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Literature Review



The UAE's thriving food industry sector is mostly composed of small food enterprises that provide a wide variety of food-based supply chains such as restaurants, FMCG retail, food products, etc (Jahan et al., 2021). These companies are essential to satisfying the needs of a diverse community and a flourishing travel and tourism sector. The local food businesses that are operating in the UAE must strike a balance between the demands of sustainability and the forces of globalisation. Considering the UAE's efforts to achieve food security, sustainable growth, and economic diversification in an increasingly global village phenomenon where distant sectors are linked this issue is crucial. Globalisation has emerged as a key factor influencing the UAE's cultural and social fabric in addition to its economic environment (Al-Khazraji, 2009). It affects how food companies run, change, and interact with the world market. It is important to acknowledge the complex effects of globalisation on small-scale food enterprises. Globalisation presents obstacles to cost-cutting, market growth, and the need for conformity to international standards, even while it may also offer doors to new markets and possibilities. Sustainability is a fundamental principle in a society where ethical production, conscientious consumption, and environmental preservation are all becoming more and more important (Butti Al Shamsi et al., 2018). Small food companies are beginning to understand how important it is to use sustainable practices including eco-design, organic farming, and circular economy models. The UAE's dedication to attaining its sustainable development objectives, guaranteeing food security in a hyperarid climate, and minimising food waste in an area confronted with severe environmental problems is in line with the quest for sustainability. Because it compiles and critically assesses the body of research on the relationship between sustainability and globalisation in the context of small food enterprises, this topical literature review is essential. It explains how these companies operate in the ever-changing global marketplace, make decisions that affect the environment and the economy, and respect cultural and religious norms, especially halal cuisine (Randeree, 2019).

There is an immense need to give stakeholders, politicians, and small food enterprises a thorough grasp of the possibilities and problems presented by globalisation and sustainability and this has been highlighted in this literature review. This research aims to enlighten and assist key stakeholders in making choices that will guarantee the long-term profitability and sustainability of small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates by reviewing the available literature and condensing the important results. This review study aims to provide insightful analysis and helpful suggestions for future research projects, policy creation, and small food enterprises. It seeks to act as a catalyst for the food industry's worldwide competitiveness, sustainability, and development in the dynamic and varied United Arab Emirates (Lawrence and Almas, 2018).

Objective of the Literature Review

The primary aim of this review is to understand sustainability in small food businesses in UAE and also explore the sustainability rooted in globalisation. Therefore this literature review aims to achieve the following main objectives:

  • to thoroughly examine and compile the existing body of knowledge about the relationship between sustainability and globalisation as it relates to small food enterprises in the UAE.
  • to evaluate the most important themes and dimensions that are related to sustainability exerted through globalisation among food business in UAE and critically understand this relationship by examining systematic review that is by adopting a thematic approach. The review has explored a large number of research that is related to these themes and filtered factors like market expansion, cost containment, organic agriculture, halal food supply chains, environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, economic and sustainability priorities, food security, sustainable business models, and transparency in food supply chains. Therefore, this review aims to give a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by small food businesses in the UAE within the globalised market. To address inconsistent or contradictory results and draw attention to patterns, trends, and debates in the reviewed literature to add to the body of knowledge on the subject (Leung et al., 2019). Using the knowledge gained from the examined literature, this study also provides recommendations and suggestions for policymakers, and company owners along with avenues for further research. The primary purpose of this literature review is to increase knowledge about how globalisation affects small food businesses' sustainability practices in the United Arab Emirates. This will lay the groundwork for wise policy decisions, well-informed decision-making, and more research in this important field of study.

Key Concepts

The thematic analysis is advanced by a selection of prominent research published in the major domain of the study. Therefore understanding the key concepts is necessary before doing the research. The four major dimensions of this study are sustainability, small food business and the context UAE. These concepts serve as pivotal themes for understanding how globalisation affects the sustainability of small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates, making them crucial for understanding the context and scope of this literature review. These can be defined as:


The ability of a business or sector to continue operating economically while upholding social and environmental responsibility is known as sustainability. It entails actions intended to satisfy current needs without jeopardising the capacity of future generations to satisfy their own (Pfister et al., 2016).

Small Food Businesses

Are well-established corporations which provide food-related goods and services to small or specialised markets, often operating with little funding and staff (Sadiku et al., 2019).


The process of greater interconnection and interdependence between nations, organisations, and people on a worldwide scale is known as globalisation. It includes the cross-border movement of people, ideas, information, commodities, and services and has a big impact on how companies may grow their markets and compete as well as have access to resources (Hill, 2022).

United Arab Emirates

Situated on the Arabian Peninsula's southeast coast, the UAE is a Middle Eastern nation. It is renowned for both its varied business environment, which includes the food sector, and its quick economic growth (Abdullah, 2020).

Relevance of the Research Topic

In the current business environment, the study focuses on the sustainability of small food enterprises in the context of globalization, which is very relevant considering the growing markets, globalisation and inherent exploitation of resources. The need to tackle sustainability challenges in small food enterprises, especially in the UAE, is highlighted by several aspects. Sustainability is now a crucial business need rather than merely a trendy term. Businesses are expected to operate profitably in a socially and ecologically responsible way in today's globalised society (Pfister et al., 2016). Businesses are under growing pressure from investors, authorities, and consumers to take social and environmental impacts into account. Despite being an essential component of the UAE's economy, small food enterprises are subject to the same requirements. UAE has recently seen exceptional population growth, urbanisation, and economic progress (Ulrichsen, 2016). The demand for food-related goods and services has increased dramatically as a consequence. Small food enterprises have both possibilities and problems as a result. As a result of this expansion, it is essential to guarantee sustainable practices to feed the people both now and in the future without depleting natural resources or endangering the environment. Conversely, globalisation has created new opportunities for small food firms to increase their market share. It increases competitiveness while opening up access to global markets and resources. To be competitive, small firms need to handle environmental issues, comply with international standards, and adjust to global dynamics (Al-Suwaidi, 2018).

The particular cultural and economic background of the UAE further emphasises the significance of the study issue. The coexistence of traditional values and modernity in the nation makes concerns such as environmental sustainability, halal cuisine, and cultural sensitivity especially relevant to the small food industry sector (Dsilva, 2021). A crucial subject in the larger framework of globalisation is the sustainability of small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates. It is relevant because of the increased focus on corporate social responsibility, the UAE's economic expansion and urbanisation, the benefits and difficulties brought about by globalisation, and the unique environmental and cultural dynamics of the area. Small food firms should prioritise sustainability not just for commercial reasons but also for the wider objectives of social welfare, economic growth, and environmental preservation.


Globalization and Sustainability in Small Food Businesses

The dynamics of globalisation and sustainability of small food enterprises in the UAE reflect a complex interaction of social, environmental, and economic variables. Technology breakthroughs and trade liberalisation have fueled globalisation, which has had a significant effect on companies all around the globe (Seelkopf et al., 2016). UAE is located at the intersection of important trade routes and has seen substantial change as a result of globalisation. Concurrently, sustainability has become a crucial issue, indicating the need to tackle environmental problems and social accountability (Gueraiche, 2016). Globalisation, which is defined by a rise in cross-border commerce, information sharing, and population mobility, has affected small food companies in the United Arab Emirates in both good and bad ways (Hill, 2020). On the one hand, it has also increased market potential and given these companies access to customers across the world. Due to its advantageous position, the UAE is a centre for the re-export of food goods, which has helped the regional food sector. These possibilities do, however, present some difficulties (Khan, 2019). A challenge is having to comply with a variety of foreign standards and laws, particularly for small food firms with little funding. Making large expenditures in infrastructure, technology, and employee training is necessary to meet the demands of global customers for quality and safety while keeping costs competitive.

The UAE's focus on sustainability is indicative of its dedication to tackling environmental problems, including water shortages and the food industry's carbon impact. When it comes to putting policies and programmes that support sustainability into practice, the UAE government has been proactive (Umar, 2020). One such initiative was the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which seeks to develop sustainable infrastructure and surroundings (Krzymowski, 2020; UAE, 2023). Similarly, the National Food Security Strategy 2051 emphasises the significance of sustainable practises and effective resource management in guaranteeing the country's food security (Manikas et al., 2022; UAE, 2023b). Small food enterprises in this setting are forced to comply with sustainability standards to fulfil their corporate social responsibility, legal obligations, and customer expectations. To fulfil the UAE's sustainability objectives, sustainable practises are essential. These practices include cutting down on food waste, buying locally produced foods, and optimising energy use. By using these strategies, small food companies may become more appealing to consumers and more competitive.

Globalisation and sustainability do not, however, come without difficulties. The resource-intensive nature of sustainable practices and the competitive demands of globalisation may pose challenges for small food enterprises. Tight budgets might be strained by the need to invest in technology for traceability and quality control while managing international supply chains. A dilemma is also presented by the need to maintain reasonable costs to serve a wide range of customers while implementing sustainable practices (Beumer et al., 2018). Critical evaluation of the possibilities and trade-offs brought about by globalisation and sustainability is crucial for small food enterprises in the UAE as they navigate this complicated terrain. Positive change may be sparked by the interaction of these two forces, but it will need careful planning, adaptation, and government backing. To fully reap the rewards of globalisation while adhering to sustainability principles, small food enterprises must investigate novel approaches, look for cooperative alliances, and make use of technology breakthroughs.

Globalization in UAE

Strategic choices, economic diversification, and international integration have shaped the historical backdrop of globalisation in the UAE. When seven emirates banded together to become a sovereign state in 1971, it was one of the most important moments in UAE history. This signalled the start of the political cooperation and stability that prepared the ground for the UAE's globalisation process (Ayish, 2021). The discovery of oil deposits in the 1950s, which gave the nation its first economic boost, was a significant turning point. Nonetheless, to guarantee long-term viability and lessen reliance on oil earnings, UAE policymakers realised that their economy needed to be more diversified (Delgado, 2016). The UAE’s long history as a commercial centre has played a significant role in its efforts to become a global player. The nation is well situated to serve as a natural commerce bridge due to its physical location at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa (Henderson, 2017). Recognising this advantage, the UAE government made calculated investments in logistics and infrastructure. The construction of top-notch ports and airports, such as Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port, has made the UAE a worldwide centre for logistics, enabling the flow of products and services.

The UAE's participation in international trade accords and initiatives was essential to its process of globalisation. To foster regional economic cooperation, the nation joined the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981. The economic accords of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have not only promoted economic integration between its member states but have also enabled commercial links with other nations worldwide (Ilu and Wallace, 2016). However, the creation of free trade zones like the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) was one of the most important turning points in the history of globalisation in the United Arab Emirates. These zones provided simpler laws, 100% foreign ownership, and tax benefits in a climate that was conducive to business. They encouraged entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic diversity by drawing a large number of foreign businesses and investors (Mogielnicki and Mogielnicki, 2021). Small food enterprises benefited greatly from this as it allowed them to reach international markets and enjoy a favourable business climate.

Globalisation has also been aided by the UAE's economic policies, notably its pursuit of a knowledge-based economy. Investments in innovation, education, and research and development have created an environment that encourages technical improvement, which is essential for companies hoping to prosper in a globalised marketplace. The backdrop of globalization's historical evolution in the United Arab Emirates is one of visionary leadership, smart investments, and foresight. The nation's ability to transition from a traditional trading post to a major player in the world economy is evidence of its dedication to accepting globalisation as a driver of economic expansion and diversification. This historical journey has directly benefited small food enterprises in the UAE, allowing them to access international markets and enhancing the country's standing as a worldwide centre for commerce.

UAE's Food Industry

Driven by concerns about sustainability and globalisation, the food sector in the UAE has seen many notable turning points in its growth (Beumer et al., 2018). In the past, the UAE has been mostly dependent on food imports to satisfy the demands of its expanding population. But after seeing how vulnerable this reliance was, the government started the process of producing enough food on its own (Loisel, 2021). The "UAE Food Security Strategy" was one of many initiatives designed to increase local agricultural and aquacultural output and guarantee a steady supply of wholesome, fresh food (UAE, 2023b). UAE has been positioned as a worldwide hub for food commerce due to its advantageous geographic location and first-rate infrastructure, which includes ports and airports. In particular, Dubai has developed as a hub for re-export, enabling the movement of food goods between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Consequently, there has been a notable surge in food re-exports from the nation, creating a convergence of global food goods (Faccia et al., 2023). UAE has made significant progress in advancing sustainable agricultural and aquaculture methods. Growing in popularity are sustainable agricultural techniques like hydroponics and vertical farming, which enable the production of crops with less water use and no negative environmental effects. A growing emphasis has been placed on sustainable fish breeding in aquaculture to lessen the strain on marine resources (Zhang et al., 2022).

In a nation where Muslims make up the majority, the halal food sector has grown significantly. The UAE is becoming a worldwide hub for Halal food certification because of its dedication to upholding Halal standards. This contributes to the nation's standing as a global food centre by serving the home market as well as providing opportunities for the export of Halal goods abroad (Almahrooqi et al., 2022). Priyadarshini et al. (2019) suggest that to match worldwide standards, the food sector in the United Arab Emirates has embraced novel production techniques as a result of globalisation. Cutting-edge food processing and packaging technologies have increased food safety and allowed for product distribution to international markets by extending its shelf life. These two concepts have received more attention in the last several years. The "Food Security Strategy 2051," a long-term strategy to guarantee a steady food supply in the future, was unveiled by the UAE government. This approach, which emphasises responsible resource management and decreasing food waste, is in line with global sustainability objectives (UAE, 2023b). UAE's food business has been impacted by the worldwide movement towards sustainable development and healthy eating. Food that is organic, locally sourced, and sustainably produced is in more demand as consumers become more aware of the impact of their food choices. Businesses have adjusted to match the changing market demands as a result of this transition, which has caused changes in the supply chain. The food industry's growing landscape in the UAE shows how the UAE is proactive in addressing issues of sustainability and globalisation. The path from securing food resources to becoming a worldwide food powerhouse has been incredible. The UAE's food sector is certain to be at the forefront of global trends and advances due to its continuous dedication to sustainable and healthful food practices.

