Abu Dhabi: The Fourth International Date Palm Festival is proving to be a hit as visitors are being offered the chance to not only learn about UAE culture but also to interact with participants offering a variety of unique products and services.

"I just began working in Abu Dhabi in September so I haven't had the chance to see some the festivals that take place here. I heard about the festival and decided to come and have a look. I didn't know there were so many products that can be made from dates, including date ice cream and also the fact that there are so many varieties of dates in both the UAE and the Middle East," said Alicia Winston, an Australian expatriate who is a marketing executive.

"I also liked seeing Emirati women creating traditional handicrafts and learning a bit about the technique. I actually bought a few things, such as book covers and pouches, because I couldn't resist the beautiful designs," she added. With more visitors, including families expected to arrive to the festival over the weekend, participants revealed that they are keen to showcase what they have to offer.

"We've had very positive feedback so far from visitors who told us they were impressed by the quality of the products created by students such as the candles, badges and other items that were created in a special workshop for both the festival and the upcoming National Day," said Rafat Ahmad Elhomshary, Coordinator, Vocational Training Department, Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs and Minors' Affairs, Al Ain.

"We always try to participate at such events as much as possible to not only highlight the students' efforts and achievements but to also reach out to communities here," he added.


What: Fourth International Date Palm Festival
When: November 22-27
Where: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Hall 11 and Abu Dhabi Hall
Timings: November 22-25, 10am -1pm/ 4pm-10pm; November 26 -27, 2pm-10pm
Tickets: Dh10
Information: Telephone: 800 23632; website: www.datepalmfestival.ae