Whether you are in a restaurant or supermarket over there, 90% of the fresh food available in Dubai is imported from Europe or other countries. Today comes a major turnaround: Emirates Flight Catering is partnering with the company Crop One to create a huge vertical farm of over 3000 square meters where lettuce, rocket, spinach and mixed vegetables will be grown.
Named ECO-1, the farm will use 95% less water than that required for growing vegetables in a field, and will require no pesticides or herbicides given its controlled environment.
Lighting, humidity and nutrients supplied to the products will all be monitored and regulated by an artificial intelligence within the vertical farm and, although this technology is quite expensive, the large production of products (for the equivalent of about 2,5 million euros per year) will quickly compensate for the investment.
There will be a boom in "green gold", and this vertical farm is just the beginning
Thanks to the plan Green Economy for Sustainable Development, probably in the next few years we will see a real boom of vertical farms in the area of United. And it is not excluded that they will all grow in combination with renewable technologies that will fuel their operation. The target? Outclass the current Singapore's dominance of indoor farming.
The government of Abu Dhabi ha already invested $ 100 million in indoor farming. The main core of the funding will support a local research facility focused on the development of new agricultural techniques and technologies.
In a nutshell: in the 60s the boom of "black" gold was the Big Bang for all the enonomy of that area. The enormous resources and wealth accumulated now represent a competitive advantage that will be exploited to adapt to the necessary changes, energy transition on all.
Will the Arab Emirates manage to become a leader in "green" gold as well? I have my doubts and I don't know (as always), but I appreciate the attempt. The rest will think a sort of "natural evolution", which seems to say together with our planet "go green, or die".