Challenges Faced by Small Food Businesses

In the UAE, small food enterprises face a variety of difficulties, many of which are exacerbated by the pressures of sustainability and globalisation. Small food companies often find it difficult to handle the complexity of international markets. Understanding and satisfying the different tastes and preferences of the UAE's large expatriate community as well as its broad customer base presents special difficulties (Lazaris and Freeman, 2018). Globalisation has also resulted in more rivalry from multinational food conglomerates, which has placed more strain on small enterprises. Food safety and quality standards are highly valued in the Emirates, particularly concerning imports and locally manufactured foods. Strict regulatory requirements, including labelling, certification, and adherence to Halal standards, must be dealt with by small food enterprises. Being compliant may be difficult, especially if you want to sell your goods abroad since various markets may have different requirements. Financial and infrastructural resource constraints are common for small firms. Energy-efficient practices and the switch to eco-friendly packaging are two examples of sustainability initiatives that may put a burden on already tight finances. For smaller businesses, there may be limitations on their access to technology and knowledge of sustainable practices (Mittal and Raman, 2021). Food firms need to have flexible and effective supply chains to compete in the global market. This may be a big problem for small firms. It may be challenging to guarantee a steady supply of raw materials, particularly for fresh and perishable commodities. Small enterprises may find it difficult to satisfy the volume and quality requirements of major distributors and global customers. Consciousness about health and sustainability is changing what consumers want. To accommodate changing consumer preferences, small firms need to modify their workflows and product offerings. This might include providing clear and ecologically friendly packaging, minimising food waste, or obtaining organic or locally produced foods (Su et al., 2019).

Globalisation may be a double-edged sword even when it offers openings to other markets. These markets may be difficult for small enterprises to enter because of export laws, trade restrictions, and fierce rivalry. It is often necessary to comprehend and abide by international trade regulations to overcome these obstacles. Gaining market share may be difficult for small enterprises in the food sector due to the dominance of huge international organisations. These giants have more extensive resources, brand awareness, and distribution networks, making it harder for smaller businesses to compete in a higher competitive landscape (Tong and Saladrigues, 2022). Small food firms or SMEs in the UAE have a variety of difficulties in juggling the needs of sustainability and globalisation. To overcome these obstacles, the sector must adapt, innovate, and often work together. The provision of reduced laws, finance, and training in sustainable practices by the government may greatly assist these enterprises in manoeuvring through the dynamic food sector.

Role of small food businesses in the UAE's economy

In the UAE, small food enterprises are vital to the country's economy since they promote local entrepreneurship and greatly enhance food security. In the UAE, small food enterprises play a crucial role in the economy. The food industry is one of the main economic sectors in the nation, and small enterprises in this area contribute significantly to the GDP. These businesses support GDP growth, job creation, and revenue generation (Delgado, 2016). Statistics released by the Ministry of Economy in the United Arab Emirates (WAM, 2022), small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) inclusive of food businesses, account for over 7% of the country's GDP. Small food enterprises contribute to economic activity that increases the UAE's economic diversification and lessens its reliance on oil income. Achieving food security is crucial in a nation with limited resources for arable land and water. A crucial part in supporting the UAE's efforts to ensure food security is played by small food enterprises. They often work in the local food industry, producing and distributing food locally, which helps to make fresh, locally-produced food items available. This is especially important in light of the UAE's commitment to guaranteeing a reliable and secure food supply. Local food production, which includes small-scale food processing and agriculture, helps the country become less dependent on food imports and increases its resilience to interruptions in the global food supply chain (UAE, 2023b).

Small-scale food enterprises encourage inventiveness and entrepreneurship. To spur innovation, reduce unemployment, and diversify the economy, the UAE government actively encourages entrepreneurship. A key element of this entrepreneurial ecosystem has emerged: small food businesses. They are creative hotspots because of their flexibility and nimbleness, which often results in the creation of innovative culinary goods and services. To promote small enterprises in the food industry, the UAE government has put in place several programmes and incubators. This encourages entrepreneurs to look for creative and sustainable solutions to problems with food production and delivery (Okasha, 2020). The UAE's rich cultural legacy is also preserved and promoted by small food enterprises. Food items that are both traditional and regionally inspired and are generally made by small enterprises are essential to maintaining the identity of the nation. They add to the nation's soft power by showcasing Emirati flavours and cultural variety to the global audience and by supporting regional craftspeople and conventional food production methods, these companies help to preserve time-honoured culinary customs for future generations (Khansaheb, 2021). Food companies in the UAE play a crucial role not just as economic players but also in the country's food security, entrepreneurial environment, and cultural identity. Long-term economic and social well-being in the UAE depends on acknowledging their importance and putting policies in place to encourage their expansion and sustainability.

Globalization and Its Impact on Small Food Businesses

Globalisation has brought about a radical change in their operations, supply networks, and competitiveness. Supply chain dynamics in the food business have changed significantly as a result of globalisation. With the opening of the UAE to foreign investment and commerce, small food businesses were able to access a worldwide market. They started acquiring supplies, machinery, and even finished goods from a wider range of vendors, often on an international basis (Lund et al., 2019). There are advantages and disadvantages to this diversity. On the one hand, technology has made a vast variety of resources more accessible, which has encouraged creativity and made it possible to provide novel and unusual goods. Supply networks are now more intricate and prone to interruptions as shown by the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented hitherto unheard-of difficulties for international logistics. The food industry in the UAE is more competitive now because of globalisation. Global brands and international food chains have forced small food enterprises to compete directly with the biggest players in the market (Masruroh, 2020). To stay competitive, they have been forced to improve the quality of their products, branding, and service standards. Globalisation has also resulted in a more varied customer base in the UAE, where a sizeable expat community resides.

Today's small food enterprises must be flexible and innovative to meet the needs of a discriminating customer base that spans a wider range of tastes and cultural preferences. New paths for market growth have been made possible by globalisation. Due to the UAE's advantageous position as a centre for international commerce and tourism, small food firms may now more readily reach consumers across the world. For instance, travellers looking for unusual dining experiences have become more interested in traditional Emirati spices, snacks, and sweets. International food shows and e-commerce platforms have also made it easier to export food products made in the UAE to markets throughout the globe (Faccia et al., 2023). Regulations are becoming more difficult as a result of globalisation. It is now critical to follow international food safety and quality standards as the UAE's food sector expands into the global market. To export their goods, small food enterprises have to manage a complicated network of licences and certificates. For smaller companies in the market, having to fulfil both local and international requirements may be quite expensive (Amer, 2023). Globalisation has forced the UAE's small food enterprises to follow sustainable global trends. Globally, consumers' concerns over the environmental impact of their dietary choices are growing. Small companies have been forced by this to use eco-friendly packaging, minimise food waste, and source locally if feasible. Their efforts improve their competitiveness in the worldwide market and connect with people throughout the world. The food business in the UAE has seen a wave of transition due to globalisation. It has given them chances to innovate and grow their market, but it has also presented new difficulties, especially in terms of supply chain complexity, competitiveness, and conformity to international standards. In an increasingly connected world, small food companies that can adjust to this changing environment will be well-positioned to prosper.

Sustainability Initiatives in the UAE

UAE has developed a well-defined strategy for sustainability, which is embodied in its UAE Vision 2030 (NCSDG, 2023). This comprehensive plan delineates many fundamental components, among which is "a cohesive society and preserved identity," emphasising the significance of conserving the nation's natural resources, cultural legacy, and natural resources. Maintaining the country's identity and creating a sustainable future for its people depend heavily on sustainability in the food business. The UAE's desert environment and few agricultural resources make food security a major problem (MBRSG, n.d.). The goal of the government's many initiatives is to improve food security and self-sufficiency. The introduction of the National Food Security Strategy demonstrates the United Arab Emirates's efforts to guarantee a steady and uniform food supply. Investing in cutting-edge agricultural technology, increasing regional output, and broadening the range of food sources are some strategies. To guarantee the responsible use of resources, the UAE government actively supports sustainable agricultural practices. Programmes such as the National Programme for Food Diversity (NCSDG, 2023) highlight the need to conserve water while emphasising the growth of regional agriculture. To optimise resource efficiency, cutting-edge methods like hydroponics and vertical farming have been embraced.

The food business in the United Arab Emirates is shaped in large part by regulations and standards. Standards for food safety and labelling requirements are only two of the rules governing food items that have been put in place by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA, 2018). These rules guarantee that food items fulfil strict quality and safety requirements as well as international norms. Certifications like the UAE's Eco Label validate the government's commitment to environmental sustainability and promote sustainable practices in the food business (Alansaari and El Sergany, 2019). Businesses are encouraged to use sustainable practices by the UAE government. The Dubai Sustainable Business Leadership Programme was launched by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and provides businesses including those in the food industry with the information and resources they need to integrate sustainability into their daily operations. Certifications and awards with a sustainability emphasis honour and reward businesses that show a dedication to environmental and social responsibility (DCC, 2023). Sustainability is becoming a popular component of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes for many organisations in the Emirates. These programmes take into account the social and environmental effects in addition to profit. Waste reduction, recycling, community involvement, and ethical ingredient procurement are a few examples of CSR initiatives (Zamoum and Gorpe, 2020). UAE’s efforts to promote sustainability in the food business demonstrate the country's commitment to building a more secure and sustainable future. The UAE is establishing itself as a regional leader in promoting sustainable practices within the food industry sector via innovative tactics, legislation, and an increasing focus on sustainable agriculture.

The Nexus Between Globalization and Sustainability

The relationship between sustainability and globalisation is a critical one that has a big impact on how small food enterprises in the UAE operate. Due to the growing interdependence of economies and cultures throughout the globe brought about by globalisation, sustainability is now not just a desired objective but also a must for companies, especially small food operations in the UAE. Numerous variables, such as the possibility of financial gains, international agreements and norms, and the increasing awareness of environmental and social problems among consumers, are responsible for this development (Khan and Khan, 2018). Increased access to international markets is one way that globalisation affects sustainability in small food enterprises. All food enterprises in the UAE, no matter how big or small, may now reach customers around the globe. They often have to live up to customer expectations and international sustainability requirements to be successful in these marketplaces. They now have the chance to implement sustainable practices that are in line with the values and preferences of the world community. The effect of globalisation is the complexity of supply networks. Products and ingredients for small food enterprises may come from all around the globe. Because of this intricacy, sustainability must be prioritised at every stage of the supply chain, from obtaining raw materials to handling waste, packing, and transportation.

Small firms must thus adopt sustainable practices to guarantee that they satisfy international requirements and lessen their environmental impact (Rosenau, 2017).

The cross-border exchange of information and innovation is encouraged by globalisation. Small food enterprises in the UAE have the opportunity to use worldwide best practices in sustainability by embracing cutting-edge global technology and solutions. Businesses may use the lessons they learn from other nations' successful sustainable models in their operations. Moreover, they can use global alliances to get access to knowledge, capital, and assets that facilitate sustainable projects (Ferreira and Franco, 2017). As a result of globalisation, several worldwide sustainability frameworks and standards have been developed and adopted. These frameworks provide indicators and recommendations to assist companies in reporting, evaluating, and improving their sustainability performance. By aligning their practices with these standards, small food enterprises may improve accountability and transparency. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, for instance, provide a worldwide framework for tackling important sustainability issues (Tang et al., 2020). Globalisation exposes UAE's small food firms to a wide range of customer tastes. More and more consumers are looking for goods that reflect their ideals, such as fair trade, organic, or sustainably derived goods (Razouk, 2021). A dedication to sustainable practices in product sourcing and manufacturing processes is necessary to satisfy these demands. Building confidence with customers throughout the world requires ethical sourcing practices. Globalisation may promote economic resilience in addition to compliance when it comes to embracing sustainability. Small food enterprises that use sustainable practices are more resilient to shifts in market dynamics, resource price volatility, and global economic shocks. A source of competitive advantage in an increasingly linked world might come from sustainability. There is no denying the connection between globalisation and sustainability, with the latter serving as a potent spur for small food enterprises in the UAE to embrace sustainable practices. Adopting sustainability is a way to guarantee resilience and competitiveness in the long run, as well as a reaction to expectations throughout the world.

Barriers to Sustainability in Small Food Businesses

Despite the possibilities brought about by globalisation, small food enterprises in the UAE often face several obstacles in their quest for sustainability that prevent them from fully integrating sustainable practices. For small food enterprises, resource limitations including limited funds and poor access to technology and expertise represent serious obstacles to sustainability (Singh et al., 2019). Adopting sustainable practices might include making initial financial commitments that are difficult for some firms, especially those with tight budgets. Moreover, bigger companies often have greater access to state-of-the-art technology and professional advice, which puts small firms at a disadvantage when it comes to resource-intensive sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is sometimes accompanied by a confusing maze of rules and guidelines. Understanding and adhering to these rules may be difficult for small food enterprises, especially if they don't have the funding for legal and regulatory compliance. This obstacle is made worse by the fact that various nations have varied sustainability requirements, which affects companies looking to expand internationally.

