The Emirati project is one of three racing to Mars, including Tianwen-1 from China and Mars 2020 from the United States, taking advantage of a period when the Earth and Mars are nearest.
In October, Mars will be a comparatively short 38.6m miles (62m km) from Earth, according to Nasa.
Hope is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.
Unlike the two other Mars ventures scheduled for this year, it will not land on the planet, but instead orbit it for a whole Martian year, or 687 days.
While the objective of the Mars mission is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in the red planet’s atmosphere, the probe is a foundation for a much bigger goal – building a human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years.