Emirates Flight Catering fully acquires Bustanica indoor vertical farm 

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Emirates Flight Catering, one of the world’s largest inflight catering operations, has fully acquired Bustanica, which was formerly known as Emirates Crop One. Busticana, although not a household name, is the largest indoor vertical farm and is located close to Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) at Dubai World Central. 

Bustanica’s 330,000 sq ft (30,568 sq m) facility can grow more than one million kilograms of high-quality leafy vegetables annually, the equivalent of three tons daily. In doing so, the farm uses 95% less water than conventional agriculture, giving its green credentials a boost. Bustanica specializes in producing a variety of lettuce, spinach, parsley, and kale. 


Operating under the brand name Bustanica, the produce from the farm is used by Emirates Flight Catering to produce salads and other meals for both Emirates as well as other airlines serving Dubai’s airports. Additionally, the produce is distributed to other firms far beyond just airlines. It can also be purchased from all major retailers in the UAE such as Spinney’s, Waitrose, Carrefour, and Choithrams.  

This strategic move establishes Emirates Bustanica as a fully UAE-owned company, helping sustain the country’s vision of enhancing food and water security and its agricultural capabilities. According to an Emirates Flight Catering statement, the acquisition “empowers Emirates Bustanica to leverage its local expertise and the latest tech know-how to meet the growing demands of the market.” 

Bustanica is driven by powerful technology, which includes machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other patented technologies, as well as a highly specialized in-house team that includes agronomy experts, engineers, horticulturists, and plant scientists. In November 2023, Emirates Bustanica was a ‘preferred produce supplier’ for COP28 in recognition of its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. 


Since its launch in July 2022, Bustanica has become an integral part of part of the Emirates Flight Catering operation. Bustanica’s produce is 100% grown without pesticides or herbicides and is “100% clean, fresh, and nutrient-rich” according to the firm.   

Operating the largest flight catering facility in the world at Dubai International Airport, Emirates Flight Catering has become a leader in hospitality catering in Dubai. The firm offers a “comprehensive range of services, including airline catering, airport dining, private dining and event catering, food supplies to the hospitality industries, complemented by support services such as laundry”. 

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