Globalisation exposes small food enterprises to a range of customer preferences and environmental issues, but it also emphasises how difficult it is to keep up with changing consumer demands (Crane et al., 2019). Some small firms may think that their local clientele is less interested in sustainability practices, or they could be worried about the financial implications of switching to more environmentally friendly sourcing and manufacturing methods. Companies may be discouraged from prioritising sustainability if there is a lack of customer understanding or demand for sustainable goods. Supply chains often go further geographically as a result of globalisation. Complex international supply networks may be difficult for small food companies to manage, which makes it harder to monitor and ensure the sustainability of their supply chain. This may include problems with ethical sourcing, traceability, and adhering to global sustainability norms.

The lack of sustainability-related education and training options for workers and owners of small food businesses is a major obstacle. Businesses may find it difficult to successfully adopt and maintain sustainable practices if they lack a thorough grasp of the sustainability concepts and advantages. Programmes for capacity-building and training are essential for closing this knowledge gap (Amentae and Gebresenbet, 2021). Small food companies may put short-term earnings ahead of long-term sustainability efforts, especially if they are struggling financially. Businesses may believe that sustainability projects need time and resources that might be employed for immediate income development in a fast-paced, competitive global market. It will need a change of perspective to acknowledge the long-term advantages of sustainability to get beyond this obstacle. For small firms, the pressure to compete in the global food sector may be crippling. Certain organisations may sacrifice sustainability to compete on price, seeing it as an extra expense. Small firms may be dissuaded by the competitive environment to adopt sustainability measures if they think doing so would compromise their capacity to provide competitive prices (Naradda et al., 2022). There are a variety of issues preventing small food enterprises in the UAE from being sustainable, and they need specialised solutions. Although globalisation offers opportunity, it also makes these enterprises confront more difficult obstacles.

Research Gap
Although there are significant insights and complications on different aspects of sustainability and globalisation in the context of small food enterprises in the UAE. The review has revealed important gaps and knowledge shortages in the body of current knowledge. The little investigation of the complex interactions between sustainability and globalisation in small food enterprises is one significant gap, especially in the case of the UAE. The effects of globalisation and sustainability measures have been discussed individually in the talks, but there is a lack of literature that thoroughly examines how these two elements cross and affect one another. Offering a comprehensive understanding of how globalisation might influence sustainable practises and vice in small food enterprises is a prominent gap in the existing literature. Although the literature review has shown the difficulties and challenges small food companies in the UAE business confront, there hasn't been much of an emphasis on finding solutions from both local and global perspectives. Considering that there are discussions on supply chain complexity related to globalisation issues further research is required to determine how regional sustainability norms, customer preferences, and local market dynamics interact with global variables to affect small enterprises. There are many theoretical issues, conceptual frameworks, and qualitative insights in the current debates. Nevertheless, the assertions made in the literature are not well-supported by quantitative data or empirical evidence. Perspectives on the UAE situation, there isn't much comparison research with other nations or areas. A review that makes parallels between the UAE and other similar or dissimilar situations might provide a deeper comprehension of the topic. The majority of the conversations concentrate on the difficulties and short-term or immediate effects. The long-term sustainability and globalisation implications for small food enterprises in the UAE are an area where there is a significant information gap. Although there is discussion of sustainability measures in the UAE, more research is necessary to fully understand how government policies and regulations shape the sustainability environment for small food enterprises. There is a lack of information on how people's attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour contribute to sustainability and globalisation in small food enterprises. The impact of culture on globalisation and sustainability in small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates has not been sufficiently discussed in the literature this study aims to not only shed light on the unique circumstances of the United Arab Emirates but also provide wider conclusions and suggestions for decision-makers and entrepreneurs in the relationship between sustainability and globalisation in small businesses.


Design of Review

Thematic analysis is a qualitative technique used to find, recognise, and understand recurrent themes and patterns in the chosen literature. This method organises and comprehends the main concepts and ideas within a given study field, enabling a thorough and in-depth investigation of it (Terry et al., 2017). A qualitative research technique called thematic analysis is used to examine written or visual data from sources including research papers, interviews, and open-ended survey questions. Finding, examining, and summarising trends or themes in the data are all part of it. A typical thematic analysis involves several essential phases, including data familiarisation, the creation of preliminary codes, topic searching, theme evaluation, theme definition and naming, and report authoring. It is an approachable and methodical strategy that can be tailored to several research settings, making it appropriate for investigating multiple facets of a given study issue.

The chosen literature enquiry may be thoroughly examined by adopting thematic analysis because this approach offers an organised approach to locating the minute intricacies and subtleties in the data, which is particularly helpful when working with a large number of research papers. Finding trends and recurrent themes in literature is made easy with the help of thematic analysis (Williams and Moser, 2019).

This study aims to comprehend the relationship between small food enterprises in the UAE and globalisation and sustainability. Finding recurring themes, ideas, and conclusions across research can be conducted by thematic analysis. Thematic analysis also provides freedom in how the data is interpreted and comprehended. Because it is not restricted to any one theoretical framework, it may be used for a wide range of multidisciplinary study issues. This flexibility is crucial because of the complex link that exists between sustainability and globalisation in small food enterprises. This approach methodically integrates data from several sources, enabling the integration of results from different studies into a coherent story. It facilitates the identification of broad themes and linkages by scholars (Williams and Moser, 2019). Although statistical patterns may be obtained via quantitative studies, theme analysis provides a qualitative understanding of the topic. It provides a greater grasp of the motivating reasons and ramifications related to the issue by assisting in the exploration of the "how" and "why" questions. Thematic analysis is a useful tool in this study since it provides a thorough examination and interpretation of the corpus of literature, revealing important patterns and insights that guide the debates and conclusions. It makes sure that the evaluation offers a deeper and more nuanced knowledge of the intricate interactions between sustainability and globalisation in small food enterprises in the Emirates, going beyond simple summarising and therefore thematic analysis can meet the objectives of this study.

Thematic Analysis

It is important to follow a systematic approach in the case of thematic analysis of qualitative data that has been extracted from secondary sources. This is to ensure the robustness of the results and enable proper triangulation of the results and synthesis (Vaismoradi et al., 2016).

These stages are sequentially discussed and elaborated on how that has been taken in this study (Please see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Stages of Thematic Analysis


Stage 1: Basic Search

The research process began with a thorough basic search to find pertinent literature on the topic that particularly relates to the topic of this study that is:

  • Driving Change through Globalisation Enhancing Sustainability in Small Food Businesses in the UAE.

This phase was essential to laying a solid basis for our thematic analysis. Academic databases were our main source for peer-reviewed research publications. The researcher has used databases including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar to help with the extensive search. These databases guarantee a comprehensive search by providing a broad range of scholarly materials. One of the important aspects is employing Keywords and Boolean operators. The researcher has combined keywords and Boolean operators to focus our search and find relevant publications. Boolean operators such as "AND" and "OR" were utilised to build logical combinations for more specific results. Many researchers have adopted the proper approach of hunting the research or secondary data on the internet by employing proper Boolean operators and keywords (Musa et al., 2023). Some of the prominent keywords were "globalisation," "sustainability," "small food businesses," and "UAE." For instance, searching for "globalisation AND sustainability AND 'small food businesses' OR 'UAE'" guaranteed that we would find articles covering each of these topics (Please see Table 1). To focus on research publications, the researcher used the databases' "Research Article" or "Peer-Reviewed" filters. This was important to make sure that the academic material we were evaluating had been thoroughly reviewed. To exclude unrelated sources, it was clearly defined inclusion and exclusion guidelines (Mohamed Shaffril et al., 2021).

Table 1: Search Strategy and Inputs (Stage 1)

Papers unrelated to the UAE or small-scale food enterprises were not included until they were more related to other themes. Only peer-reviewed studies that specifically discussed how globalisation and sustainability interact were considered to ensure the reliability of the source and information. Peer-reviewed research articles, review papers, and systematic literature reviews were the main types of research publications that we examined. Because of their thorough coverage and meticulous review, these kinds of publications are regarded as trustworthy sources for academic study. It was taken care to compile a wide range of scholarly articles that were pertinent throughout this first phase of our investigation. A methodical and exhaustive search procedure was made possible by the combination of relevant keywords, Boolean operators, and databases. The construction of the corpus of literature that we then thematically analysed and discussed was made possible by this first stage.

Stage 2: Peer-Reviewed Papers

The identification and selection of peer-reviewed publications were given priority throughout the search process. Ensuring the quality and trustworthiness of the sources used in the review was the driving force behind this method. Academic rigour is maintained and non-academic or untrustworthy sources are weeded out of peer-reviewed publications via a rigorous assessment procedure conducted by professionals and academics in the area. The purpose of this step was to provide a strong basis for the review using academic and well-researched material. The use of this selection criterion was crucial in guaranteeing that the collected data would adhere to the stringent criteria of academic integrity and be reliable for further analysis (Belotto, 2018). The approach used in this phase was to separate peer-reviewed from non-peer-reviewed sources by methodically reviewing the publications that were first found. A targeted and trustworthy collection of literature was made possible by the exclusion of papers that did not satisfy the peer-reviewed standards from the final selection. To preserve the review's academic integrity and prospective contributions to the area of research, this step was crucial.

Stage 3: Screening Phase

In the process of screening, more than 100 publications that were deemed pertinent to the study issue were assembled into a large pool of possible sources. The principal aim of our effort was to guarantee a thorough and full examination of all the material that is now accessible on the topic. Avoiding the mistake of ignoring important contributions to the area led to the choice to amass a large number of articles. It was crucial to cast a broad net and include a diversity of views, approaches, and conclusions given the dynamic nature of globalisation and sustainability in the context of small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates. To find a wide range of publications, the procedure included using academic databases, search techniques, and the selected keywords. The idea behind this strategy was to document the breadth and depth of the study, covering several facets of the topic such as historical trends, difficulties, turning points, and the relationship between sustainability and globalisation. Although a bigger pool of articles may need more resources, it guarantees a strong basis for the next steps of coding, thematic analysis, and screening. This offers a foundation for critical assessment and synthesis and permits a more comprehensive grasp of the research environment. This wide range of options provided a framework for close examination, which improved the literature review's overall quality and thoroughness.

Stage 4: Refinement

After more than 100 papers were gathered initially, a thorough process of refining was started. To make sure that the final selection for the literature review included the most relevant, trustworthy, and excellent sources, this step entailed a methodical and thorough examination of every publication (Lame, 2019). This improvement was justified on many levels. By excluding irrelevant or subpar sources, it sought to concentrate the evaluation on the most reputable and significant studies. The research approach also tried to keep the amount of literature under control so that, given the limitations of the research, it could be thoroughly analysed. Each manuscript was subjected to a consistent set of predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria to carry out this refinement (Mohamed Shaffril et al., 2021). The inclusion criteria were published within the intended period, peer-reviewed status, relevance to the study subject and a focus on the food sector in the United Arab Emirates. Off-topic material, no peer review, out-of-date publications, and little regional relevance were among the exclusion criteria.

The final selection, which included the 20 articles that fulfilled the requirements, served as the foundation for the literature evaluation (Please see Table 2). Concerning globalisation, sustainability, and small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates, these publications showcased a diverse range of study issues, methodology, and conclusions. The selected articles address issues like the effects of globalisation, sustainability programmes, obstacles, background information, and how these elements are related to one another.

Table 2: Selected Sources for Thematic Analysis

A thorough and impartial examination of the research environment was ensured by the final selection of papers, which took into account both historical advancements and modern perspectives. The aforementioned publications were considered the most significant and enlightening resources for critical analysis and synthesis. This allowed for a more comprehensive and detailed investigation of the topic throughout the next phases of coding, theme analysis, and conversations.

Stage 5: Coding

Within a corpus of qualitative data, research papers or interview transcripts, the coding process in the thematic analysis is methodically locating and labelling important themes, patterns, or keywords. A pool of over 20 publications was meticulously examined to find important keywords, topics, and recurring themes before the coding process for this study began. Following that, these components were methodically arranged into a collection of unique codes that each reflected a key component of the paper's content. The enormous quantity of information included in the chosen publications may be categorised, condensed, and made sense of by coding. It makes it possible for researchers to detect similarities and contrasts, which makes it possible to derive insightful conclusions. The paper's discussion and conclusions were organised by using coded data analysis to find underlying themes (Williams and Moser, 2019). Through the use of an exacting coding system, this review guarantees that pertinent and important data from every publication is efficiently combined and adds to a thorough comprehension of the subject (Please see Table 3).

Table 3: Coding of the Selected Papers

An essential part of the thematic analysis is the extracted codes that stand for the main ideas and keywords in the 20 research articles that we have chosen. Apart from being the outcome of the coding process, these codes also function as an effective focus that helps understand how globalisation and sustainability interact with small food enterprises in the UAE. Each of the codes signifies relevance to the subject (Please see Table 4).

Table 4: Relevance of the Codes

These codes serve as the fundamental focus of our thematic analysis. Every code is associated with an important concept found in the research articles, and their significance comes from their clear relationship to the main goals of our investigation. The synthesis of these codes will benefit the understanding of how these codes interact to examine how globalisation and sustainability are reflected in the small food enterprises of the UAE.

