A partnership between wasl Properties and the Ministry of Food and Water Security will see the launch of a new food business park. Phase One of Food Tech Valley includes its headquarters, research and development facilities, an innovation centre, in addition to a smart food logistics hub and areas for vertical farming.
Speaking about the launch of the project, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said, “Food Tech Valley is a new modern and vibrant city that would help further develop vertical farming and other advanced agriculture technologies and bolster the UAE’s food security. The state-of-the-art centre aims to triple the UAE’s food production and make the country more self-sustainable.”
He added, “We launched the first phase of Food Tech Valley that will serve as a global destination for start-ups and industry experts in the food ecosystem,” while speaking at the launch ceremony, which was also attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of State for Food Security.
Sheikh Mohammed also pointed out that the UAE had become a global food logistics hub with its annual food trade exceeding $27.2bn. He commented, “We will work to create a nurturing environment for agribusinesses to develop new farming technologies and enhance our future food security.”
Al Mheri remarked that Food Tech Valley was critical to the goal of achieving self-sufficiency and conserving essential resources. She stated, “It represents an instrumental stride towards enhancing food security and will serve as a global destination for expertise in the entire food ecosystem. It will also be an economic zone, which is particularly significant considering that the size of the AgTech market is projected to grow from $13.5bn to $22bn over the next four years.”
According to the minister, the food hub will be made up of four main clusters; agricultural technology and engineering, a food innovation centre, R&D facilities, and an advanced smart food logistics hub. The project features a food innovation centre that has been designed to resemble a head of wheat and will incorporate laboratories, research centres and prototype agricultural systems.
She concluded, “Strategically located close to universities and academic institutions, it will support the R&D ecosystem and explore and deliver sustainable solutions around food.”