Conrad Abu Dhabi, Sustainability takes a delicious vertical accent

Conrad Abu Dhabi, Sustainability at it’s best…
With their newest sustainable vertical hydroponic farm, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers can now offer a farm-to-table meal.
In unveiling its new state-of-the-art, vertical hydroponic farm, Conrad Abu Dhabi Towers becomes the first Hilton hotel of its kind in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A self-sufficient food production scheme, the ethical homegrown produce from it will be sampled for the very first time at the 2023 MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. The maiden harvest will be incorporated into a special invite-only dinner on 23 January.

The hotel’s commitment to sustainable practices will further be evident in its own daily supply of fresh, tasty and nutrient-rich herbs and vegetables. Providing a choice of truly unique farm-to-table dining experiences, each plant will be carefully grown and picked less than 100 meters away from the hotel’s plethora of award-winning and MICHELIN-star selected restaurants.

The pesticide-free organic herbs and vegetables will add an extra dose of vibrant tastes and flavours to the traditional Arabic recipes at Li Beirut, the much-loved ‘Pardon My Brunch’ at Nahaam, the exotic Peruvian delicacies at MICHELIN-selected VaKaVa, and take the menus at each of the hotel’s enticing venues to new levels of delicious.

Spot on your plate the organically grown herb of your choice, such as basil, thyme and rosemary, and an array of vitamin-rich vegetables like oakleaf lettuce, pea shoots, shiso, red chard and red veined sorrel.

Furthering the hotel’s ambition to become a zero-waste destination, gardeners will work with the kitchen teams to ensure that only exactly the right amounts of each plant are grown and that nothing is left to spoil or go to waste.

Thanks to the incredibly short distance between the farm and the kitchens, the project will also considerably reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. The seeds used are sourced from local Abu Dhabi farms, and the ingenious design of the plot uses 90% less water and 99% less land space than regular farming methods.

While this delicious, sustainable and environmentally wholesome project is on a limited basis at the moment, guests will soon be able to savour the same on a daily basis across all 12 of Conrad Abu Dhabi’s restaurants and bars. Until then, we wait!

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Conrad Abu Dhabi is the first hotel in Abu Dhabi to launch CRYSP’s sustainable vertical farm. CRYSP will grow, harvest and deliver fresh produce daily to help ensure Conrad Abu Dhabi provide its guests with outstanding sustainable culinary experiences.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Inspiring Culinary Experience

In its efforts to act responsibly towards its surrounding environment and to offer guests unmatched experiences, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray launches a holistic dining approach, Arcadia.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, a member of Jumeirah Group, announced today the launch of Arcadia, a unique and interactive experience hosting its urban hydroponic farm and a new dining concept with an array of culinary experiences for food lovers.

Set amidst lush greenery and organic herb garden beds, Jumeirah’s Arcadia will feature an outdoor country style kitchen with a long dining table offering delectable healthy salads and barbecue grills. Guests can expect the most innovative gastronomic affairs including Chef’s table, cooking classes, bespoke dishes and signature menus from our culinary connoisseurs.

Additionally private romantic dinners with “Dine under the stars” concept, for guests to celebrate special moments, as couples or with family, will be organised along with many other upcoming thrilling activities.

To engage guests in responsible food sourcing, fresh produce will be offered through Arcadia’s recently launched urban hydroponic farm. Hosted by Arcadia, the hydroponic farm comes as a step to reinforce Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s commitment towards a sustainable future, while adopting a greener approach to local food production.

With a total of 55 square meters and an expected harvest of 250 kg per month, including more than 30 varieties of leafy greens and herbs, guests will receive the tastiest and freshest produce served directly to their table at all of the resort’s signature restaurants.

Mark Hehir, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray GM, said: “Our goal, at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, is to offer our guests unmatched experiences while at the same time utilise precious resources as responsibly as possible. Being amongst the leaders in the UAE to implement the concept, Arcadia is for people who cherish nature and good food while at the same time care about their environment.

We’re happy to have launched our own Jumeirah Hydroponic farm onsite as it will allow us to minimise waste and ensure a greener and responsible sourcing for organic produce, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future for the industry.

Additionally, growing produce on Jumeirah’s property will open up the opportunity to inform and engage guests in responsible production and consumption, while also bringing a new dimension to our culinary offering”.

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Farming as a service, Discover the new innovative concept by CRYSP

The rise of farming as a service…An interview with CRYSP FARMS CEO, Maan Said:

“We work with standardized, modular boxes of 14.8 x 3.2 x 3.6 meters, which contain a sink, nursery, and prepping area. With this, we can produce a minimum of 10 kilograms per day,” says Maan Said, Founder, and CEO of CRYSP Farms, the first farming service to hotels and supermarkets.

CRYSP Farms is based in Dubai and offers “Farming as a Service,” with everything from farm design to permitting, construction, growing, farming, and distribution. CRYSP Farms currently operates thirteen vertical farms around the GCC (Arab States of the Gulf) and Seychelles, including farming installations at the Ritz Carlton JBR, Carrefour Ibn Battuta, and Mandarin Oriental.

CRYSP Farms is technology-agnostic which allows the farming company to remain open-minded when designing farms for different clients.

For example, farming in Dubai will have very different cooling requirements than a farm in a temperate area. When considering a supermarket installation, the farming system may need to take up less floor space but can be taller.

“The farming units are designed for the environment that they are in and for the specific crop. We’ve worked with various hydroponic technologies and ultimately decide based on the space allocated for us by the customer,” affirms Maan.

Small batch production possible with CRYSP
Thanks to the company’s close connection with its clients, CRYSP Farms has a clear view of the products currently in demand and the niches that vertical farming can fill – and it isn’t all in the leafy green category.

CRYSP Farms has grown 130 different varieties in its vertical farming systems and offers its clients the flexibility to adjust their production to meet their needs. For example, many clients require a combination of products in smaller volumes or a few varieties in high volumes.

With CRYSP Farms, either option is viable.

“This technology makes a lot of sense for hotels as sometimes, they can get their desired product every week, or the product doesn’t have a long shelf life.

Bringing farming on-site with CRYSP Farms alleviates this issue without adding much work on the clients’ site as we monitor the farms from wherever,” says Maan.

We bring the farm
CRYSP Farms has focused mostly on hotel and supermarket installation in the GCC and Seychelles but is looking to widen its reach throughout the Middle East and into Africa.

The company will soon begin farming services in Egypt. Taking it one step further, CRYSP Farms is looking at selling their farming service to catering companies, which would allow caterers to produce their own fresh vegetables.

Further, CRYSP Farms is interested in working with food processing companies. “Other catering companies bring the produce, but bring the farms and farming service so they can prepare everything on site,” says Maan.

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