The United Arab Emirates and Dubai, in particular, seems to be obsessed with making the largest and tallest of structures but its latest undertaking has more to do with their future than it is with bragging rights. The world’s largest vertical farm is going to be built in Dubai. Since water scarcity is a major issue in the UAE, it’s imperative to use high-tech, low-water agriculture methods for farming.
The world’s largest vertical farm will span across an area of 130,000-square feet and will cost $40 million to build. Construction is going to begin in November this year. It’s a joint venture between agri-tech company Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering which is responsible for the over 200,000 meals for Emirates flights at the Dubai International Airport daily.
The companies say that this facility is going to use 99 percent less water than outdoor fields. Once it’s completed, they will be able to harvest 6,000 pounds of leafy greens daily. The produce will be used for in-flight meals and for catering in airport lounges.
The UAE is a major importer of produce, almost 85 percent of the produce required is imported since only a small percentage of its land is arable. The process involved will be “season-less” and enable produce growth 365 days a year. Plants are fed a nutrient solution instead of soil with variables such as humidity and temperature being tightly controlled to maximize yield.