The Emirati engineer who is inspiring the UAE to grow its own food in urban gardens and on balconies.
Over the past year, I’ve been working as technical support for the Grow Your Food project, leading workshops in organic gardening and agriculture to help UAE residents cultivate their produce in an urban environment – no matter how limited their space might be.
The Grow Your Food project is an Expo 2020 initiative supported by the Dubai Municipality and I’ve been promoting its message to get the UAE growing with a series of seed-planting workshops I present to schools and corporations to give basic advice on what, when and how to plant herbs and vegetables according to organic principles.
There are 60 organic farms in the UAE, and I’ve recently founded Al Ebdaa Al Zahabi Investments, an Agricultural Consultancy that supports the setting up and running of organic farms in the UAE.
If you’re going to cultivate crops you need to be patient and caring. When somebody comes to us as a company to act as consultant, they might say, “We want a watermelon next month”, but we can’t work like that – the melon doesn’t come after one month. In agriculture you can’t change nature, you have to work with it. If you understand that, you’ll be fine.