People of all ages and nationalities visit the Liwa Date Festival for an evening of educational activities, date tasting and shopping in the old souq. Image Credit: Alex Westcot/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: At the sixth annual Liwa Date Festival, visitors are given an opportunity to not only learn everything there is to know about dates and the UAE but they can also learn about what is being done to preserve the UAE's unique heritage.

The festival is held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach).

"Our objective is to revive the heritage that is dying out in rural parts of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, including the Western Region. The initiative is designed to not only help preserve the UAE's heritage through handicrafts but also to ensure that everyone who joins will be able to become self-sustainable in the future," Laila Bint Qasim, Manager, Entrepreneurship Development Department, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said.

Another organisation that has taken steps to preserve the UAE's heritage and provide their members with a sense of being an active part of society is the UAE Red Crescent, through the initiative Al Gadeer.

"We are thankful for the support given to us by Shaikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan, [the wife of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region]...when we started out in 2007, we had mostly women in their 70s and 80s who were eager to join. Now...there are women in their 30s and 40s from a range of nationalities, including Emiratis, who are contributing to Al Gadeer, which is wonderful," Na'ama Al Mansouri, manager, Al Gadeer, said.

Both organisations ensure the women who wish to be a part of these initiatives are provided with the necessary tools and equipment and given workshops in how to market their skills and products.

"We discovered that there is quite a big market for authentic Emirati products, especially from expatriates and visitors who want something unique, whether for their homes or to give as gifts.

"As a result of demand for their products, our ladies are becoming quite creative...they're even designing and creating items that they would never use just because there is a demand for them.

"We have even provided items for the UAE embassies to give as gifts and we are even supplying various governmental and private organisations with handcrafted pieces," said Na'ama.

Buses: How to get there

Last day: July 26

Time: 10am-10pm

Travel: Buses leave from Abu Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall at 9am. There are no other scheduled buses. The buses return to Abu Dhabi at 8pm.

Information: For schedules and further information, please contact 02-6576094 or visit www.liwadatesfestival.ae or http://www.adach.ae/en