Emirati visitors keenly examine dates on display for competition during the Liwa Date Festival. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News


It can be argued that the Liwa Date Festival is one of the truest experiences of all things date-related and the Emirati culture as a whole.

Having opened its doors at 10 a.m. on Thursday under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the festival celebrates the the incessant hard work and agricultural knowledge of the country’s farmers.

“We have allocated areas which demonstrate the Bedouin’s way of life, by displaying models of the houses they lived in before the emergence of oil, as well as their contents,” said Obaid Khalfan Al Mazroui, the Festival director.

Since then, local farmers have excelled in the specialty of palm-tree cultivation and have become leaders in the field.

“The UAE’s farmers have proved themselves capable of competing on an international scale,” said Dr Abdul Wahab Al Zayed, Secretary General of the Khalifa International Date Palm Award. “This is why we encourage the Date Competition’s winning farmers to apply for our awards,” he continued.

The daily Date Competition which will run over the entire course of the festival, will dedicate each day to a special type of date. “Paying attention to the details of each date type and bringing experts for each category is necessary for accurate evaluation of results,” said Saud Al Fadda, Agricultural Administration Manager, Saleh Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi Endowments Administration, which was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest date palm project in the world.

“I have shared my knowledge of technological advancements in agriculture and the ways of obtaining the highest-quality dates with my fellow farmers whom I have met here,” Al Fadda said during his first visit to the Liwa Date Festival. “Learning about the concerns which farmers have and the difficulties they regularly face will help me further improve my projects in Saudi Arabia,” he added.