The initiative aims to create an integrated modern city that will serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products and an incubator for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and industry experts involved in developing solutions that have the potential to shape the future of the food industry. The new city will spearhead innovation and leverage collaborative networks to lead regional transformation and export knowledge on sustainable food systems globally. It will support the use of technologies and applied research in food processing and agriculture and apply modern farming techniques – such as vertical farming, aquaculture and hydroponics – to accelerate self-sufficiency in fresh food produce and reduce wastage of resources.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the ‘Food Tech Valley’ a new initiative that seeks to triple the UAE’s food production. The launch event was attended by members of the royalty, senior ministers and other dignitaries.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “Food Tech Valley is part of a series of projects that aim to sustain the UAE’s food, water and agricultural systems in line with the National Food Security Strategy. Food and medicine represent strategic sectors that help us ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for the next generation.”
Food Tech Valley is the outcome of a partnership between the Ministry of Food and Water Security and Wasl Properties to explore urban planning of future smart and food independent cities. Equipped with cutting-edge technologies, Food Tech Valley aims to achieve the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy 2051 and support a diversified knowledge-based economy.
The Food Tech Valley will host vertical farms, an advanced smart food logistics hub, Research & Development (R&D) facilities and a marketplace. Driven by a circular economy model, the city will bring together companies, investors and researchers in a sustainable agribusiness ecosystem to develop the latest aquaculture and hydroponics technologies. Over 300 varieties of crops will be produced in the new city using modern farming techniques and the latest agri technologies.
Through an innovation-based approach to food, the new site aims to enhance local food production, diversify investments and advance research to align and influence future food trends and preferences. It will act as a global hub for start-ups, SMEs and international companies with a wide range of expertise to exchange knowledge in the food industry.
Food Tech Valley will be a vital hub for applied research and development to support farmers and food production companies in the UAE and around the world. It will develop new solutions to solve multiple challenges facing the food sector including weak adoption of modern agri-technologies, lack of skilled workforce in agriculture and low competitiveness of local products. Food Tech Valley will be home to four main clusters: agricultural technology and engineering, a food innovation centre, R&D facilities, and an advanced smart food logistics hub. With food and beverage investments in the UAE currently totaling AED62 billion, the Food Tech Valley will contribute to attracting further local and foreign direct investments in promising projects that help diversify the national economy and develop the supply chain and logistic services.