United Arab Emirates - Agriculture

United Arab Emirates Agriculture 1509
Photo by: aris sanjaya

Only about 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of land are cultivated. About 24% of cultivated land is used to grow vegetables, 30% fruit, 10% feed crops, and 36% for other uses. The most productive region is Ra's al-Khaimah, which receives underground water supplies from the nearby mountains of Oman and which enjoys the most plentiful rainfall. The main crops are tomatoes, melons, and dates.

The Digdagga Agricultural Trials Station in Ra's al-Khaimah is central to all agricultural research and training efforts in the UAE. Abu Dhabi has two large wheat farms at Al 'Ayn, and experimental farms at Rawaya and Mazaid (near Al 'Ayn) are designed to encourage local Bedouins to take up settled farming. The Abu Dhabi Arid Land Research Center on Sadiyat Island produces vegetables through special irrigation and hydroponic techniques. In 1999, UAE agriculture produced 1,055,000 tons of vegetables and melons, and 358,000 tons of fruit. Produce includes citrus, mangos, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, peppers, and fodder crops.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries reported a 48% increase in vegetable production between 1992 and 1995. Dates, traditionally grown on oases by nomads, are becoming less important because of vegetable and fruit production. In 1999, the UAE produced 295,000 tons of dates. The UAE currently satisfies about 60% of its domestic fruit and vegetable demand; bans on imports of certain vegetables and government incentives and subsidies are used to encourage domestic production. Roses and chrysanthemums are grown for export to Europe.

User Contributions:

aiswarya jayalal
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Jan 22, 2010 @ 5:05 am
very execellent article.cam improve more and write more about fisheries
Johan Kolders
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Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:10 am
Exellent article, I think that the United Arab Emirates need a donor country or farms, inwhere they have guarantee supply grains and oilseeds for the next generation, investments world wide in crop farms and breeding farms will be a boost in the future from the Arabian countries.

There are agri models, soils for dessert to cropland and that can be interesting as well for the Middle East and UAE. a view years ago in 2002 we start in the UAE with a view pilots, with good results RAK red-sand and a mixture/blend from other soils makes a good basis and less water use as well.
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May 6, 2010 @ 4:04 am
Very intresting information,U.A.E can invest more on Agriculture and Horticulture sectors
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Sep 26, 2010 @ 2:02 am
My name is shiraz ahmed I want to know as mention above in the article that uae agriculture dept encourages the buduins to join this field so my question is that if any expatriate wishes to get some land for cultivation purpose is there any possibility if yes then what is the procedure and what will be the support uae agriculture dept provide and what kind of crops cultivation will be encouraged.

Best wishes,

Thanks & regards

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Mar 30, 2011 @ 6:06 am

MY name is said from africa iwould like to supply you with the above hortcultural produces what steps can take because ihave them in plenty iwill be happy if you reply me
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Apr 10, 2011 @ 8:08 am
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Apr 20, 2011 @ 2:02 am
Very informative article. It is really good to know that even UAE produces so much fruits & vegetables.
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Jul 15, 2011 @ 4:04 am
I'm looking for investors from UAE who can invest in agriculture in morocco
Ken Bourne
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Nov 30, 2011 @ 1:01 am
Greetings from Canada! When I was manager of a new greenhouse operation in Al Ain 30 years ago, ( at that time Sheikh Sayed was encouraging his citizens to take up farming) we were producing 30 tonnes per acre of tomatoes and cucumbers. At that time I was an organic grower and found it difficult to grow with chemicals. I am even more convinced that this method of growing food in the Emirates is the way to go. If anyone remembers Col. Boustead (he managed the stables for Sheikh Sayed) he was of the same opinion, and used the manure from the stables on his own garden. The growing of wheat was started near our farm in Al Ain and in my opinion was a big mistake. It took too much water and was not a profitable crop for the climate. The only people, in my opinion who benefited from it were the companies that unfortunately were persuasive enough to get the lucrative contracts. However, since then great strides have been made, but many farm owners have abandoned their farms because of management problems or unprofitability. This is a shame because there is so much potential that I believe local farmers could produce much more than 50% of fresh produce consumed in the Emirates. I am thinking of family farms, with animals, and everything organic returned to the soil. I have been using bio-char on my nursery in British Columbia, Canada, together with rock dust, kelp and compost, for the last 15 years and know that this would work in the Emirates. Bio-char is a charcoal made from organic materials, crop residue, weeds, wood waste animal manure and even sewage(this would only be used on non-food crops). Bio-char has a very large surface area and it makes an attractive home for the bacteria that extract the nutrients from the soil and feed the plants. It is also an excellent filter and also helps to retain moisture. In greenhouses if used under the soil the excess water is cleaned and using a system of drains can be recycled again and again. I hope that the Emirates continue to prosper. I loved my time there and if I was younger I would definitely return.
Ken Bourne. BC. Canada
PS. If anyone there knows about the Royal stables I would love to know whether the lovely stallion called Turk (at the "French farm") had any offspring. I would love to know as I was offered this horse but was unable to accept the kind offer.
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Jan 17, 2012 @ 8:08 am
i love this article, i had to submit my project the next day and i did not find it anywhere exept this website.
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Feb 6, 2012 @ 10:10 am
The article excellent and best for school students
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Jun 2, 2012 @ 3:03 am
i luv dis article,u should add the pic of the uae and mark where which crops are grown
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Nov 17, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
I am an agronomic engeneer with qualification in management here in senegal with twelve(12years)experiencies in rural development.
I am very interesting for a job in the division of project coordonator in agriculture even livestock in your activities area.
I wish to have soon your feedback
soukeyna chimere diaw
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Mar 20, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
What about the water problem? How can it ever be sustainable to grow crops in a country with such dire water problems? The undergrounds water is already badly depleated, salinity is increasing and using desalinated water means it would be better to just fly the produce into the country as far as CO2 is concernced.
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Jan 10, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
very nice job, helped me with my project. keep making more and more.
david manheru
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Jul 21, 2015 @ 3:03 am
Im from Zimbabwe I also want to start farming so im looking for investor in the form of agricultural equipment,i've got enough land and plenty of water
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Dec 4, 2015 @ 8:08 am
Hi! It's a very useful article..I liked it very much..
Jayadev Nambiar
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Jun 21, 2016 @ 10:10 am
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Jun 27, 2016 @ 8:08 am
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Oct 15, 2016 @ 7:07 am
I love this article!!
Really nice article and very informative.
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Nov 4, 2016 @ 7:07 am
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