Skip to main content

Another vertical farm comes to Saudi Arabia

Vertical farming has great potential to help alleviate rising desertification in the Middle East, which could threaten the region’s food supply in the future.
A picture shows the UAE's al-Badia Farms in Dubai, an indoor vertical farm using innovative hydroponic technology.

Saudi Arabia will soon receive a new vertical farm. 

The Saudi agriculture technology company Mowreq and YesHealth Group, another agrotech firm based in Taiwan, established a joint venture today to develop a network of vertical farms throughout Saudi Arabia. They will start by building a vertical farm in the capital, Riyadh. The venture, named Vertical Farms Company, aims for the farm to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2023, they said in a press release. 

What it means: Vertical farming is the process of growing food in vertically stacked layers in an indoor space. It utilizes technology to grow plants in the air or in water as opposed to soil. Some vertical farms use fish to generate nutrients, while others use solutions containing nutrients. Artificial light is also used instead of sunlight. 

Vertical farming aims to address the fact that the world population is growing but arable land is not, thus creating food security concerns. 

Vertical farming has numerous upsides. It requires significantly less space than traditional farming and also uses fewer chemicals and less water, thus making it potentially beneficial to the environment.

Why it matters: Vertical farming could be particularly helpful in the Middle East due to increasing desertification in the region. Saudi Arabia has not been immune to this, and the Saudi government has started addressing desertification in recent years. In October, the kingdom planted 12 million trees to combat desertification. 

Saudi Arabia in particular has the necessary capital to invest in vertical farming due to its vast oil wealth

The kingdom already has some vertical farms. Naeem Farms has a vertical farm in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Mowreq also has a vertical farm in the city. iFarm was also scheduled to launch a vertical salad farm in Riyadh last October, though it is unclear if the farm is operational yet. 

Saudi Arabia does not have food shortage issues at present, but its war-torn southern neighbor, Yemen, does. The United Nations has been warning for years that many Yemenis live with famine conditions

Know more: Saudi entities have invested in numerous other green technology projects recently. The Saudi energy company ACWA Power also announced this week a major solar power plant project in the kingdom. The Saudi Public Investment Fund also recently unveiled plans for an electric vehicle company and a renewable-energy-powered airport in Riyadh

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Gulf Briefing Gulf Briefing

Gulf Briefing

Top GCC stories in your inbox each week

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial