Largest vertical farm to be built in UAE

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
26 June 2018

The world’s largest vertical farming facility is to be built in Dubai.

The $40m indoor facility, made up of stacked layers, will cover 130,000 sq ft but will have a production output equivalent to 900 acres of farmland. It will be capable of harvesting 2,700kg of leafy greens each day, using 99% less water than outdoor fields and no pesticides or herbicides.

The project is the brainchild of Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and vertical farming company Crop One. Produce from the farm, near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, will be delivered to EKFC’s customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges.

“The proximity of the farm to the point of consumption also substantially reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation,” said Emirates. “It will also ensure the quick delivery of the fresh products, reaching customers within hours of harvest, maintaining high nutritional value.”

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chief executive of Emirates Group, said: “This investment to build and operate the world’s largest vertical farming facility aligns with the UAE’s drive for more agricultural self-sufficiency, a vision which began with the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The introduction of ground-breaking technology at the facility also enhances Dubai’s position as a global innovation hub.”

Sonia Lo, CEO of Crop One Holdings, said: “Our selection after a 10-month search by EKFC is a validation of our successful business model that uses patented technology and processes to optimise crop yields and facilitate hyper-growth.”

Construction is due to begin in November with a completion date in December 2019.

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