Pandemic revives Gulf fears over food security

For more than two years, Mariam al-Mheiri had been preparing for a crisis. So when aeroplanes stopped flying into the United Arab Emirates as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the Middle East in March, the country’s first food security minister knew what was expected. She had to guarantee that her desert nation, which imports 90 per cent of its food, was going to be able to keep supermarket shelves fully stacked.