First Liwa Date Festival and Auction begins tomorrow

First Liwa Date Festival and Auction begins tomorrow

LIWA, Al Dhafra, 14th October, 2022 (WAM) -- The first edition of the Liwa Date Festival and Auction will begin tomorrow, Saturday, in Liwa City, Al Dhafra Region, Abu Dhabi, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region.

Organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee on 15th – 24th October, 2022, 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 the 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.”

“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,” he added.

Al Mazrouei noted, “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 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. Al Mazrouei also valued the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed of the festival and his follow-up of the various events taking place in the Al Dhafra region.

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.”

“The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee places a special emphasis on agriculture during all the events it’s organising. This year, the Liwa Date Festival and Auction will feature specialised competitions dedicated to olive oil and honey,” he said, explaining that the Liwa Date Festival every year features competitions dedicated to various crops, like mangoes, limon and fig, in addition to the Aldar Fruit Basket Competition, which showcases tens of various summer fruit species grown in the UAE," he added.

For his part, Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Committee's Planning & 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 AED3.5 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."

The festival, he explained, will feature the ‘Global Village of Dates’ that will serve as a bespoke arena for the public display of global varieties of date fruit from around the world and a direct sale outlet for the festival’s visitors wishing to purchase various types of the fruit.

“The festival will provide a valuable opportunity for date farmers and producers in the UAE to communicate directly with date investors, exporters and producers coming from many countries, such as India, Britain, Canada, Bangladesh, Morocco and Lebanon, which will contribute to informing the participants about the UAE’s strategy for developing the dates sector and investment opportunities up for grabs in the country. This will also help Emirati farmers learn about the latest developments in the field, including advanced farming techniques, and exchange experiences with the participants, who will come from various countries, including the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Sudan, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the United States of America and the State of Israel.”

He added that the Date Auction will also be held daily throughout the 10-day festival.

Al Mazrouei explained that a total of 18 competitions will be held throughout the event. He said, “Some of these will be targeting farmers participating in the Date Auction that will include seven categories: Alfard, Khalas, Dabbas, Bumaan, Alshishi, AlSokari (Maftal), which is open to the farmers coming from the UAE and the rest of GCC states, and the Elite Round, during which multiple varieties of at least five luxurious types of dates have to be presented. There will also be the Date Packaging Competition, which is divided into two categories: additive-free dates and stuffed dates, where farmers, producers and young people in this field can participate.”

Al Mazrouei added that the festival will include the competition ‘Olio Nuovo Liwa Sensorial’ in collaboration with Emmanuelle Dechelette, Olive Oil Sommelier, the Founder of the company Olio Nuovo Days. Masterclasses will also be organised for both adults and kids to educate the public on the importance of olive oil and how to use it as a cooking ingredient. This is in addition to the International Cooking Competition involving dates, olive oil and the Arabian Moringa peregrina seed oil. This will be coupled as well with a Honey Competition in two categories: Liquid Honey and Wax Honey, along with the Photography and Drawing competitions, which will also come in two categories: Palm & Dates, and Wildlife & Marine Life in Al Dhafra Region.

“The event will also witness a range of accompanying edutainment activities, including competitions involving questions about heritage and dates, poetic soirées, musicals, and exciting kids shows. This will all culminate in the awards ceremony where the competition and auction winners will receive their prizes."

“Registration in the event is available via the festival’s APP on the Google Play and Apple stores. The interested companies can register in the event and learn about it through the festival’s Guidebook to get informed on the services available for the participations, competition results, and all other relevant updates,” Al Mazrouei concluded.