Look: Inside Dubai’s strawberry farm in Hatta where you can pluck fruits for as little as Dh15

Offering a pick-your-own strawberry experience, entry to the farm is free

by

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Photo: Hatta.strawberry/Instagram
Photo: Hatta.strawberry/Instagram

Published: Tue 4 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 5 Jun 2024, 4:28 PM

Despite UAE's scorching summer temperatures that can reach up to 50ºC, a strawberry farm amid the rugged mountains of Hatta is thriving. Utilising modern cultivation methods, from greenhouses to advanced irrigation systems, the fruit grows at this farm all year round.

Offering a unique pick-your-own strawberry experience, entry to the farm is free. A nominal entry price may be introduced later. Visitors can pluck their own strawberries for Dh15-30, depending on its size. However, this rate goes up during peak season.


Watch below, as we give you a look inside the Hatta strawberry farm:

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Today, the farm not only produces strawberries but also offers jam and juice, contributing to the local market and fostering a sense of community pride. Future plans include the addition of a café that will serve desserts and products made from the farm's produce, providing an immersive farm-to-table experience.

The farm is currently home to four varieties of strawberries, with approximately 18,000 seedlings thriving under a sophisticated hydroponic system.

The water is pumped to irrigate the plants, after which it returns to the water tank in a cycle without the need for soil, ensuring a continuous cycle of nourishment and saving water.

The farm's greenhouse maintains an optimal temperature, facilitating year-round production despite the challenging summer temperatures. Outdoor seedlings flourish during the winter, significantly boosting production.

How it all began

A visit by Khaleej Times to the Hatta strawberry farm reveals a tale of passion and perseverance, where a simple idea has flourished into a successful local farming venture.

The inception of the farm begins back to a visit Khalfan Humaid Al Mutaiwai made to a European country, where he discovered a small farm run by elderly people selling pick-your-own strawberries and home-made strawberry cakes.

Inspired, Al Mutaiwai shared his dream of cultivating strawberries with his brother, who was initially sceptical due to the hot climate. Undeterred, Al Mutaiwai decided to experiment during the winter.

The success of the initial ten seedlings, which bore fruit, encouraged him to expand to fifty seedlings and beyond, sharing the harvest with family and friends.

As news of the farm spread, the Dubai government extended support, allowing Al Mutaiwai to scale up his operations significantly.

Royal visit

The farm's acclaim reached new heights when Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited it recently.

Photo: WAM
Photo: WAM

Impressed by the local agricultural efforts and the youth's dedication, Sheikh Mohammed praised Al Mutaiwai's work, saying, "You have warmed my heart, my children." This meant a recognition of not only the farm's success, but also of the importance of innovative local agriculture.

Al Mutaiwai continues to innovate, testing new methods such as vertical irrigation to maximise space efficiency. Despite the challenges posed by the extreme summer heat, the farm's greenhouse system ensures a steady supply of strawberries all year.

KT photos: Ruqayya AlQaydi
KT photos: Ruqayya AlQaydi

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