What Is Agritourism?
Agritourism is a hybrid of agriculture & tourism. It is an industry that is rapidly evolving. It diversifies the agricultural economy of producers and combines it with tourism to enhance the country’s economy. This helps in attracting visitors to these areas for entertainment, leisure, shopping, and education.
The industry has many advantages to rural communities as well. This is done by combining tourism and agricultural industries together. It provides a collection of benefits to tourists: economic, educational and social. These benefits are enjoyed by farmers and local communities too.
For instance, it provides an additional income for local farmers by bringing consumers directly to their farms. This forms a direct connection between the farmer and consumer. The tourists also enjoy the additional services that enhances their experience.
Agrotourism also boosts and improves the tourism sector as a whole while providing educational opportunities to the people. Moreover, consumers earn knowledge about the source of their food and the various agricultural methods used in their foods.
Benefits of Agritourism
In the past decades, rural communities and groups have faced several obstacles to their traditional farming methods such as inflation, migration, climate change and more. These factors add more pressure on farmers to diversify their economies and look for better opportunities.
Agritourism helps in generating an additional income for local farmers, while establishing a relationship between the producer and consumer at a local and deeper level. Through this, farmers can practice direct marketing methods to promote their food produce.
The industry also enhances ecotourism by contributing to rural groups, by providing employment opportunities along with protecting and conserving their environment and heritage. Interestingly, the Agri Hub project will create more than 10,000 jobs in the Agritourism industry of Dubai.
The project will enhance Ecotourism in Dubai’s rural areas with no to minimal impact to the environment. The project hosts various eco-edutainment, eco-leisure, eco-retail & eco-adventure activities for its visitors.
Ecotourism has the potential to create positive impacts on the environment by contributing to its protection and conservation. It can also raise awareness of environmental values through educational programs and activities. These can aid as a tool to protect natural areas and increase their land and economic importance.
Ecotourism also provides economic and socio-cultural benefits. It creates job opportunities for local people, contributing to a more diversified economy. In addition to this, it also preserves the region’s heritage and provides a social platform for native people. The project will enhance biodiversity and local ecosystems and provide benefits to the future generations.
The new hub will include a nature & heritage conservation center, an ecotourism center, an Agri-Tech institute & a restorative wellness center. The conservation center will conserve natural reserves & archaeological sites. The ecotourism center will host heritage trips to historical sites in the region. Adventuring activities like camel riding, horse riding and desert walks will be offered for guests too.
The Agri-tech institute of the project will promote farm related activities of the rural community. It will form a thriving and collaborative ecosystem between agrifood industry, horticulture and educational institutions. The goal is to follow a sustainable approach, thereby increasing the farm yield and reducing consumption of resources like water and fossil fuel.
Technological innovations such as robotics, computer vision, sensor physics, geothermal engineering, artificial intelligence, crop modelling, and genetics are some of the tools where new advancements can be tested and integrated at the institute. These tools aid in maximizing the efficiency of food production, while reducing environmental impacts.
Nature & Heritage Conservation Centre
Agri Hub will include a developing Nature & Heritage Conservation Centre. The Centre aims to raise awareness on social issues like climate change and ecotourism development and conservation. The aim of the center is to focus on rural communities and improve its conservation.
The Nature Conservation Center will also boost the sustainable use of biodiversity in Dubai’s rural zones. The center will collaborate with experts also promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Dubai’s Rural areas. The center will also work closely with NGOs, research institutions and organizations to study Dubai’s ecosystem. The project will offer research programs, educational facilities, and funds in local communities. This also enable local people to become ambassadors of their own heritage and environment.
Baharash Bagherian, CEO of URB, explains the importance of the project in reimaging and influencing Dubai’s rural and suburban areas into booming places: “Dubai’s rural and agricultural rich communities are best positioned to become a global benchmark for agritourism.”
Zero Carbon Destination
Agri Hub will be completely powered by renewable sources of energy. The building will be a net zero carbon emission project. The project will be an icon in impacting other projects due to its sustainable footprint. The hub also includes atriums are highly energy effective and uses evaporative cooling using fresh air. Some of the features of the project are onsite water source, onsite renewable solar farms, waste recycling and 20 kms of dedicated cycling tracks. One of the cornerstone features is the onsite urban farming. URB will offsetting the carbon emissions produced in the project from construction stage to operation stage.
The semi-subterranean typology of the project provides passive cooling benefits, thereby increasing the energy efficiency of the building. The internal spaces have a microclimate due to the passive cooling methods which creates a favorable thermal comfort indoors.
Agri Hub complements its landscape where outdoor leisure facilities, camps & lodges will be provided. The landscape is also integrated with biosaline agriculture, and renewable energy production sources.
The Agri Hub in Dubai will be the world’s largest agritourism destination and promote a sustainable economy. It will be a tourist destination and promote various interesting amenities.
Images / Visual Mediums
Image Name : The Agri Hub in Dubai
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Image Name : UAE will need around 10,000 workers to complete the project
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Image Name : Farmers will be able to sell produce directly to visitors
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Image Name : Visitors can enjoy organic cuisine from local farms in restaurants
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Image Name : The project will be the world’s biggest agritourism destination
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Image Name : Baharash Bagherian, chief executive of URB
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Image Name : The project will be a collaborative ecosystem in research and innovation
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Image Name : The project will be powered by renewable energy
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Image Name : The project is set to open in 2030
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Cano, P. (2022) Urb unveils plan for world’s largest agritourism destination in Dubai, UAE, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/994440/urb-unveils-plan-for-worlds-largest-agritourism-destination-in-dubai-uae (Accessed: January 13, 2023).
Urb (2023) URB set to develop the world’s largest decarbonized agritourism hub in Dubai, designboom. Available at: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/urb-worlds-largest-decarbonized-agrotourism-hub-dubai-12-14-2022/ (Accessed: January 13, 2023).
Dubai to hire 10,000 employees for world’s biggest farming attraction … (no date). Available at: https://www.arabianbusiness.com/latest-news/dubai-to-hire-10000-employees-for-worlds-biggest-farming-attraction (Accessed: January 12, 2023).
Parsons, J. (2022) Mega ‘agri hub’ designed for Dubai shows what farming could look like in future, Metro. Metro.co.uk. Available at: https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/15/dubai-hiring-10000-workers-for-agritourism-complex-in-the-desert-17943128/ (Accessed: January 13, 2023).
Agri Hub (2022) URB. Available at: https://urb.ae/projects/agrihub/ (Accessed: January 13, 2023).