The Gulf region

The opportunities for horticulture in the Gulf region are extensive. The demand for self-sufficiency and the production of healthy, fresh food has been high on the agendas of various Gulf countries for years. Well before the current Covid19 crisis, the target countries started to develop national strategies to stimulate selfproduction, as the countries were almost 80% dependent on imported food, but there is also enormous waste. The current Covid19 crisis has only made this need more urgent, mainly due to logistical constraints. Not only does the region requires a more sustainable food chain, it is also an important logistics hub for China, India and the African continent.

Extreme climate requires innovation and sustainability

The needs for self-sufficiency and local conditions (including for doing business) differ strongly between the countries in the Gulf. There are, for example, climate difference and different (geo)political and economic challenges. But there are also corresponding challenges, such as climate, sustainability and ultimately the same desire to become more locally self-sufficient. Producing safe, hygienic and sustainable food is (technically) possible in the Gulf region in greenhouses or indoors. Depending on the business model, location and/or investor, the right techniques will be chosen.

The extreme climates in the target countries require innovation and sustainability aimed at the production of high-quality fruit and vegetables, especially when the desire is for year-round production and there is an awareness of regional vulnerabilities associated with, for example, water scarcity.

Public-private partnership to help Gulf-countries become more self-sufficient 

Doing business in the region requires a collective approach to better respond to local needs and issues and to position (glass) horticulture Netherlands more effectively in the Gulf. As of January 2021, DGD has started a PIB together with RVO. PIB stands for Partners for International Business and is a program that allows Dutch companies to realise their international ambitions in a public-private partnership. The demand for-and consumption of-fresh food, due to increasing population growth, tourism and improved health care will continue to grow. High-quality technology, to handle the volume, is therefore essential. By offering a total solution, in terms of horticultural technology, management (guidance) and knowledge transfer, we believe we can help countries in the Gulf region become more self-sufficient. As the Netherlands, we want to provide a solution for the local food production system. We will specifically focus on covered crops and crops with high added value, such as tomato, sweet bell pepper, cucumber and eggplant. More info can be found at the PIB HortiRoad2theGulf-website.

Dutch Greenhouse Delta and Innovation Quarter coordinate the PIB Hortiroad2theGulf, in close cooperation with the Dutch government and embassy network. These companies are PIB ‘HortiRoad2theGulf cluster members:



Autonomous Greenhouse

Dutch horticultural mission to the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia

From October 17 to 20 a Dutch horticultural trade mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes place. The aim of the mission is to show that the Dutch horticulture sector offers an answer to Saudi Arabia’s demand for self-sufficiency in food security. The trade mission is initiated by Dutch Greenhouse Delta (DGD) and InnovationQuarter and organized in close cooperation with the Agricultural office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Autonomous Greenhouse

‘Responding to consumer requirements in order to make optimal use of vertical farming opportunities’

Vertical farming projects are now sprouting up all over the world. Signify and BASF’s Vegetable Seeds Business are actively involved with these types of projects. They have emphasised the importance of specifically focussing as much of a vertical farming project on the consumer’s needs and requirements as possible. Both parties are looking into how they can strengthen and support each other here.

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This whitepaper explains how Dutch horticulture can help boost local food production and contribute to achieving sustainability goals, which leads to:

Also, other successful projects in the Gulf are presented in this whitepaper.

Projects in the Gulf region

Pure Harvest Smart Farms | UAE

About the project

Location: Abu Dhabi
Crop: Tomatoes
Type: SuprimAir
Surface: 10.000 m²

Armela Farms | UAE

About the project

Location: Dubai
Crop: Lettuce and Kale
Type: ModulAIR, Turn-key
Surface: 20.000 m²

Madar Farms | UAE

About the project

Location: Abu Dhabi harbour
Crop: Tomatoes and micro-cresses
Type: Indoor farm
Surface: 50.000 m²

Al dahra Baywa | UAE

About the project

Location: Abu Dhabi
Crop: Tomatoes
Type: ModulAIR
Surface: 11.700 M2

The Green Mast | Saudi Arabia

About the project

Location: Riyadt
Crop: Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers
Type: High-tech hydroponics

The National Research and Development Center for Sustainable Agriculture

About the project

Location: King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Crop: Different vegetables and fruits
Type: Research on agricultural activities and crop management, control of environmental conditions, fertilization and irrigation methods and integrated pest management

Greenhouse protected solar power generation | Oman

About the project

Location: Miraah
Type: The special greenhouses generate steam using solar energy; that steam is then used in oil production
Surface: 190.000 m²

This whitepaper explains how Dutch horticulture can help boost local food production and contribute to achieving sustainability goals, which leads to:

Also, other successful projects in the Gulf are presented in this whitepaper.

Like to know more about us in the Gulf Region?

Download whitepaper Gulf Region.

Download whitepaper Golf Regio (NL)

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