The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is well-known for its rapid economic development, iconic skyscrapers, and luxurious lifestyle. However, the country’s desert landscape presents significant challenges for traditional agriculture, leading to a heavy reliance on imported produce. To enhance food security and reduce dependence on imports, ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies, has joined forces with Safe Haven Solutions, a Netherlands-based climate-smart agriculture solution provider, to establish a cutting-edge greenhouse at ADQ’s AgTech Park in KEZAD.
The ambitious project aims to revolutionize agricultural practices in the UAE by leveraging advanced technology and sustainability-focused strategies. The centerpiece of this partnership is a state-of-the-art, fully automated greenhouse covering an impressive 10 hectares. Through the utilization of advanced agricultural technology, the facility will play a crucial role in significantly boosting sustainable food production within the country.
A key feature of the greenhouse is its innovative cooling system, which contributes to reduced carbon emissions and minimizes water consumption. This climate-controlled environment will enable the year-round cultivation of high-demand crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers.
The facility’s first phase focused on producing fresh, high-quality tomatoes and cucumbers for local consumers. With a shorter supply chain and access to high-tech farming practices, consumers can expect a consistent supply of locally grown produce that remains fresh for longer periods. Additionally, the project’s scalability will allow it to align production with local market demand, minimizing food waste and increasing overall efficiency.
As the project progresses into its second phase, the growing area will double to an expansive 20 hectares. This expansion represents a significant step forward in bolstering agricultural self-sufficiency in the UAE, reducing the need for imports and supporting the nation’s quest for long-term food security.
To ensure the success of the project and its positive impact on the UAE’s agricultural sector, Safe Haven Solutions’ team of horticulture experts will collaborate with local researchers and agronomists. This partnership aims to develop technologies that are uniquely suited to the region’s specific climate and growing conditions, further optimizing crop yields and resource utilization.
Gil Adotevi, Chief Executive Officer of Food and Agriculture at ADQ, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing its potential to drive domestic food production and strengthen the UAE’s agricultural capabilities. He noted that the AgTech Park is rapidly becoming a hub for large-scale, high-tech farming and research projects, bolstering the nation’s agriculture sector significantly.
Abdullah Al Hameli, CEO of Economic Cities and Free Zones at AD Ports Group, highlighted the importance of the project within KEZAD. The advanced infrastructure and adaptable spaces provided by the AgTech Park create an ideal environment for such transformative agricultural initiatives, ensuring the efficient production, storage, and distribution of essential food staples. Dr. Nadeem Mohammed Aslam, Co-Founder of Safe Haven Solutions, expressed the company’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and food security. By combining the expertise of Safe Haven Solutions with the advanced facilities of AgTech Park, the project seeks to strengthen the foundation of the UAE’s agriculture sector, securing year-round access to nutritious food for its growing population.
The collaboration between ADQ and Safe Haven Solutions is yet another milestone in the development of the AgTech Park in KEZAD. Earlier this year, ADQ initiated the operational phase of the park through a partnership with ZERO, an Italian high-impact technology company, for a vertical farming project. as the UAE’s population continues to grow, so does the demand for fresh produce. With the nation’s history of high dependence on imported food and projections indicating an 18 percent increase in fruit and vegetable consumption by 2026, initiatives like the greenhouse at the AgTech Park are paramount to enhancing agricultural self-sufficiency.
Image provided by ADQ