Abu Dhabi: Visitors interested in leaving a lasting mark of their presence in the UAE can now plant date palm trees at the fifth edition of the Emirates International Date Palm Festival in Abu Dhabi. The saplings will be inscribed with the names of the visitors.

The festival is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec). All the saplings will be presented to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at a special ceremony at Khalifa Park after the festival ends on Saturday.

‘Something special'

"We wanted to do something special for this year's festival, especially in light of the UAE's 40th National Day… We hope to present Shaikh Khalifa with approximately 150 saplings at a date to be announced after the festival ends," Qaboos Khalid, the festival's project director, said.

The festival was opened yesterday by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, who toured the venue with Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour; Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water; Azuldin Abdullah Hussain, Iraq's Minister of Agriculture; Rashid Al Sharqi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA); Jamal Al Majid of Al Majid Group and other dignitaries.

  • What Emirates International Date Palm Festival
  • When Monday November 21 to Saturday November 26
  • Where Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
  • Tickets Dh10
  • Information www.datepalmfestival.net
  • Among the countries participating this year at the Emirates International Date Palm Festival, are China, Italy, United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Iraq and Iran, who are first time participators. Additionally, Jordan, Iraq, Oman, Morocco, and Iran all have national pavilions.