Liwa Date Festival
The annual date festival in Abu Dhabi emirate begins on July 19 in Liwa. File photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The 19th edition of the Liwa Date Festival will kick off on Wednesday, July 19 in Liwa, Al Dhafra Region, under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court.

Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP) and Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee — Abu Dhabi, said that the festival celebrates the season of harvesting palm dates in the UAE, considered an authentic Emirati heritage.

The current session coincides with the Year of Sustainability. This year’s edition also reflects the directive of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support sustainable agricultural practices and the preservation of heritage, reported Wam.

Emirati heritage

He also indicated that the festival continues the journey established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his approach to developing the agricultural sector and adherence to the historical status of the palm tree, which is closely linked to the authentic Emirati heritage.

Al Mazrouei hailed the care given by Sheikh Mansour for the festival, which contributed, throughout its successive sessions, to making agriculture a culture among members of society, leading to food security and sustainable agricultural production.

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He also extended thanks to Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, for his tireless follow-up and permanent directives to develop our events and organise useful activities and competitions.

The festival

The Liwa Dates Festival, an esteemed heritage event in Abu Dhabi, honours a symbol deeply rooted in Emirati culture and society — the Date Palm tree. Throughout the ages, this majestic tree has played a pivotal role in sustaining the nutritional needs of desert-dwelling tribes, including those inhabiting the lands of the United Arab Emirates. Rich in nutritional value, dates have been a vital source of sustenance, while the versatile trunks, leaves, and various components of palm trees have been ingeniously utilised in construction, handicrafts, and toolmaking, reflecting the resourcefulness of Emirati ancestors.

As a prominent cultural and heritage extravaganza, the festival attracts tourists from far and wide, offering a captivating glimpse into the pivotal role dates play in the Emirati way of life.

The festival’s highlight is the highly anticipated competition, where Emirati farms vie for the coveted title of “Best Date Farm.” Emphasising the value of dates as a prized commodity, the festival also features lively auctions where the price per kilogram of these delectable fruits can surpass Dh6,000.

The Liwa Dates Festival stands as a testament to the enduring cultural, nutritional, and economic significance of the Date Palm tree in Emirati society.