Report Description

Forecast Period


Market Size (2022)

432 tonnes

CAGR (2023-2028)


Fastest Growing Segment

Freshwater Fish

Largest Market

Abu Dhabi

Market Overview

UAE Aquaculture Market has valued at 432 tonnes in 2022 and is anticipated to project robust growth in the forecast period with a CAGR of 4.27% through 2028. The UAE government, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is actively working to build a robust and sustainable aquaculture sector that will not only meet the country's fish supply needs but also enhance its food security and drive economic transformation. This strategic partnership aims to develop innovative solutions and implement cutting-edge technologies to improve the overall sustainability and productivity of the UAE's aquaculture industry through extensive research and development activities. Currently, several ambitious aquaculture projects are underway in the UAE, showcasing the nation's commitment to this sector's growth and potential. One such project is Fish Farms LLC, which stands out as a notable example.

This forward-thinking venture incorporates a state-of-the-art hatchery and other advanced facilities, serving as a testament to the tremendous opportunities and success that aquaculture enterprises can achieve in the Middle East region. Moreover, the UAE is determined to emerge as a market leader and trendsetter in the global aquaculture industry. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has taken proactive steps by publishing an extensive aquaculture guide. This comprehensive resource aims to disseminate modern techniques of fish farming, promote sustainable practices, and foster the development of the aquaculture sector within the UAE.

By providing valuable knowledge and guidance, the MOCCAE is empowering farmers and entrepreneurs to adopt efficient and environmentally-friendly approaches in their aquaculture operations. In conclusion, the UAE is poised for impressive growth and advancement in its aquaculture market. With substantial investments in research and development, the implementation of sustainable practices, and the adoption of modern farming techniques, the country is well on its way to significantly boosting its aquaculture production, reducing dependence on imports, and securing a sustainable and resilient food supply for its population.

Key Market Drivers

Growing Demand for Seafood

One of the primary factors contributing to the substantial growth of the UAE's aquaculture industry is the notable shift in food consumption patterns among its population. As awareness about the health benefits of seafood continues to spread, more and more consumers are actively incorporating a diverse range of seafood into their diets. With its abundant nutritional value, including high-quality, low-fat proteins and essential omega-3 fatty acids, seafood has become a sought-after choice for health-conscious individuals. This growing appreciation for seafood and its positive impact on overall well-being is not only shaping individual dietary choices but also actively driving the expansion of the aquaculture market.

The UAE's diverse population, coupled with a high-income bracket, has resulted in an increasing appetite for fish and seafood, reflecting a cosmopolitan culinary culture that celebrates a wide range of flavors and gastronomic experiences. With its thriving culinary scene and a growing number of seafood enthusiasts, the UAE has emerged as the highest consumer of fish among all GCC countries. This robust demand for seafood, fueled by a passion for culinary exploration, is pushing the nation's aquaculture sector to continuously expand its production capacity and diversify its offerings to meet the evolving tastes and preferences of its discerning consumers.

The rising demand for seafood in the UAE is not only creating a hub for investment and growth in the aquaculture industry but also fostering innovation and sustainability. As the UAE strives to reduce its reliance on imported seafood and enhance its food security, there is a growing emphasis on developing and implementing advanced aquaculture technologies and practices. This strategic focus on self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship is attracting both local and international investors, who recognize the lucrative opportunities and long-term potential of the UAE's thriving aquaculture market.

In conclusion, the growing demand for seafood in the UAE is a significant driver of the country's burgeoning aquaculture market. As the nation continues to embrace seafood as a dietary staple, the aquaculture industry stands to benefit from increased investments, technological advancements, and sustainable practices. With the UAE's aquaculture market projected to grow by 4.7 percent over the next five years, it offers a promising and exciting future for investors and stakeholders in the seafood business, contributing to the overall economic diversification and sustainability goals of the UAE.

Rise in Disposable Income

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently witnessing rapid urbanization, driven by economic growth and an increase in disposable incomes. This urban transformation has not only reshaped the physical landscape but has also had a profound impact on consumer behavior and preferences. With more money in their pockets, individuals in the UAE are now able to afford a wider variety of food choices, leading to a noticeable surge in the demand for seafood products. Recognized for their nutritional benefits, seafood has become an increasingly popular choice among consumers who are seeking to embrace diverse and healthy diets.

