Emirates Flight Catering invests in vertical farm pioneer, Bustanica

Emirates Flight Catering, a global leader in aviation hospitality and one of the world’s largest catering operations, has successfully completed the acquisition of Emirates Bustanica, formerly known as Emirates Crop One.

This strategic move solidifies Emirates Bustanica as a fully UAE-owned company, aligning with the nation’s commitment to enhancing food and water security while advancing its agricultural capabilities.

Vertical farm: Bustanica quality control checks in progress

The acquisition positions Emirates Bustanica to capitalise on local expertise and cutting-edge technology, addressing the escalating demands of the market and contributing to the UAE’s vision of agricultural sustainability.

Situated near Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the 330,000sqft facility of Bustanica stands as the world’s largest indoor vertical farm.

With a remarkable capacity to grow over 1 million kilograms of top-quality leafy greens annually – equivalent to 3 tonnes daily – Bustanica achieves this feat while utilising 95% less water than traditional agriculture.

Under the Bustanica brand, the farm-fresh produce is widely available in major retailers across the UAE, including Spinney’s, Waitrose, Carrefour and Choithrams.

Additionally, airline passengers, including those flying with Emirates, are treated to this exceptional produce in their salads and meals.

Launched in July 2022, Bustanica has rapidly become a prominent player in UAE’s culinary landscape. The brand offers a diverse range of leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens that are designed to be consumed straight from the box. Notably, all produce is grown without pesticides or herbicides, ensuring it remains 100% clean, fresh and nutrient-rich. The selection includes various lettuce varieties, spinach, parsley, and kale.

Leafy greens: Emirates Bustanica uses a hydroponic method to grow salads

Bustanica’s success is attributed to its integration of powerful technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and patented agricultural methods.

The dedicated in-house team, comprising agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists, contributes to the brand’s commitment to excellence.

In a recent development, Emirates Bustanica earned recognition as the preferred produce supplier for COP28, underscoring its dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Emirates Flight Catering, operating the world’s largest flight catering facility at Dubai International Airport, leads the aviation hospitality sector globally.

The company provides a comprehensive range of services, including airline catering, airport dining, private dining and event catering, alongside food supplies to the HORECA and hospitality industries.

Renowned for excellence, innovation, and sustainability, Emirates Flight Catering consistently delivers exceptional culinary experiences tailored to global consumer preferences.

For information on flights on Emirates, contact your Global Travel Management Account Manager.

Rebrand: Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace Hotel has officially rebranded as Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi.

The company states that this signals “a new golden era as part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group portfolio. This exciting chapter will celebrate and build upon the hotel’s distinctive legacy while introducing unparalleled experiences for guests, further cementing its position as world’s most iconic beachfront resort.

To commemorate the rebrand, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the hotel. H.E. Mohammed Al Junaibi, Chairman of Emirates Palace Company (‘EPCO’), H.E. Sultan Al Hemeiri, Managing Director of EPCO, and other senior EPCO officials were welcomed by James Riley, Group Chief Executive, and Joanna Flint, Chief Commercial Officer of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. During the ceremony, they unveiled the hotel’s signature fan, which was designed by Abu Dhabi-born multidisciplinary artist Ahmad Saeed Al Areef Al Dhaheri and inspired by the UAE’s treasured tradition of pearl diving.

Emirates Palace ribbon cutting: From left to right: Michael Koth, General Manager & Area Vice President – Operations Middle East, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; Joanna Flint, Chief Commercial Officer of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; James Riley,
Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group; H.E. Sultan Al Hemeiri, Managing Director of
Emirates Palace Company, H.E. Sameera Al Romaithi, H.E. Salah Al Waswasi, H.E. Hamad Hareb Al
Muhairi, Mr. Rashed Al Nuaimi, Board Members of Emirates Palace Company.

Commenting on the occasion, H.E. Mohammed Al Junaibi said:

We are thrilled as Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi enters a new golden era of hospitality. Guided by the legacy and expertise of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the resort is set to become an icon of
global luxury in line with our leadership’s quest to extend world-class hospitality to anyone
visiting or living in the UAE

James Riley said,

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi marks a milestone for our brand and confirms our commitment to the region. The palace is a globally recognised landmark in the UAE and we are delighted to manage a property with such rich historical and cultural relevance.

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental: The beachfront palace boasts renovated rooms, innovative dining experiences, and brand-new spa and sports facilities, each elevated by Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service. The reimagined accommodation will include the region’s very first vegan rooms with compassionate design, sustainable bedding, plant based in-room dining options and crueltyfree bath amenities.

The hotel’s new signature suites offer a haven of sophistication and style, complete with priority access to the resort’s facilities, whilst The EP Club comprises 660sqm of elevated living, dining, and relaxing areas exclusively for members and suite guests.

Found at Emirates Palace will introduce an exclusive range of gifts, accessories, and resort wear, whilst guests can also discover unique crafts and contemporary art from local businesses and emerging artists with The Palace Pop-Up.

Talea: Amongst the enhanced dining options, the one-Michelin-starred Talea by Antonio Guida is a celebration of authentic Cucina di Famiglia, served in a vibrant atmosphere both indoors and outdoors.

Elsewhere, the all-new culinary destination Episodes – comprising a tea apothecary, a deli, a cake shop and a gelateria – promises an exploratory journey into both contemporary and classic favourites.

In addition to the serene sanctuary offered by The Hideaway, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental will pioneer self-care practices by world-renowned practitioners and launch a new range of skincare products by Tata Harper and Oto. The new spa will also be home to an exclusive Acqua di Parma Barbiere services and retail products.

UAE – Important Revised Drug/Medication Policy.

Please note that the Ministry of Health of the UAE has issued a revised policy relating to which prescription drugs and medication can legally be taken in to the country.

A large number of prescribed and over the counter medicines that are widely available in the UK are considered to be controlled substances in the Emirates.

In order to help our corporate travellers avoid the potential pitfalls please click here for more information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.


United Arab Emirates – Important Medication Reminder.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK are considered controlled substances in the UAE and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from the UAE Ministry of Health. If  you arrive in the UAE without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the UAE and you may be prosecuted under UAE law.

For further information and specific queries, visit the website of the UAE Embassy in London and contact the Drug Control Department of the UAE Ministry of Health to check whether your medication is on the controlled list.

United Arab Emirates: Flight traffic affected at Dubai Airport as fog lingers across the country

The National reported on Wednesday that dense fog was affecting flight traffic at Dubai International airport, resulting in several flight cancellations and numerous delays.

Some 21 other flights were diverted to other airports.

Airport officials reported that conditions were expected to improve by the afternoon, but passengers should contact airline companies to confirm individual flight times.

Meanwhile, the fog continued to cause problems on the country’s highways, where motorists faced near-zero visibility on roads in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.