Dates decorated for the contest at the Liwa date festival in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region last year. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Abu Dhabi: Over 700 participants from the emirate of Abu Dhabi have registered to be a part of the sixth annual Liwa Date Festival, which is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach)

"This year's festival has expanded to include not only competitions but also additional activities such as folkloric performances, which will also be judged, as well as the traditional souk that will highlight the unique products of the Western Region," said Obaid Al Mazroui, Director, Liwa Date Festival.

Registration for other emirates will be opened during the final two days prior to the festival's opening on Saturday, July 17. All of the participants will be competing in a variety of date competitions, such as the Khallas, Dabbas and Bouman, for a total of Dh5 million in monetary prizes and several four wheel drive vehicles.

"The Liwa Date Festival is a platform that, in addition to showcasing our heritage, also helps to raise awareness about the best methods of date farming.

Boosting economy

"Another bonus is that during this period, the economy of the Western Region is boosted because of interest by both participants and visitors, who come from not only the UAE, but the region and around the world as well," explained Mohammad Hamad Bin Azzan Al Mazroui, Director General of Western Region Development Council.

"There are currently 16,000 date farmers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We are currently in the process of exporting dates and date-related products to various countries around the world including Australia, South Africa, China, the US, Hungary and Belgium."

Event details

What: Liwa Date Festival

When: Saturday, July 17 to Saturday, July 24

Time: 10am to 10pm

Travel: Buses are available from Abu Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall

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