The growth of the UAE's aquaculture market can be directly attributed to the rise in disposable income among its population. As consumers have more financial resources available to them, they are increasingly inclined to invest in high-quality seafood products. This surge in demand has not only bolstered the fishing industry but has also encouraged significant investments in aquaculture production. In response to the growing appetite for seafood, the aquaculture sector in the UAE has been compelled to innovate and improve its offerings, focusing on sustainability and the delivery of nutritionally rich products that meet the discerning tastes of consumers.

Moreover, the increasing disposable income in the UAE has spurred a parallel trend in the demand for automated food processing equipment. With a greater emphasis on efficiency and quality in seafood production, the industry has recognized the need to invest in advanced technologies that can streamline operations and ensure the delivery of premium products to consumers.

In conclusion, the rise in disposable income is a pivotal driver of the thriving aquaculture market in the UAE. As the nation's economy continues to flourish, so does the potential for further growth within the aquaculture sector. This optimistic outlook promises a prosperous future for the industry, with sustainable practices and consumer preferences at the forefront of its development.

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Key Market Challenges

Complexities Associated with Disease Management

Disease management in aquaculture is a highly intricate and multifaceted task, necessitating a thorough understanding of the diverse range of pathogens and health concerns that can potentially impact fish populations. The vulnerability of fish to diseases is further compounded by the high density of fish in aquaculture settings, which provides an optimal environment for the rapid spread of diseases. Consequently, the aquaculture industry faces substantial challenges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concerning disease control.

One of the predominant disease-related challenges encountered in the UAE's aquaculture sector is the prevalence of viral diseases, such as the Nervous Necrosis Virus (NNV), which has the capacity to affect a wide spectrum of fish species. Additionally, bacterial diseases, including Streptococcus agalactiae, pose a considerable threat to fish health and productivity.

The ramifications of these diseases can be far-reaching, significantly impacting the aquaculture market by causing a decline in production levels and a surge in associated costs. Given the UAE's heavy reliance on aquaculture for seafood production, the consequences of disease outbreaks can be particularly significant.

Moreover, the complexities involved in effectively managing diseases in aquaculture can also dissuade potential investors, thereby impeding the growth and expansion of the sector. This is especially true considering the substantial expenses associated with disease management, which encompasses the cost of vaccines and other preventive measures.

In light of these challenges, the aquaculture industry in the UAE must address and overcome disease-related obstacles to ensure sustainable growth and prosperity in the sector.

Key Market Trends

Growing Demand of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

RAS, short for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, represents a revolutionary approach in aquaculture that addresses several critical challenges faced by the industry. These challenges include disease control, efficient water use, and minimizing environmental impact. In a RAS setup, water is continuously cleaned and recycled, significantly reducing the need for freshwater. This feature makes RAS particularly appealing in arid regions like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where water resources are scarce, and conservation is vital.

The increasing demand for seafood, combined with limited wild fish stocks, is driving the rapid growth of the RAS market in the UAE. Consumers today are more conscious about the quality and sustainability of their food choices, especially when it comes to seafood. RAS provides a solution that meets these demands, delivering high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood to the market. This presents a significant opportunity for the UAE aquaculture industry to expand its production and enhance profitability.

Looking ahead, the future outlook for the RAS market is exceptionally promising. As the demand for seafood continues to rise globally, and the focus on sustainable practices becomes more crucial, RAS is expected to emerge as a dominant trend in the aquaculture sector. Its ability to efficiently utilize resources while maintaining a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach positions it as a strong contender for the future of aquaculture.

In conclusion, the growing demand for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) is significantly shaping the UAE aquaculture market. As the sector continues to evolve and adapt, RAS offers a sustainable and efficient solution that promises a prosperous future for the UAE's aquaculture industry. By embracing RAS technology and its numerous benefits, the UAE can establish itself as a leading player in the global aquaculture landscape.

Segmental Insights

Species Insights

Based on the category of species, the freshwater fish segment emerged as the dominant player in the UAE market for aquaculture in 2022. Freshwater fish farming in controlled environments, such as tanks or ponds, has gained popularity due to its ability to overcome the limitations of the UAE's arid climate. These controlled environments can be easily managed and monitored, ensuring optimal conditions for fish growth and production. As a result, freshwater aquaculture offers more predictable and stable production outcomes compared to traditional methods.

