Dubai – UAE: 17 December, 2019 – Dubai Industrial City, a TECOM Group member and one of the largest industrial hubs in the region, will be home to Badia Farms upcoming new large-scale and high-tech vertical farm. Badia Farms is a regional AgTech leader which was selected in September 2019 by Financial Times as one of the top 25 most innovative companies in the Middle East that are disrupting their sectors.
The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment for the United Arab Emirates and Abdullah Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer, TECOM Group; and the agreement was signed by Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City; and Omar Al Jundi, Founder and CEO of Badia Farms.
Spanning an area of 50,000 sqft, this state-of-the-art facility is expected to start its operations in Q2 2020. Once set, the vertical farm will have the capacity to produce up to 3,500 kg of high-quality fruits and vegetables on daily basis. From the Dubai Industrial City, Badia Farms will be growing more than 30 varieties of fruits & vegetables sustainably.
Considered as the future of farming, vertical farming uses high-tech methods to produce crops in a controlled environment leveraging vertical space, without pesticides, while using less resources compared to traditional farming. This Badia Farms facility in Dubai Industrial City in particular is a game changer, as combining fruits and vegetables in vertical farming is uncommon on a commercial large-scale basis.
This pioneering farm is in line with Dubai and the UAE’s efforts to push the AgTech industry and provide progressive policies that will nurture innovation that contributes to the national food security in a country where more than 80% of fruits and vegetables are imported. The UAE expects to become a food producer in the near future, thanks to technological transformations especially in vertical farming. The role of Dubai Industrial City as a key stakeholder in the Dubai Industrial Strategy, tasked with priority subsectors that include the food industry due to its importance to the national food security, is partly why it offers different solutions that cater to the requirements needed for such operations.
His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Badia Farms is an exceptional example of how the UAE’s agricultural industry can thrive while protecting our environment for future generations. This new high-tech vertical farm will contribute to the UAE’s commitment to becoming more sustainable. Hydroponic technology is a major contributor to agricultural sustainability and food diversity, as it improves crops production and lowers their cost. This is evident in the successful production achieved by Badia Farms in the very short time since its inception. Sustaining food diversity relies heavily on innovation and the employment of cutting-edge technologies.
The Ministry supports all efforts in this field and works on strengthening its ties with the private sector to explore more potential opportunities. We commend the successful endeavor of the Badia Farms, which reaffirms the UAE’s position as a leading incubator for innovation.”
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security in the United Arab Emirates, said: “The UAE has set clear plans to enhance its food security, relying on an integrated ecosystem to produce and manage food – a system that employs advanced modern technologies to develop solutions to the challenges the UAE faces, most notable among them being water scarcity and lack of arable land. Controlled Agriculture Systems are an important solution for producing food in the UAE and the world; the UAE is now home to several vertical farms equipped with hydroponics and soilless farming technologies.”
H.E. Almheiri applauded the announcement to establish a vertical farm – part of Badia Farms – which begins operations next year. The UAE is working to create a positive environment to promote investment in the agriculture sector, in strategic partnership with the private sector, H.E. asserted, noting that the objective is to ensure local markets are sufficiently supplied, all while driving progress in the food security sector to establish the UAE as one of the top 10 countries on the Global Food Security Index by 2021.
Abdullah Belhoul, Chief Commercial Officer, TECOM Group, said: “In line with the UAE’s efforts to lead on innovation and technology, our focus at TECOM group is to provide a success enabling environment for businesses across our communities, in order to support the growth of our business partners and to attract the most innovative organisations and the best talent—contributing to Dubai's knowledge and innovation based economy.”
Saud Abu Al-Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, said: “As a taskforce leader in realizing Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, our mission is to contribute to the advancement of the industrial sector in the UAE and the sub-sectors identified as priority areas including the food industry. A main focus for us is to support the development of an advanced and sustainable food industry that contributes to the national food security. We are proud to have Badia Farms as part of our business community and we are committed to support their efforts to achieve sustainable food production using modern technologies contained in a state-of-the-art warehouse, in alignment with the National Food Security Strategy 2051.”
Omar Al Jundi, Founder & CEO of Badia Farms, said: “In continuation to our efforts in solving the Food Security challenges in the UAE and the Region, we are proud to announce our partnership with Dubai Industrial City to launch a large scale high-tech Vertical Farm that will produce gourmet quality Fruits and Vegetables year-round. This partnership is key to achieve our objectives and ensure alignment with the UAE 2021 government’s vision to provide a sustainable solution to growing food. As founders of the first Vertical Farm in the region back in 2016, we are committed to innovation in the AgTech space to achieve our ultimate goal of elevating the UAE and the Region from importers to exporters of Fruits and Vegetables.”
Dubai Industrial City provides intelligent infrastructure and integrated solutions for businesses. It is a key stakeholder in the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, tasked with developing priority areas including the Food and Beverage industry. The hub is home to over 280 factories and more than 750 business partners in sector-specific zones, including major local and multinational organisations.
Badia Farms is the AgTech leader in the Region, which uses innovative hydroponic technology to grow fruits and vegetables year-round. Based in Dubai, the Farm’s ground-breaking methods grow crops without sunlight, soil or pesticides, using 90% less water compared to open field farming. The Company’s vision is to revolutionise the Agricultural industry to provide practical solutions for Food Security.