Emrill launched the first organic vegetable gardens at wasl Properties’ R456 residential community in Dubai, which has nearly 1,500 apartments housing over 5,000 residents.
As part of the project, which benefits from landscaping advice from Love Gardens, frontages and areas previously covered by sand were removed and replaced with working gardens.
Organic fertiliser and irrigation systems were added and planted with a range of different vegetables, including radishes, eggplants, and chillies.
After its initial success, many further additions have been planned, which includes cultivating cabbages, tomatoes, beetroot, okra, watermelons and carrot plants.
A notable aspect of the project is its low carbon footprint, as no transportation of produce is required, while also meeting numerous sustainable objectives through the use of organic fertiliser.
Irrigation is connected to the existing community system, so no additional infrastructure was required.
Harvesting occurs two or three times annually.
Produce is then evenly distributed to all residents attending harvest days, while volunteers get involved for periodic weeding, providing another opportunity for residents to interact with one another.
Emrill’s Sunil Kumar, facilities manager for wasl R456’s residential community said: “At the beginning, I noticed many residents who had vegetable plants in pots on their balconies that were often small and kept in cramped and shaded spaces. Our idea is to bring the residents into common areas, get the community involved, and introduce new green spaces previously covered by sand. We also saw it as a great way for fellow residents to meet each other and feel that they are contributing to their community.
“Dozens of residents now show up for harvest day and it’s been a great hands-on experience for the local children, while also providing valuable fresh produce for daily cooking needs,” said Kumar.
Alex Davies, managing director of Emrill, said: “This project is a win-win situation for Emrill, wasl Properties and residents, benefitting everybody including the environment. It’s all about the greening of Dubai and creating community engagement while benefiting residents through sustainability by providing fresh food produce with a low carbon footprint.
In 2018, Emrill won the Overall FM Company of the Year for a fifth time at the Facilities Management Middle East Awards 2018.
The company also won the Engineering Service of the Year accolade in both 2017 and 2018 for its Energy Performance Contract and community water conservation programmes.
Emrill now plans to develop a structured programme next year to roll out similar projects in other residential communities throughout the UAE.