Oasis of horitculture to cater for all of Dubai's garden needs

Approval is likely to be given to a project that will turn Dubai into the Middle East's leading horticulture city.

A multi-million-pound development intended to make Dubai the Middle East’s leading horticulture city looks set to rise out of the desert. The Desert Rose Highland Garden Centre is being considered by the Dubai Municipality for height and traffic impact and should be given approval this month. Mirak Agricultural Services project manager Najieb Khoory said the centre, to be built on a 100ha site, would be a “one-stop place for everything to do with gardens”. Plans include greenhouses, nurseries and plant propagation systems to produce turf, indoor and outdoor plants, seasonal flowering plants and cut flowers. An extensive plaza with outlets for suppliers of seeds, fertilisers and chemicals would also be built, as well as offices for landscape designers and contractors, garden recreation equipment and garden furniture suppliers. UK training institutions, including the Pershore Group of Colleges, have been approached about establishing a horticultural academy to train people for the industry in the UAE and nearby countries. Pershore principal Heather Barrett-Mold said the college was consulted about providing funding to set up and run the training centre but the costs had been prohibitive. The college remained interested in providing courses but nothing had yet been agreed, she said. Khoory said he signed a letter of intent with the chairman of OBI, the largest garden and home centre in Europe. OBI employs 30,000 staff in 337 stores in Germany and 151 stores in nine countries and has a turnover of €6.3bn.

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