The 15th edition of the Liwa Date Festival returned on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, where thousands of farmers from across the emirates descending on in Al Dhafra Region to compete in several date-related cultural traditional competitions and exchange technical expertise to produce better quality fruit.
Aiming to promote the cultivation of the best and finest varieties of dates, the annual event offers a platform for companies to share healthy, sustainable agricultural methods for producing high quality dates.
The festival which runs for ten days until 27th July 28 is expected to welcome tens of thousands of visitors from across the UAE after having established itself as one of the leading events in Al Dhafra Region.
Held under the patronage of H.H Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, the Liwa Date Festival aims to bring attention to the heritage and cultural significance associated with the date palm and Emirati history, and to also raise the standard quality of Emirati-produced dates.
Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of Liwa Dates Festival and Director of Planning and Projects Department at the Committee, said:''Today, the Liwa Date Festival is widely recognised as a unique gathering for those passionate about the role of palm trees as well as owners of factories and investment companies interested in date related industries.'' Organisers say for centuries, palm trees and Ratab (half-ripe dates) have been an integral part of Emirati society and its deep-rooted traditions. Hence, the festival is a reflection of the UAE leadership’s efforts to pay tribute to these living symbols of the past's authenticity, the present's prosperity and the future's promise.
The festival will feature various internationally acclaimed Emirati heritage activities and competitions that have been extremely popular in past editions, including Ratab beauty competition, model farm competition, best fruit basket, the best mangoes and the best lemons. The Festival showcases a range of events; competitions, date auctions, lectures that aim to raise awareness of the importance of the palm tree, as well as special workshops for children, poetry evenings, popular games and others.
The Liwa Date Festival is also a great opportunity for tourists to learn about Emirati customs and traditions and to discover locals industries and handicraft products.