Abu Dhabi: Featuring all kinds of dates, the Abu Dhabi International Date Palm Exhibition opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, as local and international exhibitors showcased their date produce, with the event set to run until December 14.
Held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the exhibition — which is the world’s only dedicated business-to-business (B2B) event for the date palm fruit — is being held in conjunction with Sial Middle East, one of the region’s largest food and beverage events.
“The date palm industry continues to be a very prominent one; there is always a large base of customers looking to purchase dates, and so we are always busy year round producing the fruit on our farms,” said Samuel Panicker, public relations officer at Al Wathba Marionett, one of the most prominent date producing companies in the UAE.
“We produce 14 different types of dates such as the khalas, zamli, barhi, and the saggai dates, we want to have as much variety available to our customers,” he added.
The company was also last year announced one of the winners of the Khalifa International Date Palm Award in the category of distinguished producers.
“This makes us more popular with our customers because we are seen as a very reliable source for dates. We do a lot of testing and work when producing our dates to make sure that none of our dates have infections or diseases.
“Customers expect the best, and so we do our hardest to ensure that the quality of dates we are selling is the best available,” he added.
Michelle Balela, another exhibitor with Emirates Dates, said the date fruit is also becoming popular with tourists visiting the UAE.
“Our shops are located in some of the country’s main airports like Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, so we get a lot of tourists buying our dates. A large portion of our customers come from countries like Russia and China.
“Tourists like different types of dates, we sell the traditional dates along with many new flavoured ones like coconut-coated dates or chocolate-coated dates,” she added,
“It is a growing market, and so we are catering towards it because the date market is moving beyond what you would call the traditional market that is usually made up of mainly Arab and local customers. There is a growing demand from visitors,” she said.
Where: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
When: December 12-14
Admission: Open to public