Did you know that the world has the potential to feed every single person on the planet? Despite this abundance, the Food and Agriculture Organization, reports that roughly 1.6 billion tons of food is wasted or lost every year.


Food Wastage in Dubai

  1. What is food wastage?
  2. How does food wastage affect the environment?
  3. Where does the food packaging go?
  4. Food Wastage in the UAE
  5. UAE’s initiatives to combat food wastage
  6. AAKI’s commitment to sustainability


  1. What is food wastage?

When food that is perfectly fine to be eaten gets thrown in the bin due to consumption or production process, that is defined as food wastage.

Food wastage can come from residential buildings, restaurants, hotels, and markets. About 25% of the food we waste at home happens because of how the packaging is designed. Sometimes, food wastage occurs because the food is not packaged properly. Food is also perishable and tough to store as they have a shorter shelf life.


  1. What are the consequences of food wastage?

The food we eat is rich in nutrients and energy. When they are stored in piles within anaerobic conditions (like landfills), they generate a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide: methane. Methane traps atmospheric heat in a larger quantity than carbon dioxide, leading to harmful consequences such as global warming and climate change.

Additionally, there is a loss of water and agricultural land that goes into the food production process. A quarter of all freshwater [JC4]  on the planet is used to produce food that will never be eaten, and a total of 28% of the world’s agricultural area is used to make food that is lost or wasted.


     3.Where does the food packaging go?

Food disposed of from groceries or markets are often wrapped in packaging. The most common material of food packaging is plastic. Most of the time, however, restaurants and groceries may unknowingly dispose of packaged into landfills directly – causing landfills to fill faster. This makes it harder for us to reach our eventual goal of zero-landfills.

Instead of sending packaged food to landfills, we can instead employ techniques that allow us to segregate the food waste and the packaging, and treat them both separately. While the food (organic matter) is sent to compost, the package can go through various processes to be free-of-contaminants and re-used. This can help us reduce landfill waste, and gets us closer to the zero-landfill policy.


  1. Food Wastage in the UAE

In the UAE, about 38% of the food made is thrown away daily, adding up to a total of 3.2 million tons of food waste. All of this food waste is directed to landfills and out of this, 32% comes from the country’s growing hospitality industry, which has welcomed around 14.36 million visitors from around the world in 2022. This includes restaurants, hotels, cafes, and even groceries or markets.

  • UAE’s initiatives to combat food wastage
  • UAE Food Waste Pledge (2020)

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment powered by Winnow, launched the UAE Food Waste initiative, which aims to save 3 million meals within the hospitality industry from the bin in 2020.

Winnow implemented the use of an Artificial Intelligence powered camera to detect the type and quantity of food getting disposed of. The data collected by this device would then allow restaurants to track their food waste and make changes to their respective menus[5]  and ingredient purchases accordingly. Now, over a 100 kitchens use Winnow to curb their food wastage.

  • Ne’ma (2022)

Ne’ma is the initiative to reduce food wastage by 50% by 2030 to meet the UN Sustainable Development target of responsible consumption and production. Ne’ma aims to address the root cause of food wastage within the UAE and create new policies, technologies, and innovations to reduce food loss and wastage.


  • UAE Food Bank (2023-2027)

The UAE Food Bank announced its strategy to manage food surplus in the Emirates and overseas. This strategy aims to divert surplus food from landfills and reduce wastage by 30% in four years. The UAE Food Bank has also saved 908,145 kgs of food during Ramadan, and over 5 million meals made of surplus food were donated by the UAE to the less fortunate.


  1. AAKI’s commitment to sustainability

The current food wastage issue is posing serious environmental, economic, and ethical challenges. When the world has enough resources to feed every person, recognising that food waste is growing rampant.

AAKI can be your ultimate partner in reducing waste and maximizing sustainability within the hospitality and food industry. Our comprehensive solutions are tailored to restaurants, hotels, food suppliers, and even grocery stores. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges you face, we offer a range of personalized services that go beyond traditional waste management. At AAKI, we work closely with you to develop strategies that fit your specific needs, helping you minimize food spoilage, optimize inventory, and implement efficient waste reduction techniques.

Say goodbye to unnecessary food waste and hello to a greener future, only with AAKI.


  1. https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/people-and-poverty/hunger-and-obesity/food-waste-statistics
  1. http://www.fao.org/3/i3347e/i3347e.pdf
  1. https://www.greenbiz.com/article/link-between-food-waste-and-packaging
  1. https://climate.mit.edu/ask-mit/why-do-we-compare-methane-carbon-dioxide-over-100-year-timeframe-are-we-underrating
  1. https://dcce.ae/press_releases/our-food-is-damaging-the-environment/
  1. https://www.zawya.com/en/business/hospitality/dwtc-reports-a-32-growth-in-its-hospitality-division-in-h1-2023-ebnm5h5l
  1. https://dubaitourism.gov.ae/en/research-and-insights/tourism-performance-report-dec-2022https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/travel-hospitality/404621-waste-reduction-movement-gains-traction-in-uae-hospitality-industry
  1. https://www.foodwastepledge.ae/ 
  1. https://gulfnews.com/uae/environment/uae-commercial-kitchens-use-artificial-intelligence-to-track-food-waste-1.66165239
  1. https://www.nema.ae/
  1. https://foodtank.com/news/2020/02/uaes-food-waste-pledge-and-winnow-tackle-us4-billion-problem
  1. https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/2023/06/07/uae-food-bank-launches-four-year-drive-to-cut-food-waste-by-30/