According to Seed Daily, salicornia is the succulent in question here, and it is already being used as a salt replacement for burger patties.

Tina Siegismund, head of marketing and innovation at UAE-based Global Food Industries, a frozen food manufacturer, said that "you have the salty flavor with less sodium, but you also have other benefits."

Salicornia is able to reduce sodium by up to 40% in the company's burgers, which are made with chicken and quinoa among other ingredients.

The plant, which is native to North America, Europe and some parts of Africa and Asia, can be grown in the inhospitable environment of the Arabian Desert.

Beside all this, Siegismund claims that is also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Although agriculture only accounts for one percent of the UAE's GDP, salicornia is being cultivated since last year more as an experiment, using brine from desalinization plants in the country.

Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle, chief scientist at the Dubai-based International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), said that "we went from... building this prototype, to piloting at scale with eight farmers, and now the question is how to scale up."

He believes that salicornia could "become a really important food ingredient."

"If there is an economic value and the production system is developed for this, it can become a replacement for salt and any other micronutrients that are added today artificially to processed food", he explained.