As most of us start January diets, Dubai is trimming down its food waste with the launch of the UAE’s first food bank.
On the anniversary of his accession, Ruler of Dubai and UAE Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launches the UAE Food Bank.
The not-for-profit organisation hopes to make Dubai the first city in the region to achieve zero food waste.
How will it do this? As well as working with local authorities, the food bank will partner with hotels, restaurants and supermarkets and farms – it’s even got its own snazzy orange logo.
Rules around reusing food can be pretty strict, as you’ll know if you’ve ever asked for a restaurant to bag up your leftovers.
But this excess fresh food will be safely packaged and stored to international standards, before being distributed first in the UAE and then beyond.
Food that isn’t safe to eat will become fertiliser and chemicals.
Volunteers are needed to help run the project, which launches under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives Foundation, as part of the UAE’s Year of Giving.
Though it’s not clear who can get involved, they will be given full training and HH Sheikh Mohammed hopes the UAE Food Bank will “instil the value of giving deep in the hearts of our people.”
His Highness added: “Emiratis are the most generous and giving people. Through the UAE Food Bank, we are creating a sustainable institutional framework inspired by these values, and by the legacy of UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed”.
And it’s all in good hands, as Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum has been appointed chairperson.
As the UAE loses about AED 13 billion worth of food every year (we wonder how much of that is at brunches), this is an inspired move that we look forward to telling you more about.