A little more than 40 years ago, Dubai was a tiny pearl-fishing village lined with dirt roads. Now it's the largest and most futuristic city in the world, the jewel of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From manmade, palm tree-shaped archipelagos to jetpack-wearing firefighters and the world's tallest building, the city has a reputation for taking on insanely ambitious projects and executing them with swiftness and expertise. Now, the UAE has a vision to build an even crazier city—on Mars.
The future is already here -- it's just mostly in Dubai. This week, the city, part of the United Arab Emirates, signed a deal with real-life jetpack maker Martin Aircraft Company to purchase 20 jetpacks for first responders. Why do rescue workers need jetpacks? Well, how else can they get to people stuck on the world's tallest building.
The future is unevenly distributed in favor of the United Arab Emirates. Recently, two men donned jetpacks and flew into the night air above Dubai. Yves “Jetman” Rossi previously flew over the Emirati desert in his custom-built wing with jets, but for this paired flight, he was joined by Vince Reffet, a skydiver who once base jumped off the Burj Khalifa. According to a statement accompanying a video release of the flight, the pair fly over the “Burj Khalifa, The Palm Jumeirah, and the Liwa desert.” Their flight together was teased at the end of Jetman's last video.
Martian colonization is a risky proposition. So risky, in fact,that a group of Islamic leaders in the United Arab Emirates issued a religious ruling saying Muslims should not go to the Red Planet. TheGeneral Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE)ruling compares aMars mission to suicide, and says that those who attempt it can expect the same consequences in the afterlife. In fact, GAIAE went so far as to claim that those seeking to escape God's judgment on Mars would be unable to do so, saying: "This is an absolutely baseless and unacceptable belief because not even an atom falls outside the purview of Allah, the Creator of everything."