Ahmad Al Hafeeti of Wadi Dafta Plantation in Fujairah believes in growing his own food. He gives Oasis Living a tour of his verdant space that is jam-packed with indigenous plant species from around the world
Enveloped by the Hajar Mountains, the emirate of Fujairah has greenery in plenty. One such space that is full of a variety of green plants is the Wadi Dafta Plantation. Started by Ahmad Al Hafeeti, a retired lieutenant-colonel of the UAE Armed Forces, the plantation was born from the owner’s love for gardening. “I have a Bachelor’s degree in healthcare management and a Master’s degree in medical services in hospital management. I had a full time job for 10 years and I was also in the armed forces. Little did I know that my hobby would snowball into this place! I was inspired by a visit to my friend’s nursery, that pretty much led me to start this nursery,” says Ahmad.
Ahmad travels around the world to collect seeds and plants. He uses special bags to transport plants and ensures that no damage is caused to them. You will spot trees of wood apples from Nepal, mangoes from Pakistan, Vietnam, Egypt, berries from Africa, bananas, apples, oranges, citrus, spices and also local plants. “I have a collection of unique plants here. We have more than 20 types of figs, 15 kinds of grapes, a good collection of flavoured mint, which includes flavours like chocolate and banana. This diversity makes my nursery different from others,” he adds.
One thing the proud gardener always promotes is growing your own food. He believes that it is essential, especially for quality control. “We import food from outside, so we have zero control on what goes into its making. Most foods have preservatives as they take a while to get transported. This causes them to lose nutrients. This is exactly why it is important to grow your own food. We are lucky in the UAE to have a warm climate, where a variety of vegetation can thrive.” He says that anyone can grow their own food especially during the winters. Plants like tomatoes, eggplants, mint, herbs, etc. are easy to grow in pots in your balcony. Hydroponics has simplified home gardening further.
On this front, Ahmad has extensive plans for the country. He hopes to make the UAE a green nation. He has also proposed the creation of Agriculture City in UAE where one will find equipment, fertilizers and expansive information about gardening. It will also be a place where you can grow anything and everything. “Plants from all over the world will be grown here. I think this will boost farm tourism and also encourage people in the UAE to think green,” he explains. Another programme he wants to do undertake is for children and the youth, where he wants to teach them to love plants through workshops during summer break. We hope this dream of his turns into reality soon!
Things To Do- Weekend Plans
- Restaurants & Nightlife
- Blogger of the month
Fashion & Beauty- Makeup & Cosmetics
- Celebrity Style
- Fashion Trends
Kids- Schools & Nurseries
- Kids Activities & Events