Food Technology valley
Image of what UAE's Food Tech Valley will be. The Emirates Development Bank deal will see it funding startups and other businesses that set up operations there. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Emirates Development Bank will offer preferential funding solutions to startups based in the upcoming Food Tech Valley from Dubai’s wasl Asset Management Group. These startups will be into food, agritech and sustainability solutions.

Apart from direct funding, Emirates Development Bank will offer Food Tech Valley businesses with mentoring support, knowledge transfer and roadshow participation. “The partnership will further boost the government’s vision of diversifying the economy by encouraging tenants to set up their businesses at Food Tech Valley,” said Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group. “It also aligns with the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051.”

It was in May last year that the UAE launched the food security programme under the mantle of Food Tech Valley. The end goal is to be a hub for tech-based food and agricultural products, “significantly disrupting traditional food systems through its emphasis on sustainability and resource conservation”.

“The MoU supports EDB’s strategy to drive the UAE’s industrial development, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies across the industrial base, and empower the growth of SMEs in five priority sectors, including food security,” said Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of the Bank.

EDB will offer direct and indirect lending - totaling Dh30 billion - to more than 13,500 companies by 2026 as part of the UAE's industrial development push.

What will Food Tech Valley be about?
The concept - which is a partnership between UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Dubai's wasl - will incorporate production zones, warehousing, logistics and cold-storage facilities, an innovation and R&D centre, academy, business park, marketplace, visitor centre, and residential areas.