope you’re enjoying the view. Trying hard to contain my jealousy here.

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