Today, increasing numbers of the public are concerned about where their food comes from and how it was produced. Many people now look to avoid produce that was grown using chemicals or pesticides, not only out of concern for the planet, but for the benefits in taste.
This explains the growth in demand for organic produce around the world, including in Dubai. This means there are business opportunities for people who want to establish organic farms in Dubai. This article explains how it can be done and includes:
• An overview of the global organic farming industry
• Advantages of starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
• Types of farming activities in Dubai, UAE
• Steps to open an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
• Documents needed to start an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
• Cost of starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
• How Creative Zone can help
An overview of the global organic farming industry
Across the world, demand for organically farmed produce has been growing for many years, and this is a trend that is likely to only continue in the future, as more people become aware of the benefits of eating produce that has been grown without using additional chemicals.
Globally, organic farming takes place in 187 countries, with 72.3 million hectares of land being farmed organically by more than three million farmers in 2019, according to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Meanwhile, sales of organic food and drink totalled more than €106 billion euros.
In the UAE too organic farming is growing, with more than 40 operational organic farms in the Emirates, producing more than 60 products.
Advantages of starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
There are numerous advantages of starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE. The market for this kind of produce is booming, with supply outstripping demand, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to gain a healthy market share before the sector becomes saturated. And with the popularity of organic food set to continue for the foreseeable future, it is likely to be a sector where opportunities continue to grow.
Organic farming also has environmental benefits. Aside from not using chemicals and pesticides that can harm the soil and ecosystem, it reduces the carbon footprint of the produce as if it is sold locally transport costs are kept low compared to importing food.
It also helps to maintain a healthy local ecosystem, as it uses natural practices and creates healthy soil.
Types of farming activities in Dubai, UAE
There are three main types of farming activities carried out in Dubai. These are farming fish and related animals, livestock and general agriculture – farming crops and such like.
Whichever farming activity you plan to carry out, you will need the relevant licence(s), be they an aquaculture licence, livestock production farming permit or agricultural activity practice licence. Remember, you can only carry out activities for which you have a licence – so if you only have an aquaculture licence, you cannot also raise livestock; you would need an additional licence for that.
In addition to those licences, other permits will be required, depending on the type of farm you are establishing. For instance, if you are farming fish, you will require an environmental permit, or if you are farming livestock, you must have a veterinary licence – or at least employ someone who has one.
Steps to open an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
Once you have decided which activities you plan to do on your farm, there are certain steps you need to take to set up the farm.
First, you must decide on the plot of land you want to establish your farm on. Once you have found a plot, it will need to be assessed by the local Municipality, which will judge if it can be used for farming. When the plot has been approved, you can start buying the necessary equipment you will need for your farm and preparing the plot for farming. When that has been completed, and before you begin trading, a Municipality official will assess your farm’s facilities conform to the standards of the Environmental Department.
Following this, organic certification must be obtained. To get the certification, a Conformity Assessment will be undertaken by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology. If your farm passes the assessment, you will receive a certificate of conformity, which means your produce can be labelled as organic.
Another necessary step is choosing a name for your farming business, but any entrepreneur needs to be aware that Dubai does have naming rules that businesses have to conform to. For instance, the business cannot have the same name as an existing business in Dubai, and it cannot contain any blasphemous or offensive language. Finally, if you want to include your own name in the name of the business, it must be your full name – forename and surname – abbreviations are not allowed.
Documents needed to start an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
Following this, you will need to apply for an organic farming licence. The application can be submitted yourself to the Dubai Department of Economic Development, but it is advisable to engage a business formation specialist such as Creative Zone to help to complete the application, to ensure the process is smooth and quick.
There are various documents that must be submitted alongside the completed application form. This includes the articles of incorporation and descriptions of intended business activities on the business side. On the personal side, you need proof of qualifications and accreditations (if any are held) and copies of the passports of all shareholders in the farm.
In addition, to own and run an organic farm in Dubai, you must have a UAE residency visa. When you apply for a visa, you can also sponsor visas for any employees you are bringing in.
How many visas you can apply for is dependent on how big the business is and, if you are bringing in dependents, how much your earnings are.
Cost of starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE
There are various costs that will need to be considered when starting an organic farm in Dubai, UAE. The licences discussed above cost between AED 10,000 and AED 30,000, while the organic accreditation costs AED 3,500, which comprises AED 1,000 for the application fee and AED 2,500 for the assessment fee.
In addition, there are costs such as purchasing or renting the plot of land your farm is on, purchasing equipment and livestock/seeds and hiring staff. If you are farming livestock, then vet services and animal care fees will have to be factored in. Insurance is another cost that will need to be met.
How Creative Zone can help
Setting up an organic farming business in Dubai is an increasingly popular option as entrepreneurs look to capitalise on a growing market. But business setup in Dubai is not always straightforward, especially for people migrating to the emirate.
Consultancies such as Creative Zone can help you to set up your organic farm business in Dubai and confirm you have all the correct licences in place to ensure the process is handled as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Creative Zone is vastly experienced in setting up businesses in Dubai and our consultants can navigate the complexities of the system with precision and speed to ensure your company is operational quickly and not held up by any errors in the application process.
For a personalised quote, please contact Creative Zone www.creativezone.ae/contact-us/
Prices offered by free zones are subject to change without notice. Please get in touch with Creative Zone for an updated price based on the current promotions and availability.