The 12th edition of Liwa Date Festival, began Wednesday evening in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. This event celebrates the various customs, traditions, heritage of UAE and in particular the date palm, the iconic and cultural tree. It was launched to assist the exchange of technical expertise among farmers.
UAE, with is over 40 million palm trees, is among the top 10 date-producing countries in the world.
Held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Liwa Date Festival has become a key cultural event for the UAE, having established itself as one of the main local attractions in the Western Region. This year, over 70,000 visitors are expected to enjoy the festival, said the organisers.
The palm tree which has played a great role in catering the nutritional and daily life needs of the human communities in the desert, is the source of the most beloved fruit that is in the very centre of the festival.
The Festival aims to raise the quality of Emirati dates so as to achieve a better level of excellence and competition, locally and internationally, while preserving the healthy natural characteristic.
This year’s festival will take place from July 20-30, and will host a series of competitions with 220 prizes to be won with a total value of more than AED 6 million.
The competitions include Mazaynas (beauty competitions) for the best dates, best lemons and best mangoes, as well as the Tradition Market, the Dar Fruits Basket Competition (Fruits of the House), the Best Heritage Model competition, the Model Farm Award.
These competitions aim to encourage quality date production and clean farming practices.
A photography competition will allow festival visitors to get involved by posting their pictures on Instagram.
The festival also includes a traditional Emirati souq (market), in which visitors can admire and buy Emirati handmade products and crafts, including those made from the date palm, and date sweets.
Educational workshops on the history and significance of the date palm tree will also be available for children. All traditional heritage and art activities will be held on a daily basis from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.