To kick-off the United Arab Emirates' "Year of Giving", Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid opened the UAE Food Bank on Tuesday
The food bank aims to give food to those in need and eliminate food waste entirely.
Dubai plans to be the first city in the Middle East to achieve zero food waste
The UAE Food Bank is a non-profit charitable organization, with the objective of making Dubai the first city in the Middle East to achieve zero food waste.
In order to reach this goal, Dubai authorities and local and international charities are collaborating with the UAE Food Bank. They aim to improve the efficiency of food storage, packaging and distribution.
It will also be cooperating with food producers for premium effectiveness in storing and packaging excess fresh food. The food bank will be targeting hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and farms to collect excess food.
The well-packaged food will then be distributed around the UAE to families in need.
The UAE wastes $3.5 billion of food annually
According to the Dubai Media Office, the UAE loses 13 billion dirham ($3.5 billion) each year in food waste. Instead of that colossal loss, the excess food is going to be distributed by the Dubai Municipality.
Anything that can't be eaten will be used either as a fertilizer, put to chemical use or be given for medicinal research.
The food bank will address basic human needs
The initiative will operate under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives foundation, which handles humanitarian groups. The foundation chose to address food first, as it's one of the most basic human needs.
Through this initiative, Sheikh Mohammed hopes to provide a "golden opportunity for UAE citizens and institutions to maximize their philanthropic potential," according to Arabian Business.