The UAE has a high demand for seafood, driven by both local consumption and export opportunities. Freshwater fish, such as Tilapia, have become popular choices in the region due to their delicious taste, nutritional benefits, and versatility in various culinary applications. By farming these species locally, the UAE reduces its dependency on imports, contributing to the nation's food security goals.

With the support of advanced technologies and sustainable farming practices, the freshwater fish farming industry in the UAE continues to thrive, meeting the growing demand for high-quality seafood while preserving water resources and promoting food self-sufficiency.

Distribution Channel Insights

The supermarket and hypermarkets segment is projected to experience rapid growth during the forecast period. A significant reason behind the dominance of supermarkets and hypermarkets in the UAE aquaculture market is the changing consumer preferences. With increasing disposable income and rapid urbanization, consumers in the UAE are increasingly opting for modern retail formats like supermarkets and hypermarkets. These establishments offer a wide variety of seafood products under one roof, making shopping a more convenient and efficient experience. Additionally, these stores often source their seafood from trusted suppliers, ensuring freshness and quality. The availability of knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance on seafood selection and preparation further enhances the overall shopping experience.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets provide customers with a convenient shopping experience. They offer a vast array of products, from fresh produce to processed food, all in one place. This convenience factor plays a significant role in their dominance in the aquaculture market. The time-saving associated with ready-to-eat seafood products available in these stores further fuels their popularity. Moreover, these establishments often invest in modern technologies and infrastructure to ensure proper storage and handling of seafood, maintaining its freshness and taste. The ability to find unique and specialty seafood items in these stores also adds to their appeal, attracting seafood enthusiasts and culinary explorers alike.

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Regional Insights

Dubai emerged as the dominant player in the UAE Aquaculture Market in 2022, holding the largest market share in terms of value. Dubai's strategic partnerships are not only significant but also instrumental in solidifying its dominance in the aquaculture sector. One noteworthy example is the partnership between the United Arab Emirates and India, which serves as a common thread connecting both countries in the field of aquaculture. This collaboration not only fosters knowledge exchange but also facilitates technological transfer and expands market access. As a result, Dubai's position in the market is further fortified and elevated to new heights. The continuous growth and success of the aquaculture industry in Dubai can be attributed, in part, to these fruitful collaborations and the synergistic benefits they bring.

Recent Developments

  • In 2022, the UAE's first commercial salmon farm was launched, marking a significant milestone in the country's aquaculture industry. The state-of-the-art farm, operated by the pioneering company Emirates Salmon Farm, is strategically located in the vibrant city of Dubai, known for its innovation and forward-thinking. With a production capacity of over 500 tons of high-quality salmon per year, this groundbreaking venture aims to meet the growing demand for sustainable seafood in the region, while also promoting local food production and reducing dependence on imports.
  • By leveraging advanced technologies and sustainable practices, the farm ensures optimal conditions for the salmon, resulting in exceptional taste and nutritional value. This exciting development not only contributes to the UAE's food security goals but also highlights its commitment to diversifying its economy and embracing sustainable solutions for a greener future.

Key Market Players

  • Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research Center
  • Al Jaraf Fisheries LLC
  • Fish Farm LLC
  • Alwathba Investment LLC (Emirates Fish Farm)
  • Aquaculture and Marine Studies Center at Abu Al Abyad island

 By Species

By Distribution Channel

By Region

  • Pelagic Fish
  • Demersal Fish
  • Freshwater Fish
  • Traditional Retail
  • Supermarket and Hypermarkets
  • Specialized Retailers
  • Online Stores
  • Others
  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Sharjah
  • Rest of UAE
Report Scope:

In this report, the UAE Aquaculture Market has been segmented into the following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below:

  • UAE Aquaculture Market, By Species:

o   Pelagic Fish

o   Demersal Fish

o   Freshwater Fish

  • UAE Aquaculture Market, By Distribution Channel:

o   Traditional Retail

o   Supermarket and Hypermarkets

o   Specialized Retailers

o   Online Stores

o   Others

  • UAE Aquaculture Market, By Region:

o   Dubai

o   Abu Dhabi

o   Sharjah

o   Rest of UAE

Competitive Landscape

Company Profiles: Detailed analysis of the major companies present in the UAE Aquaculture Market.

