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The first ever Hatta Farming Festival offers a platform for local farmers to display their activities and produce. Image Credit: DMO

Dubai: The Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta has announced on Friday the launch of the first ever Hatta Farming Festival.

Being held February 23 to 27 at the Hatta Hall, the event has been organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment in cooperation with the Dubai Municipality, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and the Hatta Traders Council.

The launch of the festival is an initiative of the Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta, aimed at enhancing Hatta’s economic and tourism development, supporting traders and small business owners, encouraging them to display their agricultural products, and celebrating the rich heritage and agricultural production of the region.

Inaugural festival

The inaugural Hatta Farming Festival, which is free to enter, will run from 10am to 10pm. Bringing the community together in a vibrant setting that celebrates agricultural and environmental practices, the event offers a platform for local farmers to display their activities and produce.

Over five fun-packed days, visitors can join in exciting educational workshops and sessions, go on tours to nearby heritage sites, and sample culinary delights from local businesses in Hatta, including six food trucks and pop-up cafés, in a coming-together of the area’s farming community.

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The launch of the Hatta Farming Festival is an initiative of the Supreme Committee to Oversee the Development of Hatta Image Credit: DMO

Major activities

Open to guests of all ages, every visitor will find something to enjoy, with entertainment events being held throughout the festival including roaming performances by Dubai’s beloved characters, Modesh and Dana.

The festival features more than 25 workshops on sustainability-focused topics such as food security, water purification, diverting food from landfill, and growing your own food. Guests can also learn how to keep and rear their own animals, such as chicken and goats. In sessions designed to ignite a curiosity for agriculture, youngsters can also join in hands-on activities such as nature-themed drawing and storytelling workshops.

A vibrant showcase of the beauty and abundance of Hatta’s farms and produce, 20 local farmers and livestock farms (Ezba) will also be showcasing their diverse range of products including vegetables, fruits, eggs, jam, and ghee.

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Heritage Village

Visitors can also explore the Hatta Heritage Village on trips hosted by Dubai Culture, where they can witness the historic Hatta Falaj Al Sharia, an ancient 587-metre-long underground tunnel that collects water from a nearby mountain to irrigate the plains. Restored in 2019 by Dubai Municipality, the falaj is now functioning as it did hundreds of years ago.

Oldest agriculture region

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “Hatta is one of the oldest agricultural regions in the UAE and the development of its farming economy is central to the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. The first Hatta Farming Festival is an exciting celebration of our natural surroundings and marks an important step in our mission to empower and preserve the local agricultural industry.

“We look forward to bringing visitors of all ages together at this one-of-a-kind event, fostering a connection between our community and the natural world and teaching them about the importance of farming. We hope to empower visitors to make a positive impact on our planet, while supporting local businesses.”

Workshops for farmers

In addition to the public sessions, the Hatta Farming Festival also hosts a dynamic programme of workshops and talks for local farmers aimed at strengthening Dubai’s agricultural sector. Hosted by 12 of the top established farming companies in the UAE, the sessions and talks will provide valuable insights, support and resources to help farmlands thrive.

Focused on promoting healthy competition and a community spirit, the contests feature prizes ranging from Dh5000 to Dh20,000 in categories that include ‘Best Productive Farm’ and ‘Best Productive Barn’. Adding to the excitement, the festival includes a unique animal auction, offering attendees the opportunity to purchase superior breeds of Hatta goat.

As part of efforts to promote agricultural enterprise, the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development is also hosting an introductory workshop on its services and privileges aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and encouraging them to launch new projects.