Sokovo inaugurates vertical farm at Dubai Industrial City to bolster national food security agenda
• State-of-the-art facility will annually produce 360 tonnes of leafy greens and microgreens
• Sokovo’s facility will enable the ambitions of the National Food Security Strategy 2051 and Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’
Dubai, UAE, 11 December 2023: As the global push towards positive climate action prompts greater investment in sustainable food production, Sokovo has inaugurated its vertical farm to produce leafy greens and microgreens at Dubai Industrial City, part of TECOM Group PJSC.
Sokovo’s factory inauguration contributes to the UAE’s push for food security, which also features on the agenda for the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023 (COP28) that is under way at EXPO City Dubai until 12 December.
The indoor farm has a plot size of more than 100,000 sq ft. with a total built-up area spanning over 20,000 sq.ft and production capacity of 360 tonnes – equivalent to almost 160 unloaded standard twenty-foot shipping containers. It joins a dedicated F&B economic zone at Dubai Industrial City and will grow fresh kale, spinach, lettuce, basil, and rosemary, among other leafy greens and microgreens. The farm will supply its produce to hypermarkets, hotels, and restaurants across the country, helping to reduce reliance on food imports and meet the needs of the UAE’s growing population.
“The challenges of farming in the desert belong to the past,” said Saud Abu Alshawareb, Executive Vice President of Industrial at TECOM Group, on behalf of Dubai Industrial City. “Vertical farming provides an outstanding solution to ensuring the UAE’s residents have access to freshly grown produce, especially as demand grows in line with the population.
“The launch of Sokovo’s advanced hydroponic farm at Dubai Industrial City brings us closer to achieving the goals of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 while furthering the ambitions of the Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’, Operation 300bn, and Make it in the Emirates visions to enhance the UAE’s local supply chains across various sectors.”
Harsh Gurbani, Owner of Sokovo, said: “Dubai Industrial City has been a key supporter in the setting up and establishment of our farm, which focuses on sustainability by ensuring its water intake is recycled and reused. We also ensure the maximum use of natural sunlight in a temperature-controlled environment and remain committed to supplying the UAE with pesticide-free locally and freshly produced items. As long-term residents of the UAE, we are proud to contribute towards making the country more independent and self-sufficient to enhance its food security.”
Sokovo’s state-of-the-art hydroponic facility uses sustainable design and technologies to ensure high-quality yield and efficient resource consumption without pesticides. It features 7-metre-tall towers with a double retractable sunroof to ensure all crops receive maximum and equal exposure to renewable natural light while reducing electricity consumption.
The facility’s launch follows Dubai Industrial City’s strategic partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in May 2023 to boost food security in the UAE. Signed on the side lines of Dubai Industrial City’s Make Brilliance awareness campaign, the agreement will see both parties promoting advanced technology adoption and emphasising the importance of innovation, knowledge-sharing, and nutrition security.
Dubai Industrial City is among the region’s leading industrial manufacturing and logistics hubs, catalysing the strengthening of the UAE’s industrial sector as the home of more than 800 customers, including F&B industry leaders, such as Nutridor, Al Barakah Dates, Patchi, and Barakat Quality Plus.
Featuring more than 300 operational factories, Dubai Industrial City belongs to TECOM Group’s portfolio of 10 business districts, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, and Dubai Design District (d3).