Stage 6: Recognition of Themes

An organised and exacting methodology was used to identify themes among the 20 selected research articles that were chosen for consideration. To shed light on how globalisation and sustainability interact in small food enterprises in the UAE, the main objective was to summarise the major ideas, concepts, and recurrent themes that emerged from the literature. To do this, a thorough reading of each document was conducted, and the pertinent codes which stood for the words phrases or concepts that best captured the main ideas were then extracted (Williams and Moser, 2019). Every publication included these codes, which summarised the main points of the study and how they related to the main subject. To create a link between each publication and the major topics of the study, this coding procedure included finding certain words, phrases, or ideas that were repeatedly employed. Next, taking into account each code's context and applicability within the larger framework of the thematic analysis, each code was categorised and arranged into higher-level themes (Please see Table 5).

Table 5: Finalised Themes for Synthesis

This technique of finalising themes was justified by the need to methodically define and classify the many aspects of how globalisation and sustainability interact in small food enterprises, guaranteeing a thorough study based on the content of the chosen articles. In the context of the small food enterprises in the UAE, the enquiry sought to provide a formal framework for comprehending the complex link between globalisation and sustainability by extracting these codes and then organising them into themes.

Stage 7: Discussion & Synthesis

The last stage of thematic analysis is the synthesis of the recognised themes that can enable the researcher to develop an understanding systematically of a subject (Williams and Moser, 2019). Gaining a thorough grasp of how globalisation and sustainability interact in UAE small food enterprises requires synthesis including a detailed and critical examination of every one of the 10 topics (themes) that were found, clarifying the information offered by the selected research articles that were chosen. At this point, each paper's text extracts pertinent facts, statistics, and insights on the individual topics. The objective was to provide a thorough summary of the field's current studies and go into further depth on how sustainability and globalisation affect UAE small food enterprises. Moreover, the conversation covered the theme's wider context, including perspectives from other pertinent studies outside of the 20 chosen articles. With the use of this method, each subject could be explored more thoroughly, the body of current knowledge could be assessed, and any gaps or areas in need of greater study could be found. The study aims to give a thorough and insightful overview of the link and a critical and in-depth analysis of each issue was a significant step towards attaining these goals.

Stage 8: Conclusion & Linking Themes

The study culminates in a critical synthesis and conclusion based on a thorough thematic analysis and discussions of the chosen subjects. This stage attempts to summarise the most important findings from the 20 research articles, highlight the subtleties of each topic, and evaluate the implications for promoting globalization-driven transformation to improve sustainability in UAE small food enterprises. The data and debates from each subject were methodically combined in the synthesis and conclusion stage, with an emphasis on showing similarities, contrasts, and broad patterns. To build a comprehensive viewpoint, we must recognise the larger implications of globalisation and sustainability for small food enterprises via this synthesis process. The review's main conclusions will be summarised in the conclusion, with a focus on the useful implications for UAE-based small food enterprises. It discusses the aims of the study and provides insights into how globalisation might lead to improvements in sustainable practises, assisting regional companies in adjusting to rapidly changing worldwide trends.

Quality & Relevance

To guarantee the validity of this research review, it was essential to evaluate the chosen papers for quality and applicability. This procedure included several important parameters as well as a methodical way to fully assess every manuscript (Vaismoradi and Snelgrove, 2019). The paper's source served as the first criteria for evaluating quality. All studies were evaluated only after they appeared in respectable, peer-reviewed journals. This was crucial since the trustworthiness and credibility of the study are ensured by the rigorous assessment process that peer-reviewed publications go through, which is conducted by subject matter experts. Publications in these journals have a higher probability of being of a high quality. Every chosen manuscript underwent a rigorous examination to ensure that it met the review's research goals. Research on the relationship between sustainability and globalisation in small food firms in the UAE was deemed most relevant.

The major goal of the study, which was to comprehend the dynamics, possibilities, and issues facing these organisations, had to coincide with the research topic. An important factor in the evaluation was the geographic environment. Papers that addressed globalisation and sustainability dynamics within the UAE's setting were given priority because of the special emphasis on the country. This made sure that the study's conclusions applied directly to the area in issue. The goal of the review was to include works from various years of publication.

The integration of contemporary advancements and historical viewpoints was made possible by this methodology. While recent articles offered insights into current difficulties and possibilities, the historical context was crucial for understanding how globalisation and sustainability dynamics have changed over time. A well-established theoretical framework served as the foundation for more dependable papers. These frameworks provide researchers with a strong foundation on which to comprehend and analyse their results. In this study, the identified focus areas and inclusion & exclusion criteria established this framework. The selection procedure attempted to take into account a variety of viewpoints. This covered papers on a range of topics related to globalisation (supply chain management, market growth, cultural ramifications), as well as sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). This variety made the subject matter more broad. An interdisciplinary approach was deemed valuable as it allowed a comprehensive comprehension of the intricate processes at the confluence of sustainability and globalisation in small-scale food enterprises. These strict criteria were used to evaluate the quality and relevance of the chosen research. A solid basis for the thematic analysis and critical debates that followed this review was established by the process, which ensured the final pool of articles reflected a comprehensive research approach (Williams and Moser, 2019).

Findings: Thematic Analysis

Theme 1: Globalization and Business Performance

Globalisation affects market growth for small food firms in the United Arab Emirates. It displays the wider impact of international factors on the specifics of the local market. Numerous research recognises how globalisation broadens commercial opportunities. Jahan et al. (2021) point out that globalisation gives UAE food enterprises access to foreign markets, which improves their operational efficiency. Because of the integration of global commerce networks, it promotes development and competitiveness. This bolsters the theory that market growth brought about by globalisation has opened up opportunities for higher income. Conversely, further studies also highlight additional difficulties. The issues facing the halal food industry in the UAE are covered in Randeree's 2019 research shows that while globalisation expands markets, it also creates complications for adhering to international norms and certifications. When talking about market growth, this factor should be taken into account. Maintaining authenticity while adhering to international rules presents challenges for small food enterprises, thus the procedure may not be straightforward. This highlights the significance of tailoring goods to local needs and raises the possibility that maintaining a careful balance between localization and globalisation tactics may be necessary to expand a market. This supports the theory that globalization-driven market growth must be contextualised to take into account regional preferences, tastes, and cultural norms (Qadri and Bhat, 2018).

Globalisation poses sustainability problems for food enterprises in the Gulf area (Baig et al., 2018) in the KSA. Significant food waste is a result of the rise in food imports, which raises the possibility that market growth may not always be consistent with sustainability objectives. As a result, while discussing market growth, it is important to take into account the effects of globalisation on the environment and emphasise the role that sustainable practices play in developing effective strategies. The influence of globalisation on the growth of small food enterprises in the UAE market is a complex matter. Opportunities, as well as problems, are highlighted in this respect by the thematic analysis of the chosen articles. Expanded market access is advantageous for small food enterprises, but it also presents challenges in the form of global standards and environmental issues. By combining these data, a thorough understanding of how market growth and globalisation interact is provided, highlighting the need for customised approaches that take sustainability objectives and local market characteristics into account.

A significant factor that directly affects the small food enterprises' capacity to be financially sustainable in the United Arab Emirates is the effect of globalisation on cost reduction. A study by Jahan et al. (2021) examines how globalisation affects corporate performance and how it might result in cost savings. Businesses may optimise their operations, save costs, and boost competitiveness by tapping into global marketplaces and supply networks. The results presented in this research support the notion that supply chain management and global sourcing make cost-efficiency possible. But it's crucial to take the opposite side of the equation into account. The UAE's aims for sustainability and economy might sometimes clash (Bach et al., 2023). Although globalisation might help cut costs, it could also put a strain on the environment and natural resources. If globalised supply chains are not handled responsibly, environmental degradation may result in long-term consequences. It is crucial to comprehend how cost-cutting and sustainability interact.

Randeree (2019) reports on the difficulties facing the UAE's halal food industry. It demonstrates how the expenses of adhering to international standards and certifications have increased as a result of globalisation. These expenses related to worldwide conformance must be taken into account, even if globalisation may result in lower operating costs. The critical viewpoint here highlights the possibility that the cost-cutting effects of globalisation could not always result in obvious financial gains. Garcia-Garcia et al. (2020) believe that small food firms may reap benefits from technology breakthroughs and digital solutions in a globalised environment. By decreasing waste and increasing efficiency, these technologies may improve operations, save costs, and promote sustainability. It is crucial to analyse this issue thoroughly because of the relationship that exists between globalisation, technology, and cost reduction. The literature indicates that, in the context of globalisation, cost reduction has two drawbacks. It brings up issues with sustainability and other hidden costs, even as it presents chances for efficiency and competitiveness. Understanding how these factors interact suggests how globalisation has impacted UAE small food firms' efforts to cut costs. The long-term viability of small food enterprises in the UAE, and the impact of globalisation on cost reduction is a complicated problem that requires careful thought and well-balanced solutions. Understanding the viability and profitability of these firms within the global framework requires an understanding of how local governmental entities in the UAE affect them. The impact of an entrepreneurial attitude on the viability of small businesses is examined in Al Awadhi (2020) which highlights how important it is for local government to create an atmosphere that encourages small enterprises to prosper. By enacting laws that are advantageous to businesses, supporting infrastructure, and expediting regulatory procedures, local government may promote entrepreneurship. Since it has a direct impact on the start-up and expansion of small food enterprises in the UAE, this is an important factor.

The regulatory environment is one important facet. The issues facing the halal food industry in the UAE (Randeree, 2019), emphasise the critical role that local government and pertinent regulatory agencies have in guaranteeing halal standards are followed. The prosperity and global competitiveness of halal food enterprises are intimately associated with the effective operation of various regional regulatory frameworks. In the global setting, the local administration's responsibility in upholding standards and guaranteeing quality is crucial. Local administrative entities are important (Jamali and El Safadi, 2019) in the adaptations of CSR in the GCC area in the context of globalisation. It implies that local governments should support and control corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities that conform to international sustainability norms. Small food enterprises may be encouraged to embrace sustainable and ethical practices by the local government, which can set an example for responsible corporate activity. Their competitiveness and image abroad are subsequently enhanced by this.

Jahan et al. (2021) emphasise that the function of local government may differ between the Emirates in the UAE. Different local governments may prioritise and assist small enterprises in different ways. These discrepancies may influence how rules that impact small, international food enterprises are implemented consistently. The municipal government in the UAE has a significant influence on the economic climate in which small food firms operate. Their competitiveness in the global market, sustainability, and success may all be greatly impacted. Local government bodies can promote or impede the expansion and advancement of these enterprises using policies, guidelines, and assistance programmes. A logical and supportive local administrative system that supports the larger objectives of globalisation and sustainability is essential, as the critical analysis of the theme results makes clear. To strengthen the local government's involvement in supporting globally integrated small food enterprises in the UAE, this equilibrium must be reached.

Theme 2: Sustainability in Small Enterprises

Another prominent impact of an entrepreneurial mindset on small businesses' capacity to survive is sustainability is specific based on its function and business operations. The importance of an entrepreneurial mindset in promoting sustainability in small businesses is emphasised by Al Awadhi (2020). Adopting and putting into practice sustainable practises, suggests that entrepreneurs' perspectives and strategic choices directly influence this. This relationship highlights the critical role that company owners play in advancing sustainability in the international food industry. Entrepreneurial orientation has a crucial role in incorporating sustainability into the process of product creation (Garcia-Garcia et al., 2020) by embedding sustainability analysis in new food product development. To produce new food items that align with the sustainability objectives of the UAE, entrepreneurs must take into account social, environmental, and economic factors. To remain competitive in a globalised market, a link between an entrepreneurial mindset and sustainable product creation is vital. But there are also clear difficulties.

According to a report on Sustainability in the Middle East (Saeed, 2015), entrepreneurial orientation is necessary to support the region's sustainability goals. It highlights that business owners need to modify their approach to fit the particular difficulties and chances found in the GCC including the UAE. To achieve synergy between entrepreneurial endeavours and the region's larger environmental aims, this adaptation is essential. The examination of the literature also makes clear the need for an entrepreneurial mindset to handle the moral and cultural aspects of sustainability. According to Randeree (2019), entrepreneurial orientation for halal food firms should prioritise Islamic law in light of the issues faced by halal food ecosystems. The moral and religious precepts guiding the preparation and consumption of halal food must be taken into consideration while making business choices. Sustainable practice uptake and execution are strongly influenced by entrepreneurial choices and mentality. In addition to becoming leaders in the commercial world, entrepreneurs promote sustainability and encourage ethical behaviour in the workplace. This also emphasises how to support small food enterprises that are viable in the face of globalisation, entrepreneurial orientation must be in line with the UAE's particular environment, which includes its cultural, ethical, and economic components.
Gaining insight into how national culture influences sustainable practises within the setting of small food enterprises in the UAE is essential to understanding the subtleties and complexity of the effects of globalisation.

