Cultivating crops in Dubai’s harsh climate isn’t easy — but indoor vertical farms could offer a solution. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) just launched its first vertical farm in the glitzy emirate, and it uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming – a real boon for the water-scarce region.
Food imports travel around 3,000 miles on average to make it to restaurant plates in Dubai, according to the Emirates News Agency. Badia Farms could offer produce with a vastly reduced carbon footprint with their indoor hydroponic farm. Microgreens, lettuces, and herbs flourish with no sunlight, soil, or pesticides required. The greens grow in coconut husks instead, and according to The National, the produce is even safer because many potential food-borne diseases stem from dirt. Badia Farms is the very first commercial vertical farm in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar.
Badia Farms gets their name from the Arabic word for ‘oasis,’ according to their website. They described Dubai as “one of the world’s most dynamic yet agriculturally challenged cities” and said they’re the first company to provide greens to restaurants the same day they were harvested. Founder and CEO Omar Al Jundi said, “We set up Badia Farms 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 that is where Badia Farms offers a viable solution…This is our way to give back to the UAE and start the new wave of farming in Dubai.”
The Emirates News Agency said the indoor farm commenced production in December 2017.
Images via Dubai Media Office Twitter