Visitors at the 4th International Date Palm Festival at Adnec in Abu Dhabi sample date-based products on display. Image Credit: AHMED KUTTY/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Traditional handicraft, performances, competitions and artworks completed the six-day Fourth International Date Palm Festival at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), which ended on Saturday.

Over 100 participants joined this year's festival, which also hosted four country pavilions from Oman, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco.

"I didn't know there were so many varieties of dates and that you could make all these products from them, such as date milkshakes.I even tried a date stuffed with cheese, which was surprisingly delicious," said Michael O'Brien, an Irish expatriate who is an information technology consultant.

Kids' corner

Additionally, parents were able to leave their children at the Kids Corner, where they were able to draw, paint, participate in various workshops and even have their faces painted and their photographs taken. The section was under the supervision of Hana Amarf, an art teacher at the Mariam Bint Omaron School, Cycle 2, whose pupils also displayed artworks created specifically for the festival.

"We always participate in festivals and competitions. The works we exhibited at this festival were created by pupils from various grades using different mediums... We began working on them in September. The pieces that have received the greatest amount of feedback were our two mixed media portraits. The girls used pieces of palm wood, rope, canvas and other materials to create landscape portraits of the UAE, one of which was chosen by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Vice-President of Abu Dhabi University's Board of Trustees to be hung in his office," said Hana.

Another feature of the festival was the week-long series of performances and competitions by schools from across the capital that showcased plays, songs and tested pupils' knowledge about dates and the UAE.

Accolades: Successful event

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and President of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa International Date Palm Award, congratulated President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces as well as the organisers of the Fourth International Date Palm Festival on the success of the event, which saw over 100 participants representing 15 countries from across the region and the world.