According to Dweiri et al.(2021) on an environmental and sustainability strategy for handling sweet bakery waste products, sustainability practises are firmly ingrained in the UAE's cultural fabric. The UAE's cultural values and beliefs, which place a strong emphasis on resource conservation, waste reduction, and environmental care, are strongly linked to its commitment to sustainability. The research emphasises how national culture plays a part in encouraging small food enterprises to use sustainable waste management practices. Nonetheless, there is more to the link than meets the eye between sustainability and national culture. The necessity for enterprises to manage the junction of local cultural values and global norms is highlighted by Jamali and El Safadi (2019) on adaptations of CSR in the context of globalisation. Because of the UAE's vast cultural variety, companies must modify their CSR programmes to take into account regional quirks while still adhering to global CSR tenets. To make sure that sustainable practices are accepted and useful in the local environment, this adaptation becomes crucial. Bach et al. (2023) on the UAE's sustainability agenda, economic and cultural aspects have a significant influence. Decision-making procedures in small food enterprises are often impacted by the intersection of cultural values and economic considerations. To promote sustainable practices that are in line with the local cultural and economic environment, it is crucial to understand how culture and economy interact. Recognising the complex relationship between culture and sustainability is crucial. The UAE's diverse cultural landscape demands that sustainability projects take a sophisticated approach. The significance of comprehending the multiplicity of cultures within the UAE (Barth et al., 2017) on sustainable business model innovation in the agri-food industry. This highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity and alignment of business model innovation with the different values and traditions of the nation.
National culture has a big influence on sustainable practises in UAE small food enterprises, according to the theme analysis of the chosen publications. Sustainability is both influenced and driven by culture, and the effect of culture varies according to the region's unique environment and cultural variety. The dynamic interaction between local cultural values and global sustainability standards characterises the UAE's path towards sustainable small food companies. Achieving efficient and culturally relevant sustainability practises in the UAE's international business environment requires an awareness of and comprehension of this link. These efforts include the many approaches and methodologies used by small food enterprises to foster sustainable operations within an international framework. A sustainable organic production strategy for food sovereignty in the UAE and Italy (Butti et al., 2018) highlights the significance of sustainability practices in organic agriculture. This focus on programmes like food safety, biodiversity preservation, and minimal environmental impact, emphasising how these tactics support sustainable food production.

Issues about sustainability programmes about the particular difficulties that the UAE's halal food ecosystems confront that sustainability encompasses the maintenance of international standards while taking into account cultural and religious factors to guarantee the safety and quality of Halal food items (Randeree, 2019). Dweiri et al. (2021) provide an environmental and sustainable way to manage waste products from sweet bakeries. Waste management is a vital component of sustainability. To reduce environmental damage and promote a circular economy, this effort focuses on sustainable waste management techniques.

According to Jamali and El Safadi (2019), sustainability efforts are not isolated but are often modified within the larger context of CSR. Examining how CSR has changed in light of globalisation, the research shows how CSR practises include sustainability in their framework, indicating the UAE's dedication to ethical business practices. Di Vaio et al. (2020) highlight the role of artificial intelligence in the agri-food sector, acknowledging the importance of sustainability in the UAE. It uses cutting-edge methods and technology to address the need to reconsider sustainable business structures, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic. The economic models of small food enterprises are intimately linked to their sustainability activities. Short supply chains based on circular economy and sustainability elaborates to decrease waste, encourage the production of locally grown food, and improve sustainability overall, these supply chain models are crucial sustainability projects (Kiss, 2019). Barth et al. (2017) highlight the significance of business model innovation, which should not be ignored while considering sustainability effects. It emphasises how creative business plans that follow sustainability guidelines are necessary to guarantee small food enterprises' long-term viability. There are many different and intricate sustainability efforts implemented by small food enterprises in the UAE that include many facets of waste management, agriculture, food production, and business practices. The UAE's dedication to sustainable development acknowledges the significance of these endeavours within the framework of globalisation. The international economy is vital for promoting constructive transformation and augmenting the sustainability of small food enterprises in the UAE.

Theme 3: Organic Production and Food Sovereign

The study on a sustainable organic production model by Butti et al. (2018) emphasises how crucial organic agriculture is to maintaining soil fertility and biodiversity. This promotes methods that, by eschewing the use of artificial chemicals, preserve soil fertility, promote biodiversity, and have no effect on the environment. Jahan et al. (2021) suggest that food sovereignty and organic agriculture's focus on sustainable and natural methods are in line with each other. Food sovereignty places a strong emphasis on regional food production, which may help to maintain biodiversity and fertile soil. By using organic agricultural techniques, small food enterprises may promote regional food production and achieve sustainable results. In addition, food waste and its danger to sustainability is also emphasised by Baig et al. (2018). Organic farming may help minimise food loss and encourage responsible consumption, which supports environmental sustainability and lowers resource waste. As a result, there is a strong correlation between organic farming and reduced food waste. In the larger global perspective, organic agriculture is also relevant.

Topleva and Prokopov's (2020) research explores an integrated business model for sustainability in small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the food sector. Since organic agricultural practices encourage resource efficiency and reduce environmental impact, they may be very important to these kinds of sustainability programmes. Research on soil fertility and biodiversity-promoting ideas like agroecology and agroforestry is often linked to research on sustainable agriculture practices (Mondal and Palit, 2021). The use of organic agriculture techniques supports larger international objectives for lessening food waste, conserving the environment, and responsible consumption. Developing solutions that support resilient and sustainable small food enterprises in the UAE requires an understanding of the importance of organic agriculture. Given the UAE's dry climate, small food enterprises in the country have legitimate worries about water shortages and appropriate water management. The focus on water availability is a significant requirement in the sustainability factor for organic farming (Butti et al., 2018). They emphasise how important it is to use water wisely in agriculture to lessen the effect on the environment, particularly in areas where water is scarce. This illustrates the UAE's emphasis on prudent water management; which is prominently a desert country. Discussions about food sovereignty and the availability of water are intertwined (Jahan et al., 2021). A certain level of self-sufficiency in food production, including economical water use, is implied by food sovereignty. For small food enterprises that want to promote food sovereignty, water availability is a vital component of sustainability. Baig et al. (2018) emphasise that water availability becomes especially important when talking about food waste. Preventing food waste and preserving environmental sustainability requires efficient use of water. Small food companies may support sustainable food production and water conservation by cutting down on water waste. Within the larger framework of environmental sustainability, the availability of water is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and sustaining ecosystems. In the realm of sustainability research, water's critical role in biodiversity and ecological balance is well acknowledged.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN are in line with the issue of water availability, particularly Goal 6, which places a strong emphasis on clean water and sanitation (UN, 2019). By using sustainable practices that save water, small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates may contribute to the attainment of these SDGs. In the context of small food enterprises in the UAE, reducing water waste, protecting the environment, and advancing the UAE's sustainability objectives all depend on sustainable water management techniques. Understanding the significance of water availability is essential to creating plans that maximise small food enterprises' environmental impact while boosting their resilience.

Another key concept covered is the SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture) tool to guarantee food safety. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) created the comprehensive framework known as the SAFA tool to evaluate the sustainability of food and agriculture systems. To ensure food safety and sustainability, the SAFA tool must be used in the context of small food enterprises in the UAE (Soldi et al., 2019). Butti et al. (2018) suggest that the sustainability of organic food production using the SAFA tool may benefit SMEs in this sector. This suggests that sustainable methods and instruments such as SAFA are becoming more important in the area. The use of the SAFA tool in the context of halal food production is also discussed by Randeree (2019) the tool is useful for guaranteeing the safety and quality of halal food items, which is important in the UAE because of its varied population. The use of the SAFA may be further connected to worldwide trends in sustainable agriculture and food production, even if it isn't covered in detail in the chosen articles. The capacity of instruments like as the SAFA to evaluate and improve food system sustainability is becoming more widely acknowledged, and this capacity is in line with global objectives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability are all included in SAFA's comprehensive approach. It may provide a thorough assessment of the sustainability of food enterprises and direct them towards enhancements that guarantee food safety, reduce their environmental effect, and assist nearby communities (Gayatri and Vaarst, 2020).

UAE's use of the SAFA tool is in line with global best practices and shows the nation's dedication to improving sustainability in the food business. This issue is pertinent to small food enterprises as well as the larger picture of safe and sustainable food production in the UAE. The SAFA tool is crucial to guaranteeing food safety in UAE small-scale food enterprises. The food sector in the Emirates may be greatly enhanced by adopting and investigating tools such as SAFA, which will guarantee that the industry satisfies the highest requirements of sustainability and safety.

Theme 4: Challenges in Halal Food Supply Chains

Interoperability is the smooth coordination and information sharing between many parties in the supply chain for halal food. This is necessary to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of halal goods as they go through different manufacturing and distribution phases. The importance of interoperability in halal food supply chains is Randeree (2019). The research emphasises the difficulties the UAE has had creating productive ecosystems for halal food, including interoperability challenges. Maintaining the integrity of halal goods requires making sure that details on their halal status may be openly shared and independently confirmed throughout the supply chain. The need for interoperability in the creation of sustainable food products is highlighted by Garcia et al. (2020) how interoperability in food supply chains may be used to include sustainable practices in a larger framework. Interoperability is not only for halal food; it also covers tracing, tracking, and preserving product quality, among other areas of supply chain management. Maintaining halal standards across the supply chain requires effective information sharing between producers, distributors, and certification authorities, among other groups. Because halal food is a specialised sector that demands a high degree of traceability and transparency, interoperability is essential to preserving customer confidence and guaranteeing that goods adhere to halal requirements. To satisfy the increasing demand for halal goods worldwide, halal food supply chains in the United Arab Emirates and other areas need to address interoperability issues. Interoperability in halal food supply chains is a crucial issue since it supports the genuineness and transparency of halal goods in the United Arab Emirates. To preserve the integrity of these products and make sure they adhere to the strictest halal requirements, interoperability issues must be resolved as the worldwide market for halal goods grows.

The sustainability and competitiveness of small food enterprises are significantly impacted by the emphasis on food quality and customer happiness, particularly in the UAE and the worldwide food sector. Customers are demanding food items that not only adhere to greater quality and ethical standards but also fundamental safety criteria in today's competitive market. Meeting client expectations and improving food quality go hand in hand. Meeting expectations leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty (Thome et al., 2020). Randeree (2019) explores the difficulties of guaranteeing food quality and consumer satisfaction. Because halal goods have special standards, it is crucial to maintain quality to keep customers satisfied and trusting. Improving food quality is crucial for small food companies in the UAE if they want to exceed consumer expectations, adhere to legal requirements, and stay competitive in both domestic and foreign markets. There is a connection between the concepts of sustainable business practices and conversations about food quality and consumer pleasure. Providing goods that are safe, fulfilling, and of high quality is intrinsically linked to sustainable food production. Assuring food quality is part of sustainability in the GCC regions as it fits with larger sustainability aims (Ahmad et al., 2022). Improving customer happiness and food quality is a crucial subject for small food enterprises in the UAE and GCC region. It includes both adhering to legal standards and addressing the increasing demand for food that is produced ethically and of a high standard.

Halal certification is essential for guaranteeing the legitimacy and acceptability of food items in the UAE and worldwide food sector, especially among Muslim customers. Randeree (2019) develops insight into the intricate nature of the manufacturing of Halal food. This covers the complex procedures and laws that control the manufacturing and approval of items halal. Following Halal regulations is not just an issue of religious observance in largely Muslim nations like the UAE, but it is also a commercial imperative to serve a sizable client base. Halal certification has a significant impact on maintaining food safety, quality, and compliance with Islamic law. Both Muslim and non-Muslim customers respect and recognise certification as a symbol of legitimacy in the globalised market where Halal items are available outside areas with a majority of Muslims. To reach a wider customer base, some of the chosen papers highlight how Halal certification is a smart commercial move rather than only a religious one. Halal food certification relates to the more general issue of guaranteeing the sustainability, quality, and safety of food. Food safety is a crucial component of Halal manufacturing, as addressed in several publications. It guarantees that the goods fulfil the hygienic, ethical sourcing, and sanitary requirements mandated by Islamic dietary regulations. These factors are significant because they meet the rising consumer demand for high-quality, ethically produced food, which goes beyond religious conformity.

Moreover, the halal food sector plays a big role in worldwide commerce and is not limited to local markets. It has been observed in several articles that the certification and standardisation of Halal food items aid in their export and international dissemination. This demonstrates how globalisation affects the halal food sector by bringing regional producers and customers from across the world together. Halal food certification is essential to comprehend the workings of the food business, especially in the UAE, where the halal market is growing.

Theme 5: Environment and Sustainability in Food Waste Management

The importance of the Design of Experiment in the context of waste management (Kazemi et al., 2016) is highlighted prominently in sustainability studies and has been adopted by a large number of agencies at the global level Dweiri et al. (2021). DOE is a methodical technique for process optimisation and higher-quality product development. When used in waste management, it may assist in determining the best practices for minimising waste production, lessening the impact on the environment, and improving resource efficiency. DOE may be used to identify the most effective methods for waste reduction, reuse, or recycling in waste management procedures, particularly in the food sector where waste is a significant problem. Businesses may experiment with various factors and circumstances to determine the best resource-efficient and ecologically friendly solutions.

DOE helps to reduce waste in the food production and processing chain, its use in waste management is consistent with the larger concept of environmental sustainability. In the context of the UAE, where concerns about sustainability and resource conservation are paramount, this practice is especially pertinent. By taking into account more studies in the area, the use of DOE in waste management may be further supported. Research on sustainable business practices, as covered in the chosen articles, often stresses how crucial it is to minimise waste and maximise resource utilisation. The overarching objective of improving sustainability in the food sector in the UAE is aligned with the incorporation of DOE approaches into waste management practices.

The adoption of DOE may result in enhanced procedures and more effective resource use in addition to waste reduction. Consequently, this leads to a decrease in expenses, which is an additional crucial topic included in the thematic analysis. As cost reduction increases profitability and competitiveness, it is a basic goal for small food enterprises hoping to survive in an international marketplace. Encouraging sustainability and environmental responsibility in the food business requires the implementation of Design of Experiment (DOE) in waste management. The chosen articles highlight how resource efficiency, environmental impact reduction, and waste management practice optimisation may all be achieved via the use of DOE (Kazemi et al., 2016).

