DUBAI: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, has inaugurated Dubai’s first in-store hydroponic farm at its Carrefour market Al Wasl store. Launched under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the farm increases the quantity of fresh, local, and sustainable produce supplied to Carrefour customers.
This initiative marks Majid Al Futtaim’s third in-store hydroponics farm and is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to promote sustainable locally-grown produce, enabled by innovative solutions.
Hydroponics is considered one of the most efficient farming techniques; as it enables the fresh produce to grow in a controlled and hygienic environment, without the limitations of space and climate, providing a sustainable and safe supply of food throughout the year. In addition to reducing the food miles and carbon footprint involved in food production, the farm also uses 90 per cent less water and less space than traditional farms to deliver approximately 10kg of fresh herbs and microgreens per day, equivalent to the yield of about 1 acre of farmland. The farm contributes to Majid Al Futtaim’s Net Positive commitment, which aims to offset the company’s water and carbon footprint by 2040.
His Excellency Dr. Al Zeyoudi said: “Hydroponics and other modern cultivation methods are reshaping the sector and making it more sustainable. Given that the UAE has a shortage of arable land and fresh water, our wise leadership has committed to implementing innovative agricultural solutions that reduce the pressure on our natural resources.”
His Excellency added: “Majid Al Futtaim’s hydroponic farms are a prime example of private-led ventures that help drive our sustainability agenda. We applaud the group’s steadfast dedication to environmental stewardship.”
Alain Bejjani, Chief
Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding, commented: “The increased
supply of locally-grown produce is key to ensuring long-term food security in
the UAE. At
Majid Al Futtaim, we are proud to partner with the government on projects that prioritise local products and ensure our Carrefour customers have access to fresh and nutritious produce, at affordable prices.
“With the introduction of our latest in-store hydroponics farm, we are expanding our own sustainable farming capabilities. At the same time, we are working closely with local farmers to stock their produce in our stores. These initiatives are great for our customers, the local economy and the environment.”
The latest in-store farm on Al Wasl spans 24 square metres and joins two others farms in Carrefour locations at Yas Mall and My City Centre Masdar. The Al Wasl farm has a total growing area of 54 square metres and can accommodate up to 16 varieties of leafy greens, including lettuce, arugula, and kale, and herbs, such as basil, dill, and sorrel.
The newly opened farm responds to customers’ growing interest in fresh produce farmed and sold inside stores. The farm also educates people of all ages about modern low-impact farming techniques and adds to Carrefour’s sustainability efforts, such as incentivising customers to opt for reusable shopping bags and eliminating single-use plastics by 2025.