Abu Dhabi: The Liwa Date Festival and Auction started today, October 15, in Liwa City in Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi emirate under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region.
Being organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee till October 24, the event aims to underscore the UAE’s rich history of palm trees and dates, and provide a platform for businesses to communicate and build a stronger business network.
Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, and Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi, said: “The Liwa Date Festival and Auction contributes to supporting the efforts made at the country level to improve date palm cultivation, production and marketing. The event helps in ensuring continued growth of the agricultural industry while supporting farmers in developing their production by educating them on the latest farming techniques and best international practices, therefore enabling them to open fresh global markets for their products.”
He added: “The Liwa Date Festival and Auction underscores the UAE’s considerable support for the date palm sector and the development of its products and related industries at the Arab and global levels.
“The Festival celebrates the rich history of palm trees in the UAE by pursuing a strategy of preserving and sustaining authentic Emirati heritage, being an integral part of the Emirati society and its deeply rooted traditions. Inspired by the vision of [UAE’s Founding Father] the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Festival is a reflection of the efforts made to pay tribute to these living symbols of the past’s authenticity, the present’s sustainable development and the future’s promise of ensuring food security, self-sufficiency and economic diversification.”
He commended the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in support of the projects aimed to enhance food security, develop the agricultural sector, and enhance date palm cultivation and production.
Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, Vice Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festival Committee - Abu Dhabi, said: “The festival comes within the framework of the heritage and agricultural events that are held in the UAE in general and the Al Dhafra region in particular, with the aim of highlighting the Emirati heritage, promoting the production of dates for its vital role in economic diversification, and increasing the agricultural sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.”
Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Committee’s Planning and Projects Department, said: “The maiden edition of the Liwa Date Festival and Auction will feature several events, including competitions involving various types of dates, honey, and olive oil in addition to contests in cooking, drawing and photography with 122 prizes worth more than Dh3.5 million. This is in addition to training courses, master classes and workshops catering to various age categories as well as lectures to educate farmers and the public on the best practices in this field.”