FESTIVAL The 9th edition of the Liwa Dates Festival returns to Abu Dhabi this summer, under the patronage of H.H Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan. The festival will take place in Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi's Western Region, from the 18th to 25th July.
The Liwa Dates Festival will come at a perfect time, during the Holy month of Ramadan making it an even more special and memorable event than previous years. This festival holds a huge amount of significance for Abu Dhabi, it is a celebration of Emirati culture and heritage and an annual gathering that has been passed on from generation to generation.
Ancestors of the people of this region would await this time of year and the start of the dates season, which they considered bought a new season of blessings with it. The Liwa dates festival keeps the tradition alive, as well as the cultural and historical legacy of the season.The event is expected to attract hundreds of visitors daily. This is one of the city's biggest national event and is also becoming a 'a heritage and tourism landmark event', according to the Chairman of the Festivals and Cultural Heriatge programs committee, Mohammed Khalef Al Mazrouei.
The Competition is on
The UAE is currently one of the world's leading date exporters, internationally recognized for the high quality of dates hailing from this region. The festival honours the date and farmers of palm trees for using new and innovative ways to cultivate the date, while still maintaining it's natural properties. They are held to such high esteem that in 2012, H.H Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan, awarded 10,000 palm tree seeds to farmers from the region who won in the competitions at the festival. There will be quite a few different kinds of competitions and promotions on offer this year for farmer's taking part in this exclusive event, which encourages competitors and awards them for their high quality produce and farming skills. This year competition prizes worth a total of Dh 5 million will be up for grabs.
Visitors can expect the largest and high standard varieties of dates available, not too mention the in-depth cultural learning experience such an event provides and support of the region's farmers and this centuries old produce. The Liwa Dates Festival will be open in the morning and evening from 8pm to 1am.
Text Karen Athwal