Dubai launches its first vertical farm
Looking toward a sustainable future the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has opened the first commercial vertical farm in Dubai. The farm, named badiafarms, uses revolutionary hydroponic technology and vertical farming techniques to grow what they describe as ‘gourmet greens’ without soil. Requiring 90% less water than regular farms badiafarms uses coconut husks instead of soil to grow their produce which is free of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.
Due to the nature of the environment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the region currently imports over 80% of its food, with the produce required often travelling 3,000 miles to get to the plate. badiafarms aims to address this gap in the local market, providing kale, cress, basil and mustard among others to high end restaurants in the city.
Officially opened on Sunday by the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, he commented: “badiafarms is an exceptional example of how the UAE’s agricultural industry can thrive while protecting our environment for future generations. The initiative reflects the nation’s commitment to becoming more sustainable and helps us achieve our goal of food security.”
As well as offering a more sustainable way to grow the greens, using less water and harmful chemicals, the farm will also see a reduction in the carbon footprint of current imports. By cutting down the amount of produce that needs to be brought to the UAE, the associated cost and environmental effect can be lessened.
badiafarms, which is hopefully the first in a long line of vertical farms, is providing an excellent solution not only to the problem of growing produce in countries like UAE, but also in the future of global sustainable farming.
Omar Al Jundi, founder and Chief Executive Officer at badiafarms, said, “We set up badiafarms in the UAE with a vision to provide a sustainable solution for food and to reduce the region’s reliance on imports. Growing crops in the region has always been a challenge due to the hostile climate, and this is where badiafarms offers a viable solution. Not only can we grow the freshest greens, with no pesticides or chemicals, but we actually do this in the most eco-friendly way possible, using minimal recycled water. This is our way to give back to the UAE and start the new wave of farming in Dubai – the home of innovation.”