Bach et al. (2023), emphasise the consequences fertiliser use has on the environment in the UAE's farming methods. While excessive fertiliser usage may result in environmental problems such as soil erosion and water pollution, it can also greatly increase plant growth and agricultural production. The sustainability activities in the small food enterprises of the UAE are in line with the significance of considering the environment while applying fertilisers. To promote plant development while protecting the environment, sustainable agricultural practices emphasise the responsible and effective use of resources (Wognum et al., 2011). For the food production process to remain transparent and accountable, the environmental viewpoint on fertiliser usage is crucial. Al Shamsi et al. (2018), elaborate that the themes of fertiliser and plant growth are connected to the more general themes of water availability and low environmental impact. Effective fertiliser usage may lessen the negative effects on the environment and support sustainable farming methods, particularly in areas like the United Arab Emirates that have few water supplies (Floody et al., 2018). A key component of sustainability in the food sector is waste reduction, which emphasises effective resource use and reducing environmental effects. Reducing waste in food production is a topic that is explicitly addressed in several researches (Dweiri et al., 2021). To lessen environmental impact, the research emphasises the need for effective waste management techniques in the context of sweet bakery items.

The waste reduction conversation is expanded by Baig et al. (2018) which highlights the serious threat that food waste poses to sustainability. Initiatives to reduce waste are essential for meeting this issue and improving sustainability. In a similar line, Kiss et al. (2019) illustrate how waste reduction in agriculture is entwined with principles of the circular economy. In the agriculture industry, short supply chains that prioritise localised production and less transportation may help decrease waste and promote sustainable practices. Similarly, Topleva and Prokopov (2020) highlight the significance of ecodesign in developing sustainable business models. In keeping with the waste reduction idea, cutting down on waste and resource consumption is an important part of ecodesign. Through waste reduction and resource efficiency, these companies may support long-term sustainability and environmental preservation. These paradigms are consistent with waste reduction in agriculture and emphasise the importance of waste reduction in the food business in the United Arab Emirates.

Theme 6: Adaptations of CSR in a Global Context

A number of the selected studies explore how CSR has changed in the Middle East and GCC (Ahmed et al., 2021). The difficulties and adjustments of CSR in a globalised business environment are explained by Jamali and El Safadi (2019) emphasising the significance of CSR as a worldwide corporate practice. CSR's contribution to the advancement of sustainability initiatives in the Middle East is also examined by Saeed (2015). It highlights the importance of CSR in the area by acknowledging the successes and difficulties that companies have had in incorporating it into their worldwide operations. The incorporation of sustainability analysis into the creation of new food products by Garcia et al. (2020) illustrates how innovation and product design in the food business may benefit greatly from corporate social responsibility. Adopting CSR practises is in line with the evolving global business environment, where stakeholders, investors, and customers place higher importance on morally and socially conscious companies. The sustainable business models, supply chain transparency, and environmental awareness that are emphasised in other areas of the thematic analysis are reflections of these practices.

The conversation about "CSR in Global Business" is essential to understanding how globalisation and sustainability interact with the food business in the United Arab Emirates. This subject highlights the adaptable and implementable nature of CSR and the global firms' dedication to responsible corporate citizenship. It proves that CSR is a vital tactic for attaining sustainability and long-term success in the global economy, not only a moral duty.
CSR practices in the GCC Region are crucial to comprehending how, in the context of small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates, globalisation and sustainability are intertwined. A key idea that signifies a business's dedication to moral, social, and environmental obligations is CSR. GCC nations' business environments have seen the integration and adaptation of CSR practices. Jamali and El Safadi (2019) elaborate on the particular challenges that the GCC-based companies are concerned with and the tactics used to make sure that CSR fits in with the particular commercial and cultural backdrop of these nations. Saeed (2015) also explained the successes and difficulties in putting sustainability initiatives, such as CSR practices, into practice in the region.

All of these articles highlight how vibrant CSR is in the GCC demonstrating how CSR is a flexible practice that can be tailored to the particular cultural and economic context of the Gulf nations rather than a one-size-fits-all idea. These adjustments are necessary to guarantee that CSR initiatives are not only put into practice but also successfully support the long-term viability of small food enterprises in the UAE and the larger Gulf Cooperation Council. The region's CSR practices are strongly tied to the larger context of globalisation and sustainability. These companies show their dedication to sustainable development and their understanding of how globalisation and sustainability are intertwined in today's business environment by using CSR practices.

The impact of media in creating economic and sustainability objectives in the United Arab Emirates is examined by Bach et al. (2023) focusing on the inconsistencies and overlaps between news reporting and official agendas. The way that the media draws attention to sustainability issues and has the power to compel companies to implement CSR procedures is indicative of its impact. Garcia et al. (2020) also shed light on the potential role that the media might play in encouraging sustainable practices in the food business. The study highlights how crucial the media is to raising consumer knowledge of sustainable food items and influencing their desire for them. The media's contribution to CSR promotion is multifaceted, however. It may also be used to analyse corporate behaviour critically, pointing out flaws and unethical behaviour. According to Wognum et al. (2010), public attention has forced businesses to improve supply chain openness. The media may play the role of a watchdog, making companies answerable for their CSR pledges. The media may quickly disseminate information and viewpoints on CSR initiatives, influencing the views of stakeholders and the reputation of corporations due to the interconnection of the global business environment. The media has a variety of roles to play in supporting CSR among UAE's small food enterprises. Businesses may be encouraged to use sustainable practices and take on social and environmental responsibility as a result of it. It may provide difficulties by highlighting shortcomings in the use of CSR. Businesses looking to use CSR for sustainability and good public image must acknowledge and comprehend this dual function. By using the media to their full potential, small food companies in the UAE may improve their corporate social responsibility initiatives and help create a more sustainable future.

Theme 7: Economic and Sustainability Priorities

In the context of small enterprises and their quest for sustainability in an increasingly globalised world, the issue of identifying economic priorities in the UAE is essential. The allocation of resources, governmental policies, and overall plans for economic growth are all influenced by economic goals, which have a substantial effect on the sustainability efforts and day-to-day operations of small food enterprises in the UAE. Bach et al. (2023) explore any conflicts and overlaps between the aims of sustainability and economic growth. Sustainability issues are often entwined with economic goals. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations advocate for inclusive, ecologically conscious, and sustainable economic development (Boluk et al., 2019). The UAE's dedication to these global objectives, as covered in several studies, highlights its efforts to strike a balance between sustainability and economic progress. Innovation, infrastructure development, and economic diversification are highlighted as major economic priorities for the UAE (Saeed, 2015). The business climate that small food firms operate in may be significantly impacted by these goals (Al Shamsi et al., 2018). Sustainable farming methods may be given priority in economic considerations, which might have an impact on small food enterprises' business plans. The government's and international organisations' economic agendas may provide chances for cooperation and alignment, therefore small food firms in the UAE must keep a careful eye on them. Creating company plans that work in a globalised environment requires an understanding of how to strike a balance between sustainability and economic success. Companies aiming to maintain their operations while also contributing to the UAE's sustainable economic future should use the identification and prioritisation of economic objectives as guidance. UAE's varied economic priorities show the intricate relationship between goals for sustainability and economic success. Operating in the UAE, small food firms have to traverse a complex terrain, modifying their strategies to contribute to and fit with the nation's economic goals while upholding their sustainability commitments. Understanding the complex interplay between sustainability and economic concerns is essential to developing business practices that align with the UAE's changing economic environment. Wognum et al. (2011) emphasise the significance of information exchange and openness in food supply chains. The research contends that more sustainable practices might result from coordinating sustainability aims with stakeholders' expectations for openness.

Achieving sustainable food production in the UAE often requires an awareness of stakeholder expectations, including those of suppliers, government officials, and consumers. As stressed in several articles, fulfilling these expectations calls for a multidimensional strategy that includes sustainable economic growth, environmental stewardship, and ethical sourcing. Seed's (2014) study provides insight into the efforts made by Gulf governments to harmonise their dietary recommendations with sustainable concepts. This connection not only shows the government's commitment to tackling ethical and environmental issues but also reflects the concerns of health-conscious customers. As discussed by Al Shamsi et al. (2018), matching sustainability priorities with stakeholders' needs also extends to the inclusion of local communities. This research highlights that local communities' needs and expectations for assistance and success should be taken into account when setting sustainability goals. Integrating stakeholder requirements with sustainable practices is a national and international issue. UAE is highly interconnected with global markets. These connections indicate that to meet the expectations of international stakeholders, small food businesses in the UAE must align their sustainability priorities with a global perspective. Considering the setting of small food-based enterprises in the UAE, balancing sustainability aspirations with stakeholder requirements is a complex problem. Ensuring the sustainable development and success of these enterprises requires meeting the different expectations of stakeholders, such as customers, government agencies, local communities, and international partners. Small food companies hoping to succeed in the global market will need to be able to adjust to changing stakeholder demands while maintaining sustainability goals. Bach et al. (2023) illustrate the complex relationship between sustainability objectives and economic priorities. Indicators of shared prosperity are used to assess how well economic growth and sustainability are balanced in the UAE. The government's focus on economic diversification while maintaining sustainability raises questions about the need for thorough assessment, as the paper addresses.

According to Ahmad et al. (2022), shared prosperity indicators are especially significant in the GCC region. In addition to improving population welfare, the GCC nations are striving for a sustainable transformation. Monitoring the achievement of these goals is made easier by measuring shared prosperity. The Middle East's sustainability landscape is examined by Saeed (2015) emphasising the significance of striking a balance between environmental and socio-economic sustainability. This emphasises even more how important it is to have common prosperity metrics that show advancement in both areas. Ammar et al. (2023) explain that the pursuit of shared prosperity indicators is closely linked to the SDGs. Shared prosperity metrics are in line with the SDGs and advocate for a multifaceted approach to sustainable development. This implies that assessing shared prosperity indicators cannot be done in a universally applicable way. A contextual and multifaceted evaluation is necessary since every group and location may have different objectives and expectations. To make sure that shared prosperity is more than just a theoretical idea but rather a measurable and attainable reality, it is important to carefully consider how to balance economic expansion with social well-being and environmental responsibility. A crucial component of sustainability activities in the UAE's small food companies is assessing shared prosperity metrics. These metrics aid in evaluating how social welfare, environmental responsibility, and economic development are balanced. The implementation of sustainable practices is a crucial measure in guaranteeing the broad dissemination of its advantages, by both domestic and global development objectives.

Theme 8: Food Security Indicators and Analytical Frameworks

Ammar et al. (2023) focus on the very dry climate of the UAE and the need for specialised metrics that accurately reflect the nuances of food security. This research emphasises the necessity for context-specific frameworks and shows that a one-size-fits-all approach to food security may not be appropriate for the area. Analytical frameworks are widely used in the larger field of food security research In food security assessments, analytical frameworks are essential because they enable a methodical analysis of different indicators. The significance of food security indicators and the need for standardising frameworks for consistency are emphasised. Analytical frameworks are useful for more than just determining how secure food is right now. These frameworks may help small food enterprises create and evaluate food security strategies that are specific to the possibilities and problems that the UAE presents. This reflects the necessity of addressing the unique difficulties associated with ensuring food security in a region that experiences extreme dry/drought, as well as the recognition of the frameworks' greater significance in evaluating and improving food security globally.

Understanding the context-specific indicators and models required for assessing food security in the United Arab Emirates requires familiarity with the context (Ammar et al., 2023). Food security is evaluated using a broad range of indicators in a complex manner. The need for standardised indicators and frameworks for consistent and comparable measures across various contexts is important. Indicators and models related to food security are crucial for evaluating the situation of food security today and are also important for developing policy. These models and indicators may help shape policies that support the particular objectives and problems faced by the UAE's small food enterprises. Understanding the gaps in food security in the UAE is mostly dependent on the very dry climate of the UAE, context-specific indicators and models are essential for successfully addressing these gaps. A multifaceted approach is necessary for a thorough evaluation of deficiencies in food security. The global component of food security and the need for effective solutions to address gaps are critical. Despite the UAE's particular circumstances, it may benefit from knowledge gained from global scenarios to bolster its efforts in this domain.
According to Prachi (2014) the use of models and indicators in assessing the efficacy of policies, which is pertinent to the UAE's strategy for closing gaps in food security; emphasises the significance of locating and fixing shortcomings in the food security landscape of the UAE.

Theme 9: Sustainable Business Models in the Food Industry

Barth et al. (2017) offer insightful information on how sustainable business models are innovated. It draws attention to how the agri-food industry is evolving and how creative thinking is required to maintain sustainability. The study's conclusions apply to UAE small-scale food enterprises. Technology integration and innovation in sustainable business strategies are strongly intertwined. The role of artificial intelligence and its impact on redefining sustainable business models are discussed by Di Vaio et al. (2020). Cooperation may be a driver of business model innovation (Laasch and Wagner, 2018). It emphasises how crucial networking and collaborations are to improving sustainability in corporate operations. This kind of information might be helpful to small food enterprises in the UAE that are looking for sustainable and creative methods. It's critical to investigate worldwide trends and modify them for the local environment while thinking about innovation. Geissdoerfer et al. (2018) provide a global viewpoint on sustainability strategies that SMEs may use for sustainable innovation and strategy, particularly in light of globalisation. Small businesses in the UAE seek growth and competitiveness, and innovative and sustainable business models are essential to their long-term success and sustainability in the country. In addition to improving food quality and environmental sustainability, the potential contribution of SMEs to the promotion of organic food production (Shamsi et al., 2018). This shows the potential for sustainable practices in the food sector and may be extended to SMEs in the UAE.

