Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has heaped praise on a forward-thinking business producing thousands of fish each year in the heart of the Dubai desert.
The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai was joined by his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, for a tour of the sprawling Jebel Ali facilities of the Fish Farm.
The company was established in 2013 in an effort to reduce the UAE's dependence on imported produce and support the country's marine industry.
Sheikh Mohammed praised the home-grown team for bolstering the UAE's food security.
The royal guests wore face masks in line with Covid-19 safety measures during their visit.
"From the Dubai desert, the farm produces 3,000 tonnes of fish annually," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"I am proud of Emiratis who contribute to the establishment of food security for the country."
Last year, Fish Farm announced that it grew organic salmon from its hatchery in Jebel Ali and put them on sale at branches of UAE supermarket chain, Spinneys.
Fish Farm has been growing organic sea bass, sea bream and hammour for several years.
Fish Farm Chief Executive Bader Mubarak told The National at the time he hoped the venture would help to address the UAE's import dependency.
“Ninety-two per cent 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," he said.
"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."