Meet Dr Haythem Riahi

A man on a mission, Mashreq’s Riser Dr Haythem is providing an innovative solution to a serious environmental problem through sheer ingenuity and determination to succeed.

Sometimes, creating your own path is the only way forward

When Dr Riahi, CEO of Circa Biotech and his co-founders, Kristine Wong and Liudmila Prozorova launched Circa Biotech, an innovative start-up that upcycles food waste from landfills into high-quality animal feed using industrial insect farming, they had to have continued belief in themselves and their project – the first of its kind in the region. There was no legislative precedent for the sort of industrial insect farming in the UAE and not only did they need to convince several government bodies that plans for their enterprise at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, was safe for the environment or people, but they also needed special operating licences. Dr Haythem and his co-founders were resilient and remained unstoppable against all the challenges to achieve their vision.

Moment of Triumph

After years of learning about procedures, processes, innovating and creating their own path forward, Dr Haythem Riahi’s seminal work had slowly started gaining recognition. But the crowning moment came when Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, visited and inaugurated the Circa Biotech facility in 2022, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and pledging her support. Not only was a vision truly rewarded, but it was a reaffirmation that the company was aligned with the UAE’s food security strategy for the next 20 years.

We all need to become passionate about sustainability, about the way we live, produce and eat.” #SustainabilityIsTheFuture #RiseEveryDay

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