Topleva and Prokopov (2020) explore the idea of ecodesign and how it can be applied in small and medium-sized businesses. It highlights the role SMEs play in promoting sustainability via cutting-edge strategies like eco-design, which may minimise environmental effects and maximise resource use. The condition of sustainability management research in the Arab world can be attributed to sustainability programmes by different stakeholders, including SMEs (Ahmad et al., 2022). In the context of sustainable food practices, SMEs are essential and help to achieve more general sustainability objectives. Bach et al. (2023) comprehend the relationship between sustainable practices and economic success as positive and significant, emphasising how crucial SMEs are to promoting sustainability in the food sector in the UAE through organic farming, ecodesign, and contributions to the broader sustainability perspective, SMEs may advance sustainable practises. The integration of circular economy principles within supply chains acknowledging their importance in sustainable food systems is crucial for guaranteeing a resilient and environmentally conscious food sector in the UAE. It addresses how short supply chains, which are essential to the viability of small food enterprises, might benefit from the use of the circular economy idea, which emphasises waste reduction and resource efficiency. Wognum et al. (2010) highlight how important supply chains should be transparent and sustainable, both of which are circular economy tenets. One of the main goals of the circular economy is to reduce waste and inefficiencies in the food supply chain, and transparency may help with this. The benefits of short supply chains and their connection to sustainability focus on the circular economy that relies heavily on short supply chains since they encourage local manufacturing and less transit, which reduces resource consumption and environmental effects (Saeed, 2015). Topleva and Prokopov (2020) further support the idea that a circular economy is linked to sustainability. Circular Economy and Sustainability highlights how circular economy ideas may help small food enterprises become more sustainable. It highlights elements that align with the principles of the circular economy, such as short supply chains, transparency, and ecodesign. Small food enterprises may help promote sustainability by cutting waste, preserving resources, and lessening their environmental impact by using circular economy practices.

Theme 10: Transparency and Sustainability in Food Supply Chains

Supply networks for food must be transparent to guarantee product quality and traceability Wognum et al. (2010). Transparency is emphasised in the report as being crucial to sustainable food supply networks. It emphasises how resource abuse and waste may be avoided via transparent supply chains, which can also lower inefficiencies and increase stakeholder confidence while promoting sustainability. This issue is related to the openness of food supply networks since market globalisation may result in more complicated supply chains and possible obstacles to transparency. To control the consequences of globalisation on supply chains and improve food safety and quality, the research emphasises the need for transparency and regulatory measures. Ahmad et al. (2022) further emphasise the transparency concept. It suggests managing sustainability and how transparent practices help with it. This is especially important when it comes to food supply chains since maintaining product quality and achieving sustainability targets depend on openness. Randeree (2019) discusses the need for openness in halal food supply chains. This focuses on the difficulties encountered in the supply chains of halal food, as customers want more openness in the certification and source of halal goods. In this case, maintaining openness is not only required by law but also expected by customers, which helps halal food enterprises remain viable. A key component of encouraging sustainability in small food enterprises is the subject of ensuring transparency highlights the importance of openness in building trust, cutting down on inefficiencies, and achieving sustainability objectives. By guaranteeing the traceability and quality of food items from production to consumption, transparency is not just a moral practice but also a major factor in sustainability. Information systems are crucial for maintaining transparency in food supply chains and operations (Wognum et al., 2010). This emphasises how effective information systems provide real-time data sharing and access across stakeholders, hence enhancing food product traceability and transparency. Information systems may play a key role in reducing waste and resource abuse by keeping an eye on and managing food supply chains. Ahmad et al. (2022) also emphasise the need for information systems to maintain openness. In discussing information systems' application to sustainability management in GCC, highlights the significance of data-driven decision-making and corporate transparency. These technologies improve traceability and allow for optimal resource utilisation in the setting of small food enterprises. Food safety is impacted by the link between information systems and openness. Food safety is essential to sustainability, Garcia et al. (2020) explore how information systems might be used to evaluate and enhance food safety. The study emphasises how crucial it is to monitor and exchange safety-related data to preserve food product integrity and win over customers. It is essential to support small food enterprises' sustainability. Information systems play a critical role in guaranteeing transparency, traceability, and data-driven decision-making. These systems are critical to reducing inefficiencies, preserving food safety, and fostering customer confidence; all of which are necessary for small food enterprises to remain viable. The "Triple-P" strategy which stands for People, Planet, and Profit is essential to the food industry's sustainability initiatives (Lariviere and Smit, 2022). Wognum et al. (2010). Creating a transparent and sustainable system emphasises is on how important it is to take into account social (people), environmental (planet), and economic (profit) factors in food supply chains. This strategy is essential for tackling the many difficulties small food companies encounter. The integration of the Triple-P approach to guarantee the sustainability of SMEs in the food industry to advance sustainability business models should take into account social, economic, and environmental factors.

E-instruments are crucial tools that small food enterprises may use to support their sustainability initiatives. E-instruments may help with traceability, monitoring social and environmental repercussions, and real-time data exchange. They help companies reduce waste, maximise resource use, and make well-informed choices. Thom et al. (2020) provide more support for the idea of E-instruments for sustainable supply chains, emphasising that technology and electronic tools play a part in short food supply chains, which are recognised for their advantages in terms of sustainability may help promote sustainable practises by streamlining processes, cutting waste, and guaranteeing traceability.

The focus on the triple-bottom-line approach (People, Planet, Profit) as a framework for sustainability is one obvious trend. Numerous studies stressed how important it is for companies to think about their employees (People) and the planet's environment while making decisions, in addition to profit Lariviere and Smit, 2022. This all-encompassing strategy is becoming more widely acknowledged as essential to attaining real sustainability, in line with worldwide trends in corporate social responsibility. Another trend is the use of technology, namely digital instruments, to improve sustainability. The studies continuously emphasise how data analytics, traceability technologies, and information systems may help supply chains become more transparent and efficient. This emphasis on technology is in line with an expanding trend in the food sector, where companies are using digital tools to assess product quality, keep an eye on environmental impact, and guarantee ethical sourcing (Thom et al., 2020). There is a discernible pattern in tackling the problems of food waste and security. Several articles stress how crucial it is to maintain food security in the UAE because of the country's extreme aridity. This is in line with a worldwide movement to strengthen food supply networks and resolve weak points. The methods and models used to evaluate food security indicators are controversial, which reflects the field's evolution and the variety of approaches scholars have utilised. Another interesting trend is the question of sustainability in the framework of Islamic teachings. The UAE, a nation with a large Muslim population, places a lot of emphasis on halal cuisine and certification. Randeree (2019) discuss the benefits and problems in halal supply chains and how Islamic law relates to them, illustrating the relationship between sustainability and cultural and religious practises.

The significance of SMEs in promoting sustainable practices is a recurrent issue in all of the papers. SMEs are seen as the engine of creativity and adaptability. Concerns over their lack of resources and capacity to compete in a globalised economy, however, are also widely held. This contradiction draws attention to a critical discussion about whether globalisation helps or hurts small enterprises' attempts to be sustainable. Trends regarding a holistic approach to sustainability, the importance of technology, food security, the nexus of cultural and religious values, and the role of SMEs are evident in the studies on sustainability in small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates (Bach et al., 2023; Al Shamsi et al., 2018). There are disagreements about how to quantify sustainability indicators and how globalisation affects the sustainability of small firms. These trends and disputes draw attention to the multifaceted character of this area of study and the need for an all-encompassing, integrated strategy for sustainability in the UAE's small food company sector.

Dweiri et al. (2021) place a strong emphasis on sustainability's economic component, emphasising the value of financial viability and profitability. Ammar et al. (2023), on the other hand, take an environmental approach, emphasising the need to minimise the ecological imprint and encourage eco-friendly behaviours. These disparate strategies make one wonder how to strike a balance between environmental preservation and economic prosperity. According to several studies, to improve sustainability, small food enterprises should give priority to local sourcing, manufacturing, and consumption. Others support a broader global focus, arguing that globalisation and the growth of foreign markets may provide people access to resources and innovations that enhance sustainability. The main point of contention is whether perspective is local or global and is better at accomplishing sustainability objectives. There is also disagreement about the relative importance of standardisation and cultural sensitivity, especially when it comes to halal cuisine. Some studies claim that standardisation and interoperability are necessary to promote international commerce, while others emphasise the need to conform to Islamic beliefs and cultural norms in manufacturing. These opposing viewpoints spark debates regarding the possible coexistence of global compatibility and cultural authenticity (Randeree, 2019). The capacity of small food enterprises to bounce back from setbacks and remain flexible is a common subject. A few articles showcase their capacity for creativity and constructively adapt to changes in the industry. On the other hand, others highlight the limitations they encounter concerning resources, technology, and global market accessibility. This contrast begs the issue of how much globalisation helps or hurts the viability of small food enterprises.

The research varies in how much emphasis is placed on cutting-edge, inventive solutions as opposed to conventional, tried-and-true methods. While some emphasise the importance of conventional and organic farming in advancing sustainability, others support cutting-edge innovations like artificial intelligence (Shamsi et al., 2018). These divergent viewpoints cast doubt on whether sustainability depends more on embracing modernity or conserving legacy. Discussions on CSR differ across the GCC revealing that studies emphasise how crucial it is to follow CSR guidelines, which are often promoted by laws and official directives. On the other hand, voluntarism is advocated by those who believe that companies should show a true commitment to sustainability by going above and beyond simple compliance. This discrepancy begs the moral dilemma of whether CSR ought to be required or motivated by internal incentives (Wognum et al., 2010). While some research focuses on short-term sustainability projects to get results quickly, others adopt a longer perspective to account for the long-term effects on the environment and society. The trade-off between short-term benefits and long-term ecological and stakeholder well-being is at the heart of the controversy. The diversity of viewpoints and methods found in the chosen research emphasises the complexity of sustainability in UAE small-scale food enterprises. These differing points of view encourage academics and decision-makers to carefully weigh the trade-offs, moral ramifications, and contextual elements when developing plans to improve sustainability in this particular setting. It also emphasises the need to take a well-rounded and comprehensive strategy to solve the intricate sustainability issues facing small food businesses.


UAE's small-sized companies and related food industry highlight span from globalisation to sustainability efforts showing the diverse range of difficulties and possibilities that these organisations must contend with. This interdependence highlights the need for comprehensive strategies to handle the intricate problems associated with guaranteeing the viability of small food businesses (Alharbi and Al-Ashaab, 2020). There is no denying that globalisation affects small food enterprises. It appears as a disruptive force that moulds plans for cost-cutting and market growth. The synthesis of the thematic analysis demonstrates how globalisation has accelerated development and pushed the bounds of conventional practises in these firms, acting as a catalyst for change. It is clear that the effects of globalisation go much beyond gaining access to markets; these firms' operations and competitiveness are greatly impacted (Caiazza, 2016).

Small food firms have been adopting more and more sustainability measures, and there seems to be a change in the sector as a whole towards more socially and ecologically responsible practices. Adopting sustainable practices like eco-design, organic farming, and circular economy models demonstrates a commitment to ecological and moral responsibility (Despoudi et al., 2023). The synthesis highlights the increasing significance of sustainability in the food business, not only as a matter of ethics but also as a tactic for enduring prosperity and adaptability in a dynamic market environment. Supply systems for halal food are essential to meeting the demands of a diversified market and guaranteeing adherence to Islamic law. The results highlight how important it is to maintain food quality and consumer happiness across the supply chain, as well as interoperability. The certification of halal cuisine is evidence of the company's dedication to satisfying customers' religious demands. These highlight the delicate balance that UAE-based small food enterprises need to maintain to effectively cater to a sizeable percentage of their audience (Anggarkasih and Resma, 2022; Azam and Abdullah, 2020).

A rising concern for environmental sustainability and responsible waste reduction among small food enterprises is reflected in the literature on trash management and CSR. The use of design experiments in waste management demonstrates creative methods for reducing waste and advancing environmentally friendly behaviours. This demonstrates how crucial CSR activities are to these companies' quest for sustainability. A commitment to CSR includes methods for promoting ethical business practises and minimising environmental effects in addition to corporate philanthropy (Suliman and Thomas, 2018). The process of determining the UAE's top objectives in terms of sustainability and the economy is complex, including input from many different parties. This highlights the significance of sustainable growth by reflecting the connection of sustainability agendas with economic development goals. Stakeholders' input on these goals emphasises how important it is to include a variety of sectors to develop a shared vision for growth. These highlight the delicate balance that corporate executives and legislators need to keep in place to ensure the UAE has a profitable and sustainable future.

