A new agritourism project in Dubai's desert is slated to become the biggest in the world of its type and create 10,000 jobs.
Agri Hub by URB will promote a new experience, with food security, entertainment and adventure, the developer said.
“Dubai’s rural and agricultural rich communities are best positioned to become a global benchmark for agritourism,” Baharash Bagherian, chief executive of URB said.
“Agri Hub is a highly attractive and activity-rich environment, which will transform Dubai into the world’s best rural visitor attraction in the world.”
Local farmers will have space to sell their products directly from their farms, while offering a new eco-friendly shopping, dining and edutainment experience for visitors, Mr Bagherian said.
“Beyond becoming a new tourism experience in the countryside and wilderness of Dubai, the project will also promote greater health, well-being, and prosperity for rural local inhabitants.”
“Ultimately, it will serve as an innovative blueprint for decarbonised rural tourism hubs of the future,” Mr Bagherian said.
Some of the project’s environmental features include 100 per cent renewable energy, 100 per cent water recycling, bio-saline agriculture, green transit systems and on-site zero waste management.
A few locations are being studied for feasibility, with the exact location to be confirmed in 2024. Construction is due to begin in 2025 and be completed by 2030.
URB provides development management and master planning services, with a focus on net zero sustainable cities.
In September, it unveiled plans for the Dubai Urban Tech District which will be located on the Creek side of Al Jaddaf district. It is set to create 4,000 jobs in green urban technology, education and training.
Other projects it is involved in include Xzero City in Kuwait, a sustainable net zero city for 100,000 residents, Alnana Smart City in Riyadh, which will house 44,000 people, and Nexgen Sustainable City in Egypt, which will have a population of 35,000 across 580 hectares.
The UAE has been accelerating its support of AgriTech companies to reduce reliance on food imports, which are thought to make up about 90 per cent of food consumed in the country.
Dubai's tourism sector has recovered strongly following the pandemic and topped the list of cities with the highest spending by international visitors, pulling ahead of Doha and London in the top three, the World Travel and Tourism Council said.