Promising Opportunities in the Investment of Aquaculture Industry 
between the UAE and The Netherlands

Food security is high on the UAE-agenda. Aquaculture – yet small in volumes – plays an essential role in sustainable future food production. The webinar elaborates on how to boost the production of seafood within the context of limited fresh water resources and the need to sustain ecological coastal systems.

The webinar “Promising Opportunities in the Investment of Aquaculture Industry  Between the UAE and The Netherlands was organized by The Agriculture & Food Bureau of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Dubai and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Riyadh in close cooperation with the Dutch Aquaculture Experts and VIV MEA.

Keynote speaker:  H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Minister of State for Food and Water Security

Introduction speech: H.E. Hans Sandee
the Consulat General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Watch recording:

Our speakers

Meet our panel of experts from the U.A.E. and The Netherlands. 

H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri

Minister of State for Food and Water Security

H.E. Hans Sandee

The Consulat General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Dr. Luca van Duren

Senior Scientist at Deltares

Hans Boon

Aquaculture Specialist at Aquaculture Experience

Frans Aartsen

Specialist RAS systems at Holland Aqua BV

Jouke Heringa

Senior Lecturer and Researcher Integrated Water Recourses Management

Advisory board


Fatema AlMulla

Senior Research Analyst, Food and Water Security Office
Essa AbdulRahman Al Hashem
Head at Food Security Office in the Prime Minister Office
Erik Smidt


Agriculture counsellor for the Dutch agrifood sector in the Gulfregion
Samar Kadri

Senior Policy Advisor, Agriculture & Food, Consulate General of The Kingdom of The Netherlands- Dubai

Speaker bio’s

H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri

Minister of State for Food and Water Security

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri was appointed as Minister of State for Food and Water Security as part of the reformation of the UAE Cabinet announced on July 2020. Her Excellency is responsible for monitoring national food stocks, investing in food technology, and following up international relations in this area. Previously, Her Excellency was appointed as Minister of State for Food Security following the Cabinet reshuffle of October 2017. Her responsibilities included overseeing the development of the necessary infrastructure that would ensure the country’s food security objectives, in line with UAE Centennial 2071 Plan.

In addition, H.E. represents the UAE federal government in the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as well as the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA). She is a member of the Board of Directors in the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) and also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Food Systems Innovation. She has also been nominated to lead some unique projects in the field of aquaculture under the initiatives of H.H. the President of UAE, through the Ministry of Presidential Affairs to establish the foundation needed for this emerging economic sector to develop and thrive in the country.

H.E. Almheiri previously served as Assistant Undersecretary for Water Resources and Nature Conservation Affairs at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, where she was appointed to oversee the Biodiversity, Fisheries, Coastal & Marine Sustainability and Marine Research departments.

H.E. Mariam Almheiri received her bachelor and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen, Germany.

Hans Sandee

Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Dubai.

Hans Sandee was born on 17 January 1964 in the city of Goes, The Netherlands.
He studied both history (specialization international relations) and law (specialization
international and European law) at the State University in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Hans Sandee joined the Dutch diplomatic service in 1990. In the lower ranks he worked
both at the main office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague (Security Policy
Department, European Department) and abroad (Lisbon, Brussels, Warsaw).

In 2003 he was appointed head of the Security and Defence Policy Division. Subsequently he was deputy head of mission at the Dutch Embassy in Bucharest, Romania.

In 2010 Hans Sandee became head of the Migration and Asylum Division in The Hague and was appointed to Netherlands ambassador to Libya in 2014.
Currently Hans Sandee is the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Dubai.

Hans Sandee is married and has two children. 
His hobbies include reading, golf, tennis, and listening to music.

Dr. Luca A. van Duren

Dr. Luca A. van Duren is a senior scientist at Deltares. She is a marine ecologist with a background in the interaction between biota, fluid dynamics and sediment. She received her PhD in marine Biology at the University of Groningen and subsequently worked at the Netherlands Institute of ecology in Yerseke (the Netherlands) on projects relating to benthic boundary layer hydrodynamics, ecosystem functioning in systems with shellfish cultures and ecosystem engineering by aquatic species. She has been working at Deltares on a large variety of multidisciplinary integrative projects in marine and coastal waters, ranging from ecosystem restoration and environmental management to modelling tools for aquaculture. The focus of her work is on ecosystem functioning in relation to physical processes (hydrodynamics and sediment movement) and human use.

 She currently participates in EU projects focussing on the implementation of IMTA (Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture). She also leads projects relating to the assessment of system effects of large-scale implementation of offshore wind in the southern North Sea and is also part of the Deltares team for the H2020 project UNITED (multi-Use platforms and co-location pilots boosting cost-effective, and Eco-friendly and sustainable production in marine environments).

 Dr. van Duren currently serves on the Scientific Advisory board for National stakeholder consultation North Sea, Netherlands.

Hans Boon

Hans Boon is managing consultant at Aquaculture Experience with a successful record of accomplishments and broad international experience in aquaculture and aquafeed related business. Hans established consulting company “Aquaculture Experience” in June 2008 and offers independent freelance consultancy services related with the aquafeed and aquaculture industry such as:

  • Aquafeed formulation, ingredients selection, production optimization, product management and sourcing
  • Aquafeed ingredient and additive business development
  • Due diligence
  • Market studies
  • R&D projects
  • Project management
  • Value Chain Analysis

Frans Aartsen

Frans Aartsen is the owner of Holland Aqua BV and has an experience record of approximately 25 years, during which he has managed industrial and large scale aquaculture projects in Europe, Africa and Asia. Sustainable farms for Eel, Sturgeon, Salmon, Tilapia, and Catfish were designed, constructed and their production and processes managed. He has extensive experience in aquaculture supply chain management, finding suitable product-market-mixes, product & process quality implementation / certification and due diligence for the aquaculture sector.
In addition he works on international certification schemes, the development of chemical storage and dosing systems, and sustainable air scrubbing technology for intensive animal husbandry systems for pigs and poultry.

Jouke Heringa

Program manager Delta Platform (Centre of Expertise Water and Climate) Coordinator international relations and cooperation in education and applied research Delta Academy Senior researcher Aquaculture in Delta Areas Hogeschooldocent Aquatische Ecotechnologie, senior lecturer Integrated Water Resources Management

Ruwan Berculo – moderator

Senior advisor VIV worldwide business development.