Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, understood the need to ensure sustainable use of our resources to be able to have a steady, reliable and uninterrupted supply of food and water for the UAE and its people.
Established in 1990 as Shaikh Zayed’s personal food security initiative, Al Ain Food & Beverages, now part of Agthia Group, is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the region, and remains committed to keeping late Shaikh Zayed’s vision alive. It is with this spirit that it became an active contributor in the government’s Food Security Alliance, providing reliable and uninterrupted food resources ranging from flour to water and from animal feed to various other food and beverage items. Agthia also used the power of innovation to produce numerous functional waters that enhance the UAE population’s well-being including the region’s first sodium-free bottled water, Al Ain Zero, the world’s first vitamin D water, Al Ain Vitamin D, Al Ain Bambini developed for infant nutrition and Al Ain Zero Bromate, ideal for people with sensitive kidneys.
We are a generation that is executing Shaikh Zayed’s vision and are today a proud desert nation capable of producing our own food and water, with a stable and secure supply for our people. The security of the most human basic necessity has been a cornerstone of the country’s economic goals and a pillar of civilisation.
While organisations such as Agthia are playing their part in keeping the UAE nourished and hydrated, challenges arising from the scarcity of fresh water remain.
Al Ain Water, produced by Agthia Group, is today the number-one drinking water in the UAE, providing a third of the nation’s bottled water consumption. The company also maintains excess stock of water as government reserves for emergencies.
Ensuring sustainable availability of fresh water now and in future is a responsibility we all share. While organisations such as Agthia are playing their part in keeping the UAE nourished and hydrated, challenges arising from the scarcity of fresh water remain.
As we mark World Water Day, we are reminded of the importance of managing our precious water resources efficiently and planning for the future and of the fact that the UAE is one of the ten-most arid countries in the world and that we must rely on desalination. More importantly, we are reminded that we take our water for granted and much more needs to and can be done by everyone to ensure sustainable water consumption.
Shaikh Zayed realised the importance of protecting our resources for succeeding generations to ensure the long-term prosperity and sustainability of the UAE and its people. We might have enough water today, but we owe it to future generations to plan for tomorrow and manage our resources better.
— The writer is Group CEO, Agthia