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Emirates International Date Palm Festival from November 26-December 1

Date palm saplings planted by visitors to be nurtured in capital

Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News Archives
Delicious date products on display at Adnec for the Emirates Internatonal Date Palm Festivalin Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi:

Date lovers can taste 500 different kinds of dates from 18 countries and enjoy new date products including perfumes, organic dates, date ice-cream and ladies’ accessories made from palm tree parts at a major event in the capital.

The sixth edition of the Emirates International Date Palm Festival will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, lasting nearly a week from November 26 – December 1, organisers announced yesterday (Tuesday).

The event is fun and education all rolled into one with a variety of activities for visitors, they said.

Held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the festival will be organised by Turret Media in strategic partnership with ADFCA in association with Date Palm Friends Society.

Features at this year’s date palm festival include a date tasting area, palm tree climbing competition, date kitchen, photo gallery competition, date tree planting, heritage village, date palm theatre, a kids’ area and a chance to win up to 50 prizes in various activities.

Rashid Mohammad Al Shariqi, director-general of ADFCA, said the festival tells the story of the blessed tree that the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, so fondly tended to.

Families will have a nice time at the festival as kids have interesting activities while their mothers can watch chefs preparing a variety of foods from dates, a senior official told Gulf News. “The general public can taste dates whereas business people can network with companies to strike business deals,” Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, official spokesman of ADFCA. said.

“Since we are close to National Day, there will be many activities to celebrate the occasion at the festival,” he said.

Visitors can plant date palm saplings which will be nurtured into trees at a specific area in Abu Dhabi, allocated by ADFCA. Over 400 saplings were planted last year.

About 160 exhibitors from 18 countries will participate in the festival, in addition to national pavilions from seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia and Palestine.

The festival will be held in conjunction with SIAL Middle East 2012, the regional edition of one of the world’s largest food exhibitions.

At date palm theatre in the festival , schoolchildren across the emirate will entertain audiences throughout the week with cultural programmes highlighting the region’s customs and traditions. The heritage village will showcase how the nation’s ancestors lived decades ago.