A Dubai-based aquaculture business in Jebel Ali has grown organic Atlantic salmon in the UAE for the first time as the desert country works to enhance food security, it was announced on Wednesday.
Fish Farm LLC – which is working with the support of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum – is growing organic sea bass, sea bream, hammour, in addition to Atlantic salmon.
“Dubai is paving the way for aquaculture to be adopted more widely in the GCC,” said Fish Farm CEO Bader Mubarak.
“Ninety-two percent of the fish consumed in the UAE is imported and we aim to address this imbalance by showing how advanced technologies can mitigate the challenges of the natural environment.
“Growing salmon to market size on land, ready for distribution to the markets of the UAE, is a global first, and we hope to show the region how this can be done on a sustainable and commercially successful basis,” he added.
Spinneys and Waitrose will be stocking the organic salmon on an exclusive basis in the UAE.
According to the Ministry for Food Security, the UAE imports 90 percent of all its food products.
“Until today, to taste salmon as fresh as ours in the UAE was considered impossible,” Mubarak said. “The only way to have this experience was to travel to Scotland, Norway or Chile and catch a fish and eat it within a few hours. Not now…we can even deliver the fish alive.”
According to Mubarak, Fish Farm faced a significant challenge in finding a way to get baby salmon delivered alive to the UAE from Scotland – which it solved through the creation of a “bespoke system”- as well challenges related to the establishment of its high-tech on-shore growing facility in Jebel Ali.
“Fish Farm will not rest here, with plans to commercialise its highly-sought, proprietary technologies in the UAE and GCC through its consultancy department.”
The firm, Mubarak added, has already received “many enquiries” from parties interested in growing a range of species locally.