Examining food security metrics in the very dry climate of the United Arab Emirates demonstrates a multimodal strategy for maintaining a steady supply of food (Manikas et al., 2022), emphasising the value of sound analytical frameworks and techniques in identifying and resolving issues related to food security. These metrics provide insightful information on the level of food security in an area with distinct environmental characteristics. To successfully address the complexity connected with providing a secure food supply in this difficult climate, further research and methodology improvement are required since the current literature has gaps in its complete evaluation of food security. Creative sustainable business models in the food sector reveal how important SMEs are to the development of sustainable food practices. This highlights the significance of customised business models that complement sustainability objectives and shows that SMEs may play a leading role in encouraging ethical behaviour. Models of the circular economy emerge as revolutionary ways to produce and distribute food sustainably. Al-Said et al. (2021) emphasise how important it is to cut waste and encourage resource efficiency. This highlights the need to integrate sustainability concepts into corporate plans as a means of addressing present issues and fulfilling future requirements. An analysis of the openness of food supply chains highlights the crucial role that e-instruments, triple-P transparency, and information systems play in advancing sustainability. The results emphasise how important openness is to guaranteeing moral and environmentally friendly supplier chains. Information systems make it possible to gather and share data in real-time, increasing responsibility and visibility. To foster trust among stakeholders, Triple-P transparency techniques highlight the need to address social, environmental, and economic aspects. E-instruments guarantee the traceability and integrity of goods by serving as the technical foundation for supply chain transparency.

The thematic analysis highlights how sustainability and transparency are intertwined to achieve responsible food production and distribution practices. The diverse viewpoints offered in the evaluated research are compared, and the results show both differences and similarities among the topics. Some studies highlight the benefits of globalisation for small food enterprises, while others highlight the difficulties and complications. This diversity of viewpoints helps these firms comprehend sustainability from all angles. It highlights the need for a sophisticated strategy that takes into account the complex interactions of variables affecting their sustainability. The patterns and trends highlight these dynamic transformations and areas of current disagreement. Transparency, flexibility, and the significance of sustainability programmes are recurring themes in the food sector. New developments highlight how innovation and technology support sustainable practices. Adapting corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the local environment and measuring food security are two topics that often spark controversy. Together, these components show how the conversation around sustainability in small food enterprises is ever-evolving.

Implications of the Study

This study aims to provide insightful information on the intricate connection between sustainability, globalisation, and small food enterprises in the UAE. This shows how globalisation has had a significant impact on how small food enterprises operate in the UAE. It highlights the fact that globalisation is a mixed bag of consequences that may affect these firms in both good and bad ways. The literature emphasises how small food enterprises may benefit from globalisation via cost savings, market growth, and international prospects. It also brings with it difficulties with standardisation, market dynamics, and the need for flexibility in meeting requests from across the world. This globalization's dual nature emphasises the need for firms to have thorough plans to maximise their potential advantages while minimising their disadvantages.

Moreover, the thematic analysis highlights the importance of sustainability activities in the food business of the UAE. In addition to being crucial for environmental stewardship, sustainability practices including organic farming, eco-design, circular economy models, and CSR adaptability are also necessary for small food enterprises to remain competitive and viable over the long run. According to the research, adopting sustainable practices may improve resource efficiency, lower waste, increase food safety, and build consumer confidence. This emphasises the importance of customer happiness, food quality, interoperability, and Halal food certification in the context of Halal food supply chains. These results imply that following Halal principles is not just a cultural and religious need, but also a way to guarantee quality control and conformity with international standards. Several facets of food security are examined in the literature, such as the creation of analytical frameworks, the identification of indicators, and techniques for evaluating food security. Based on the findings, food security is still a major worry in the very dry UAE climate. It emphasises how important it is to keep working to create strong analytical instruments and regulations to guarantee the nation's food security.

For small food enterprises, research on transparent food supply chains and sustainable business strategies is critical. Sustainable business models may boost competitiveness and lessen environmental impact, particularly when they are fueled by SMEs and the concepts of the circular economy. Initiatives aimed at promoting transparency, which includes information systems and electronic instruments, are essential for guaranteeing stakeholder confidence, accountability, and quality control.

The literature review adds value to the study issue by illuminating the complex interplay between sustainability and globalisation in UAE small-scale food enterprises. It emphasises how important it is to use comprehensive plans and sophisticated ways to successfully handle the benefits and problems brought about by globalisation. This highlights the critical importance that innovative business models, Halal food practises, environmental efforts, and food security measures have in boosting the competitiveness and sustainability of small food enterprises. The relevance and implications for the establishment of a comprehensive framework aimed at promoting positive change and improving sustainability in small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates.

Anomalies in the Relationship

There are inconsistent or contradictory results in several sections of the literature on globalisation, sustainability, and small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates. To provide a thorough picture of the state of the field, it is essential to address these discrepancies and offer potential answers. The effect of globalisation on market growth is one topic of debate. While some studies highlight how globalisation helps small food firms expand their markets, others argue that it may also bring intense rivalry and change the dynamics of local markets (Alharbi and Al-Ashaab, 2020). These divergent viewpoints might be the product of the many sectors in which the enterprises are active, their flexibility in responding to demands from across the world, and their varied business situations. While some small firms may encounter obstacles that prevent them from expanding, others may see growth if they can swiftly adjust to global markets. There are also critiques conflicting when it comes to how national culture affects sustainable practices in the context of sustainability projects. While some studies show that national culture has a major influence on how organisations approach sustainability, other studies imply that market and economic variables may have a greater influence. The observed discrepancies in business practice might potentially be explained by changes in study methodology, geographical differences, and the dynamic character of cultural influences.

Contradictory results are also seen in halal food supply chains, especially when it comes to the function of halal food certification. While some studies highlight the importance of maintaining adherence to Islamic law and improving customer happiness, others draw attention to problems with certification complexity and expenses. These differences might be caused by differences in the level of religious observance among customers, the unique needs of the enterprises under study, and geographical differences in the certification processes (Ali et al., 2021). Regarding the relationship between CSR and waste management, some research highlights the crucial part that CSR practices play in cutting waste and fostering environmental sustainability, while other studies may not uncover a strong link. Divergences in these results might be explained by variations in the extent to which companies have implemented CSR practices, the sectors in which they operate, and local regulatory frameworks (Asad et al., 2018).

Divergent viewpoints on methodologies and indicators for food security are also shown in the literature. Some studies draw attention to the weaknesses and restrictions in the current approaches, while others may emphasise the strength of analytical frameworks and their efficacy in guaranteeing food security. These differences may result from the difficulty of evaluating food security in the UAE's hyper-arid climate as well as the dynamic nature of food security indicators (Gani, 2021).

Direction for Future Research

Future research may add to a complete body of knowledge that directs small food enterprises in the UAE towards more sustainable practises, guaranteeing their long-term sustainability in the global market, by addressing these research gaps and investigating these prospective approaches. Future research may expand knowledge and provide useful insights for both academia and industry by using these research gaps and undiscovered areas. While national culture and local government have been mentioned in the literature, a more thorough investigation of how government policies affect sustainable practices is required. Understanding the effects of laws, subsidies, and other support systems will help better understand how governments might help or hinder small food enterprises' efforts to be sustainable. Although the impact of national culture on sustainability practises has been investigated, further study is required to fully understand consumer behaviour. Businesses may successfully modify their tactics by looking at how cultural elements influence customer preferences for sustainable goods and whether these preferences convert into actual purchases.

More focus should be placed on how developments in technology are influencing sustainability projects. Studies might concentrate on how new technologies, such as blockchain for supply chain transparency or artificial intelligence for waste reduction, are used and how they affect the sustainability initiatives of small food enterprises. A large number of the examined studies provide cross-sectional overviews of the sustainability initiatives adopted by companies. A dynamic viewpoint on sustainability may be obtained via longitudinal studies that chart the development of these practices over time and identify trends, obstacles, and success stories. To give a more comprehensive knowledge of sustainability in the UAE's small food enterprises, future studies should take into account interdisciplinary methods that integrate environmental sciences, business studies, and cultural studies. To assess the generalizability of results and provide insight into the transferability of practices, a more thorough comparative study across several nations with comparable economic and cultural environments is recommended.

It's critical to comprehend how companies might affect consumer education and awareness about sustainability. One crucial area of study might be how to best explain to customers the advantages of sustainable goods and how this affects their choice to buy. Supply chain dynamics are changing while considering sustainability. It is crucial to research the possibilities and difficulties of developing sustainable supply chains for small food enterprises. Further investigation is required to examine possible trade-offs between Sustainability efforts and Economic goals. Finding ways to align these goals might be a useful area of study. Research is still needed to fully comprehend how creative business models improve sustainability. It is crucial to look at how companies may strike a balance between social and environmental sustainability and economic sustainability. Future studies should take into account the particular industries, settings, and factors that might affect the observed discrepancies to resolve these issues. Variations in methodology and changing market circumstances may account for discrepancies in study results. A more comprehensive knowledge of these subjects may be obtained by using a holistic research approach that integrates qualitative and quantitative methodologies and takes into account both macro and micro viewpoints. Through analysing contradictory results and offering clarifications, scholars may add to the current conversation on globalisation, sustainability, and small-scale food enterprises in the UAE.



This review-based research has focused on the intricate link between globalisation and sustainability in this particular setting in addition to synthesising current research. The review's primary conclusion is that globalisation has had a significant effect on UAE-based small food firms. Market growth is facilitated by globalisation, which gives these companies access to new markets and possibilities. Due to the UAE's advantageous position and status as a centre for international trade, development is encouraged by both cultural and economic considerations. Globalisation is essential to small food enterprises' efforts to cut costs. Operational expenses may be decreased with the use of economies of scale, simplified procedures, and access to global supply networks. These results support the Dewi et al. (2020) study, which examines how globalisation might save small and medium-sized businesses money.

The study also highlights sustainability activities as a central issue, focusing on the significance of socially and ecologically conscious behaviour. In the food business of the UAE, the use of eco-design, organic agriculture, and circular economy concepts enhances sustainability. The results align with the study conducted by Turkeli and Kemp (2018), which highlights the importance of eco-design in sustainable food enterprises. The development of halal food supply chains that adhere to Islamic law has been seen as a critical topic of concern (Randeree, 2019). This indicates that to satisfy halal requirements, food quality, customer satisfaction, and interoperability are required. In addition, the need for halal food certification is emphasised for guaranteeing adherence to Islamic dietary regulations. These results are consistent with a study by Giyanti and Indriastiningsih (2019), who emphasise the significance of halal certification in the international food sector.

The study also elaborates on how important it is for CSR and trash management to work together to promote sustainability. Small food enterprises may greatly benefit from effective waste reduction, the use of experimental design in waste management, and the integration of CSR practices. These results are consistent with research on the function of CSR in sustainable business practises conducted by Rajagopal and Bansal (2015) Priorities for sustainability and the economy have been determined, with a focus on shared prosperity metrics and stakeholder participation. The results show how sustainability priorities and economic development goals are intertwined, implying that reaching these objectives will need teamwork. The study adds to understanding in several ways. It offers a thorough synopsis of the research on small food enterprises in the United Arab Emirates, sustainability, and globalisation. It highlights important ideas and conclusions that might influence regional business practices and policy. And also emphasises how these issues are interrelated, highlighting the need to approach sustainability from a holistic perspective.


For entrepreneurs functioning in this environment, suggestions are meant to aid companies in improving their sustainable practices and global competitiveness. UAE-based small food companies should aggressively look for ways to grow internationally. These possibilities may be taken advantage of by forming international alliances, exporting goods to untapped areas, or capitalising on the rising demand for specialised and diversified meals throughout the world. Creating a presence in foreign markets may boost sales and expansion for businesses. Secondly, the foundation of every corporate operation should be sustainability. Businesses need to make investments in eco-design, organic farming, and circular economy models, among other sustainable practices. Setting sustainability as a top priority satisfies customer demand for ecologically friendly goods and methods as well as corporate social responsibility. Businesses should make sure that halal standards are followed, especially considering how important halal food is to the UAE and the larger Muslim consumer market. This entails achieving halal food certification, maintaining high food quality and consumer satisfaction, and enhancing interoperability in the halal food supply chain. Respecting halal standards guarantees compliance with Islamic dietary restrictions and expands commercial reach.

It's critical to put in place effective waste management systems. Implementing experimental design to reduce waste and making sure disposal is done responsibly should be the top priorities for small food enterprises. Adopting CSR practices may help the firm project a more positive and sustainable image while also improving its reputation. Companies have to interact proactively with all relevant parties, including local communities, suppliers, government agencies, and customers. This involvement helps in determining sustainability and economic priorities that complement the UAE's overarching development objectives. Companies may show their dedication to shared prosperity metrics and assume a leading position in cooperative environmental initiatives. UAE small food firms should be aware of customer behaviour that crosses cultural boundaries. They must comprehend the subtle cultural differences of their target consumers, particularly in the global arena. Market success may be increased by adjusting goods, advertising tactics, and customer service to the cultural preferences of global customers.

The study emphasises how important innovation in technology is to improving sustainability. Technology that enhances waste management, product quality, and supply chain efficiency should be purchased by small firms. Not only may creative ideas boost overall competitiveness, but they can also improve sustainability practices. Working together with academic institutions and research centres may result in creative solutions and access to the most recent findings. Encouraging and taking part in multidisciplinary research might provide insights that more successfully handle challenging environmental issues. Researching the long-term consequences of sustainability efforts and the expansion of the company might provide important insights. Through consistent observation and assessment of sustainability initiatives over an extended period, small food enterprises may make informed choices for ongoing improvement using data. Small food companies should take a proactive approach to interacting with government policies that support sustainability. These laws, rules, or subsidies might be used as part of these policies to promote eco-friendly behaviour. Engaging in policy dialogues and influencing the regulatory landscape may benefit the company. For long-term sustainability and global competitiveness, it is essential to engage with stakeholders, prioritise cross-cultural understanding, invest in technical innovation, and encourage multidisciplinary research. Small companies may promote expansion, enhance their brand, and help ensure a more sustainable future for the food sector in the United Arab Emirates by actively adhering to these principles.

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