Abu Dhabi: In its 12th edition, the Liwa Date Festival that celebrates the iconic and cultural fruit of the UAE, began Wednesday evening in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
Held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Primer 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.
“Since the festival’s inception, we have set out clear goals to establish the date palm tree as an important cultural symbol of our past, present, and future,” said Obaid Khalfan Al Mazroui, director, Liwa Date Festival.
“We view this festival as continuing the work carried out by the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE. We also consider this to be an implementation of the directives of our wise leadership in providing all forms of support for traditional festivals and heritage events,” he added.
This year’s festival will take place from July 20-30, and will host a series of competitions as well as offer a total prize money of Dh6 million.
The competitions, which are meant to encourage quality date production and clean farming practices, will include best half-ripe dates, best model farms, and a photography competition that will allow festival visitors to get involved by posting their pictures on Instagram.
Keeping with the theme of tradition, the date festival also includes a traditional Emirati souq (market), offering visitors a chance to see and buy Emirati handmade products and crafts, including those made from the date palm, and date sweets.
The festival has a dedicated area for the young in the Children’s Village, that provides an array of activities such as plays and art workshops. Educational workshops on the history and significance of the date palm tree will also be available for children, organisers said.
Liwa Date Festival
Where: Western Region, Abu Dhabi
When: July 20 — July 30
Daily timings: 4pm — 10pm
Facts about UAE date palm trees
UAE has over 40 million palm trees.
UAE is among the top 10 date-producing countries in the world.
In 2015, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation officially recognised Al Ain and Liwa oases as agricultural heritage sites.