Available Customizations:

UAE Aquaculture Market report with the given market data, TechSci Research offers customizations according to a company's specific needs. The following customization options are available for the report:

Company Information

  • Detailed analysis and profiling of additional market players (up to five).

UAE Aquaculture Market is an upcoming report to be released soon. If you wish an early delivery of this report or want to confirm the date of release, please contact us at [email protected]               

Table of content

1.    Product Overview

1.1.  Market Definition

1.2.  Scope of the Market

1.2.1.    Markets Covered

1.2.2.    Years Considered for Study

1.2.3.    Key Market Segmentations

2.    Research Methodology

2.1.  Objective of the Study

2.2.  Baseline Methodology

2.3.  Key Industry Partners

2.4.  Major Association and Secondary Applications

2.5.  Forecasting Methodology

2.6.  Data Triangulation & Validation

2.7.  Assumptions and Limitations

3.    Executive Summary

3.1.  Overview of the Market

3.2.  Overview of Key Market Segmentations

3.3.  Overview of Key Market Players

3.4.  Overview of Key Regions/Countries

3.5.  Overview of Market Drivers, Challenges, Trends

4.    UAE Aquaculture Market Outlook

4.1.  Market Size & Forecast

4.1.1.     By Value & Volume

4.2.  Market Share & Forecast

4.2.1.     By Species (Pelagic Fish, Demersal Fish, Freshwater Fish)

4.2.2.     By Distribution Channel (Traditional Retail, Supermarket and Hypermarkets, Specialized Retailers, Online Stores, Others)

4.2.3.     By Region

4.2.4.     By Company

4.3.  Market Map

4.3.1.     By Species

4.3.2.     By Distribution Channel

4.3.3.     By Region

5.    Dubai Aquaculture Market Outlook

5.1.  Market Size & Forecast       

5.1.1.By Value

5.2.  Market Share & Forecast

5.2.1.     By Species

5.2.2.     By Distribution Channel

6.    Abu Dhabi Aquaculture Market Outlook

6.1.  Market Size & Forecast       

6.1.1.By Value

6.2.  Market Share & Forecast

6.2.1.     By Species

6.2.2.     By Distribution Channel

7.    Sharjah Aquaculture Market Outlook

7.1.  Market Size & Forecast       

7.1.1.By Value

7.2.  Market Share & Forecast

7.2.1.     By Species

7.2.2.     By Distribution Channel

8.    Market Dynamics

8.1.  Drivers

8.2.  Challenges

9.    Market Trends & Developments

9.1.  Recent Developments

9.2.  Product Launches

9.3.  Mergers & Acquisitions

10. Policy & Regulatory Landscape

11. UAE Economic Profile

12. Competitive Landscape

12.1.         Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research Center

12.1.1. Business Overview

12.1.2. Company Snapshot

12.1.3. Products & Services

12.1.4. Current Capacity Analysis

12.1.5. Financials (In case of listed)

12.1.6. Recent Developments

12.1.7. SWOT Analysis

12.2.         Al Jaraf Fisheries LLC

12.3.         Fish Farm LLC

12.4.         Alwathba Investment LLC (Emirates Fish Farm)

12.5.         Aquaculture and Marine Studies Center at Abu Al Abyad island

13. Strategic Recommendations

14. About us & Disclaimer

Figures and Tables

Frequently asked questions


The market size of the UAE Aquaculture Market was estimated to be 432 tonnes in 2022.


The freshwater fish segment demonstrated significant dominance in 2022. This is due to technical advancements, environmental factors, high seafood demand, and strong government support.


Dubai dominated the market with a revenue share in 2022. This can be credited to its technological advancements, strategic partnerships, investments in local production, and anticipated market expansion.


Growing demand for seafood and rise in disposable are the major drivers for the UAE Aquaculture Market.


Sakshi Bajaal

Business Consultant
Press Release

UAE Aquaculture Market to Grow with a CAGR of 4.27% through 2028

Nov, 2023

Growth in research and development activities is expected to drive the UAE Aquaculture Market growth in the forecast period, 2024-2028.