There is indeed an aquaponics movement picking up in Dubai. I see more and more new comers, residents purchasing from me small systems to put in their backyard or by the window sill. This is very encouraging. And many more come and visit us to see with their own eyes what is this about. I tell you, when they see the papapya tree I have growing in the grow bed and they can compare with the one planted in soil, exactly at same time, they realise the potential.
But these people are expats, no nationals have been visiting so far.
So I decided for this short article to share with you how is the aquaponics doing at the National level.
Aquaponics at the UAE University
It is with great pleasure that I have met Dr Belal and his lab technician Mamdouh, both from Egypt and dedicated aquaculturists at the University of the UAE in Al Ain. They both have been working on this project for few years now and having great success. Dr Belal at the aquaponics section and Mamdouh at the aquaculture and hatchery part. This one time I visited them where I get the photos you are seeing here, was end of May. The greenhouse was a jungle of cherry tomato plants. Dr Belal very proud about his production announced that they are at 1 metric ton of cherry tomatoes...per week! This is simply insane numbers; specially when you know the price of cherry tomatoes and how much people love them... Makes you think, aquaponics is well worth the effort...
It is very interesting to see the effort put in researching and developing this efficient and sustainable method of agriculture. The greenhouse goes to sleep during the hottest part of the year during which the team takes holidays and on their return, do the schedule maintenance tasks.
The facility also has its own hatchery and lab for not only water testing but also BRIX tests and all sorts of nutrient checks for the produce that comes out of the greenhouse.
I am a French expat, married, dad of one, nature lover and firm believer of sustainable living. My background is leisure and tourism industry. I fell into aquaponics and now I am sharing with you my adventure.