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The Farm is located in Al Forsan Park at Expo City Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: On the sidelines of the COP28 climate conference, Expo City Dubai has launched an organic farm with a vision to make the City and its occupants self-sustainable.

“The long-term goal is to make the City’s workers and residents self-sufficient when it comes to sourcing their organic farming. For now this will serve as an inspiration and education tool to encourage home-grown unique farming,” said Matt Brown, chief of sustainability at Expo City.

“The Expo City farm is important to us for a number of reasons. I think that we have started here at the strategic level. What we are trying to do here is play a part in some of the global issues such as water scarcity, urbanisation, and help achieve decarbonisation by 2050.”

“The Farm itself has been created to look at regenerative agriculture, but also to try and improve the circularity of Expo City Dubai as place to be. In that sense we are clearly on that journey,” he added.

“For example we have not started receiving residents yet but when we do our waste levels will start to increase. What we are trying to do is to try and join them together and create a circular loop in the City.”

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The Farm also seeks to nurture climate awareness among visitors and residents Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The Expo City Farm is an endeavour to create a sustainable ecosystem within the area.

Educational purpose

For now, the Farm will serve as extension of the City’s offering and visitors will be able to have a tour of it. “We are looking at a couple of educational workshops and other activations into January.”

What’s inside the Farm?

It is a space growing organic food with several varieties, such as millet, oats and barley and others can be stored and fed to animals.

The area has different crops grown in alternate rows as part of bio-intensive agriculture. This creates natural pest control, as the companion plants protect each other.

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Information panels at the venue guide onlookers about the plants Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News


The farm uses biochar- a special organic, woody waste that is burnt without oxygen to retain carbon. It forms a charcoal-like substance that helps the soil retain moisture and increase agricultural productivity.

Desert and medicinal plants

If you want to know about desert and medicinal plants, head to this zone. Find plants and herbs such as cassia italica and lawsonia inermis all grown here.


A popular option for farming in small spaces, indoor hydroponic agriculture is done here. Using only water, one kiosk of the vertical hydroponic farm at the Expo City Farm is able to produce 15kg of food all year round. The water is recirculated to reduce water consumption by up to 95 per cent.

Water from air

The hydroponic room is linked to a system called Air Joule that can extract water from the air. The technology absorbs water from the atmosphere and then squeezes it out. The machine is powered by solar batteries.

Mushroom farm

Coffee grounds from restaurants around the Expo City are used to form a germinating ground for mushrooms. Grown in a temperature-controlled enclosure, it grows three different kinds of mushrooms- lion’s mane, oyster and chestnut.

Cooking classes 

For those interested to learn recipes for organic cooking then the Farm is a great place. There are several workshops and cooking classes to help spread awareness about the plants grown there and educate people on how to use them.