ABU DHABI, 18th September, 2023 (WAM) — Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the second edition of the Liwa Dates Festival and Auction will kick off on Thursday and continue until 30th September in Liwa City, Al Dhafra Region, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The festival seeks to enhance the role of the palm tree and its associated industries and support the local products, as well as the agricultural sector and the dates production industry, which plays a vital role in economic diversification and contributes to the national economy.
This event will also provide the opportunity to producers to make the most of the production of dates, seek new marketing channels and support the local produce to enhance the food security system.
Liwa Date Festival and Auction also aims to create a market and a specialised platform through which farmers can promote and sell Emirati dates and exchange experiences with their peers from other countries on modern farming methods and palm tree care, in addition to contributing to the preservation of the nation’s cultural and agricultural heritage.
The festival is being organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Emirates Heritage Club, with the participation of the guest of honour, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The festival’s organising committee announced the details of its second edition during a press conference held today at the Mohammed Khalaf Majlis, attended by Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee’s Planning and Projects Department, and Mubarak Ali Alqusaili Al Mansoori, Director of Date Auction at the Festival.
The festival’s second edition reaffirms the importance of sustaining heritage festivals and their significant role in promoting national identity, in line with the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established the foundations of overall sustainability, Al Mazrouei said.
The festival’s second edition coincides with the Year of Sustainability, under the theme, “Today for Tomorrow,” which was announced by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, reflecting his great interest in sustainability as a major national priority and highlighting the rich Emirati heritage in sustainable practices, especially the central role of the date palm tree in Emirati culture, he added.
Al Mazrouei also explained that the new edition of the festival will involve 19 diverse competitions with a total of 156 prizes worth over AED4 million.
These competitions will encompass eight date categories within the main competition as well as five honey competitions.
It will also include competitions in photography and painting in two categories, “Palm and Dates” and “Al Dhafra Environment,” in addition to two international competitions for olive oil and international cooking.
Regarding the painting and photography competitions, Al Mazrouei said that the photography competition received 1,094 entries from 156 participants this year, compared to 836 entries from 124 participants last year. As for the painting competition, more than 160 paintings from 104 artists have been registered for the second edition, compared to 156 paintings from 117 artists in the first edition, he added.
He also noted that exhibitions for photography and painting at the festival site will be held, enabling visitors to enjoy the beauty of these artistic works.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will be this edition’s guest of honour, where ties and agricultural experiences will be exchanged and bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries will be bolstered in all fields.
This year, the festival will offer a rich programme of accompanying events to visitors, including a range of competitions dedicated to dates, honey, olive oil, cooking, drawing and photography.
An International Dates Village will also be featured along with a heritage village, a honey village, dates auction and various heritage activities that will be held in the festival’s arena, as well as live performances featuring Emirati crafts and training and educational programmes for visitors of different age groups.
The festival will also feature exhibition stands of government and private organisations, which will showcase and sell local and international dates and their products. These stands will also act as platforms where farmers from all over the world will exchange their experiences and views.