This week there’s a sense of excitement in the United Arab Emirates as citizens have been blessed with a momentary chance to lift their thoughts from humdrum earthly concerns and the seemingly endless saga of Covid-19. On February 9th, the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Proble entered the Red Planet’s orbit.
To commemorate the historic moment – which is in fact the culmination of years of research and preparation – the UAE government has given visitors to the country a taste of space. Arrivals to Dubai airport on February 9th had their passports stamped with a unique ‘Martian Ink’.
The limited-edition stamp, created by agency TBWA\Raad in conjunction with the UAE Government Media Office and Dubai Airports is made with ‘Martian Ink’. This specially created ink is made from volcanic basalt rocks that are found in the UAE’s mountains and highly resemble those present on the surface of Mars.
Travellers passing through immigration at all Dubai airports starting 9 February will receive the distinctive red ink stamp which welcomes them with a memorable reminder of this new era for Arabs in time and space and a special message:
YOU’VE ARRIVED IN THE EMIRATES.
THE EMIRATES IS ARRIVING AT MARS ON 09.02.2021.
The Emirates Mars Mission and Hope Probe are being lauded as a milestone for not just the UAE but the Arab world. The probe will provide the first complete picture of Mars’s atmosphere. The entire mission represents the country’s ambition and guiding motto that ‘Impossible is Possible’. It’s the pinnacle of the UAE’s future-facing activity - the country is also soon due to open the doors to its much-anticipated Museum of the Future.
See how the red rocks were transformed into Martian Ink
The stamp’s liquid ink was created from basalt rocks, collected during a special mission to the UAE’s Fujairah Mountains and Sharjah’s Mleiha Desert by experts and gemologists. The rocks were crushed into a fine paste and dried in the sun and then mixed with chemicals to create three separate colours that represent the Red Planet. Basalt rocks date back tens of millions of years and give the UAE’s mountain ranges their distinct rugged look.