The food safety and security becomes a very crucial issue around the world, the UAE is already looking ahead to secure its own food future and lead the world as the most food-secure country by 2071.
Their plan includes investing in local farms and the latest agricultural technology, as well as enforcing the strictest standards of food safety.
The UAE ranked as the 31st most food-secure country in the world in 2018 out of 113, according to the Global Food Security Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Currently Dubai imports over 80% of its food.
The UAE intends to jump into the top 10 list of countries that are most food secure. In order to reach these targets, locally grown food not only has to expand its growth rapidly, but it also has to meet the uncompromising health standards of the UAE, and cater to the diverse population that enjoys a wide variety of international food.
The UAE’s bid to become one of the world’s top 10 food secure nations took a major step forward with the launch of a comprehensive food security roadmap for the Middle East.
In 2018, Minister of State for Food Security Mariam Al Muhairi announced a food security strategy to reduce Dubai’s reliance on foreign food imports.
In 2017 the first farm to open its doors in Dubai is Badia Farms. Located in Al Qouz, the 8,500sqft warehouse uses hydroponic technology to grow in-demand micro-greens and herbs for Dubai’s trendy restaurant scene.
Badia Farms hopes to not only close the gap between farms and table but to help Dubai become globally recognized as an upscale fruit and veg producer.
Dubai’s future food sustainability is going to be rooted in technology, and businesses are taking note. Many places like the ripe market have moved online and Dubai-based food apps like BonApp are trying to tackle food waste.
In 2017, Dubai-developer MERAAS joined IKEA and Chef David Chang as an investor in AeroFarms, an indoor agriculture tech startup that uses aeroponics technology and closed US$40M in its series D round of funding.
Technology is not limited to how food can be grown but monitored too. Dubai Municipality is developing an app called “Food Watch” that will oversee over 20,000 food establishments to achieve high levels of safety in the lead up to Expo 2020. Residents will also be able to use the app to watch out for allergies or track their nutritional intake.