• Desert Life Science Laboratory
  • Emirates Soil Museum
  • ICBA Genebank

Located in Academic City, 25 km south of central Dubai, ICBA’s offices, research facilities and demonstration plots are spread over 100 hectares of land.

A total of 35 hectares are designated for applied research on irrigated agriculture. Our scientists conduct experiments using different types of water from relatively high-quality water with low salinity (2,000 ppm) to saline water (20,000 ppm). For research purposes, water of low and high salinity is mixed in different proportions, resulting in a range of levels of salinity from moderate to extreme. The land allocated for irrigated agriculture is divided into 13 blocks (2.5 hectares each), so that field irrigation control can be achieved up to the plot level. One of the blocks is controlled using the SCADA system, which makes it possible to control the quantity and salinity of irrigation water supplied to any part of the experimental plots within the block. Water can be supplied by sprinkler, drip, bubbler or traveling irrigation systems, allowing scientists to replicate a wide range of current irrigation practices. Plots irrigated with low salinity water are allocated for plant propagation and seed multiplication.

Our head office, laboratories and training facilities occupy an area of 30 hectares. They include the Central Analytical Laboratory; the Desert Life Sciences Laboratory; Genebank; Training Auditorium; greenhouses and a shade house; and the Emirates Soil Museum.

  • The Central Analytical Laboratory provides different services, including collection of soil and water samples; analysis of the chemical and physical properties of soil and water; analysis of soil and plant nutrient content, and quality parameters of different inorganic and organic fertilizers. These services are available for researchers, as well as other stakeholders from different organizations. The laboratory adopts internationally recognized standard methods for sample analysis and quality control.
  • In collaboration with BGI, ICBA operates the Desert Life Sciences Laboratory (DLSL), a state-of-the-art genomic research facility. The laboratory is equipped with the latest next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform (DNBSEQ-G400RS) from BGI. In addition to the genome sequencer, the laboratory has different instruments involved in library preparation for the NGS platform such as a Qubit 4 fluorometer, a M220 Focused-ultrasonicator and an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer system, which perform various kinds of work like whole genome re-sequencing (WGS), genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), metagenomics, transcriptomics, small RNA sequencing.
  • Our genebank holds more than 16,000 accessions of around 300 plant species from more than 150 countries and territories.
  • Our training facilities include multifunctional meeting and training rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technologies.
  • Climate-controlled greenhouses and a shade house provide the optimum conditions for plant experiments and the transfer of plants between environments.
  • The Emirates Soil Museum provides all information on the soils in the UAE and the Gulf region.

About 35 hectares remain untouched, serving as a unique environment for studies of the indigenous flora and fauna.