Dubai: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said Dubai remains committed to maintaining the highest levels of food security with one of the world’s most comprehensive plans to address this vital issue.
“Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we will continue launching new initiatives that apply modern farming techniques to accelerate self-sufficiency in fresh food produce and support sustainability, which is a top priority for us,” said Sheikh Hamdan.
“The Dubai Food Security Committee constantly reviews current opportunities and challenges within the framework of the national food security strategy. Our plans for enhancing self-sufficiency in the agricultural sector by supporting the use of technologies and applied research in food processing and agriculture are focused on meeting the current and future needs of Dubai’s citizens and residents.”
The Crown Prince made the comments during a tour of Bustanica, the world’s largest vertical farm that recently opened in Dubai. Accompanying him during the tour were Adel Ahmad Al Redha, chief operating officer, Emirates Airline; Mansoor Falaknaz, member of the Board of Directors, Bustanica; and Robert Fellows, production director, Bustanica.
Food security high priority
Sheikh Hamdan said: “The opening of the world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai reflects the high priority that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s strategies place on long-term food security and the government’s commitment to making continuous investments to ensure sustainable growth.”
“We are fully confident in the ability of our youth and institutions to continue delivering innovative projects that accelerate the pace of development and achieve optimum results in strategic sectors,” he said.
Dubai will continue to pursue innovative ways to further strengthen the emirate’s resilience and food sustainability irrespective of the global environment, Sheikh Hamdan added.
During the tour, the Crown Prince was briefed on the innovative technologies used in the state-of-the-art hydroponic farm. The Bustanica facility has been developed by Emirates Crop One, a joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering, one of the world’s largest catering operations serving more than 100 airlines, and Crop One, an industry leader in technology-driven indoor vertical farming. Backed by an investment of US$40 million, the world’s largest hydroponic farm is spread over an area of 330,000 sq ft.
Raising bar of excellence
Sheikh Hamdan commended the Emirates Group’s initiatives to constantly raise the bar of excellence in the aviation sector. Under the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Emirates has evolved as a key player shaping the growth and future of the industry, he said. The Emirates Group’s strong business foundations built on farsighted investments in people, technology and infrastructure place it in a strong position to make even more significant contributions to the economy in the years to come, he added.
Located near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the newly opened vertical hydroponic farm in Dubai is geared to produce more than 1 million kilograms of high-quality leafy greens annually while requiring 95 per cent less water than conventional agriculture. At any point in time, the facility grows more than 1 million plants that provide an output of 3,000kg per day.