As part of its sustainability initiatives, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal has launched an on-site Vertical Hydroponic Farm.

The farm is expected to generate 10kg of produce daily throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions, and has a 41 sqm footprint.

It is expected to yield the equivalent of the produce otherwise acquired on one acre of land in a traditional farming setup – or 30 times higher growth yields than traditional farming.

The farm will also reportedly utilise the practice of controlled environment agriculture (CEA), a technique where all aspects of the farm environment are managed.

CEA optimises the growth of crops by providing the ideal growing conditions, such as lighting, ambient temperatures, carbon dioxide levels, nutrient conditioning of the water, and many other aspects, allowing crops to grow more efficiently.

The Ritz-Carlton has outlined several advantages of having its on-site farm. Since the produce is made on-site and taken straight to the restaurants, this farm further eliminates emissions related to transportation of food. Additionally, there is also zero spoilage from the moment it is harvested to being taken to the kitchens. Also, the produce is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

“The Vertical Hydroponic Farm is an exciting addition to the hotel and the community,” said Christian Hoehn, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. “The farm reinforces our commitment towards sustainability while maintaining the high quality and freshness that our guests have come to expect from our culinary offerings.”

In the UAE, last year, Emirates flight catering opened the world’s largest vertical farm. Located near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the 330,000 sqft facility produces more than 1 million kilograms of high-quality leafy greens including lettuces, arugula, mixed salad greens, and spinach annually, while requiring 95 per cent less water than conventional agriculture.