Date Palm Festival begins on quiet note in Capital

ABU DHABI - The first morning hours of the fourth International Date Palm Festival were quiet, with only a few visitors strolling through Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre’s Hall 11, where the six-day festival is 
taking place.


Silvia Radan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2010, 10:28 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:07 PM

A few school groups staged some mini theatre performances but that was about it for the morning entertainment.

The promised cooking with dates competition, the traditional folklore and all other cultural activities were reserved for the afternoon, when the festival was officially inaugurated by its patron, Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.

On his tour of the Festival, Shaikh Mansour had plenty to enjoy. One of the most eye-catching pavillion was the Al Foah Company. Simple dates, chocolate dates, date syrup and very pretty wrapped up dates were all there to admire.

“Our main business this year is the ‘Zadina’ products, which we launched a few months ago. It is dates wrapped in chocolate or chocolate filled with date syrup and other flavours like strawberry,” Saeed Al Hamli, general manager of Al Foah, told Khaleej Times.

“So far, you could only buy them in our ‘Zadina’ showrooms. We have one in Khalidiya area in Abu Dhabi and one in Dubai Mall. We will soon open one more in Al Ain Mall and another one in Abu Dhabi’s Central Market, which is completed and about to open,” he revealed.

In the Omani area of the exhibition, Abdulaziz Al Sibani seemed to be the busiest salesman in the festival. His “Dates World” shop offered the highly sought after traditional Omani dates sweets.

“All our products are made with dates from Nizwa — where we come from and where the shop is located — and various types of nuts,” said Al Sibani.

The simple, but beautiful looking pavillion of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage is serving up dates and Arabic coffee to anyone who walks in. From “Shi-Shi” to “khalas”, several types of dates are available here for tasting, all from Al Ain.

There is no water available to wash down the sweet taste of dates, but there is Freshco’s stand nearby, which is offering cold dates milk shake for tasting, a rather healthy and tasty product made of cow’s milk and dates with no added sugar.

Researchers, farming technology, as well as agriculture and other governmental representatives are also present in the exhibition.

“The Fourth International Date Palm Festival presents a remarkable journey into the heritage, tradition and benefits of the date fruit. The festival also highlights the current challenges faced by date farmers, modern farming methods and opportunities for local and international marketing,” said Qaboos Khalid, a senior official.

More news from