ABU DHABI: Thousands of visitors are expected to visit the Liwa Date Festival starting on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.
The 13th edition of the 11-day festival will continue until July 29 in Liwa, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The festival will see participation of more than 2,500 competitors, who will vie for prizes worth Dh5.2 million.
The festival attracts visitors, tourists as well as families who flock to the venue to explore local culture and traditions.
Competitions will be held for categories including mazayna [best dates], lemon, mangoes, model farm, fruits, photography competition and best heritage model competition.
The participants at the festival are expected to showcase about 6,000 date baskets in all categories.
The organising committee of the festival announced details of the event at a Press conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, director of the festival, said: “We have been working towards protecting and preserving palm trees while activating and stimulating the economic activity in the city of Liwa, which is famous for its fertile land and dates.
20 million palm trees in UAE
He said there are more than 20 million palm trees across the UAE and their number is growing each year.
The annual festival provides a platform for the exchange of expertise among farmers and promotion of modern agricultural techniques that would help farmers improve their production and subsequently boost their profits, Al Mazrouei said.
The festival is being organised under patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and supported by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Rulers’s Representative in Western Region.
The festival will have around 130 outlets at the festival and a number of cultural activities will be held to showcase the Emirati heritage.
The organising committee has introduced this year a competition for making the best mukharafa (a basket made of palm leaves). There will be play areas for children at the traditional market
There will be more than 200 prizes including 155 for best date varieties like dabbas, khallas, kunaizi, bou maan, farth and shishi. The committee said there will be 15 prizes for best heritage model, 10 for model farm, 20 for best mangoes, 20 for best lemons and three for fruits grown at home.
Eisa Saif Al Mazrouei, vice-chairman of the cultural programmes and heritage festivals committee of Abu Dhabi, said: “We celebrate Emirati heritage by holding different activities at the festival.
“Liwa has secured new fertile land and palm tree seedlings for farmers thanks to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,” Al Mazrouei said.
What: Liwa Date Festival
When: July 19 to July 29, 2017
Where: In Liwa, Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate
Visiting hours: From 4pm to 10pm daily.
Total prize money: Dh5.2 million
Number of competitors: More than 2,500 (all categories)
Date baskets: 6,000 to be showcased