A stall displaying different varieties of dates during an earlier edition of the Liwa Date Festival. — File photos
Abu Dhabi - Six million dirhams worth of prizes will be at stake during the annual Liwa Date Festival to be held from July 22-30 at the Liwa City in the Capital.
The nine-day competition in the Western Region of the country offers a total of 220 prizes, according to a press release issued here on Wednesday.
Over 11 years since the launch of the first edition, the festival has turned into a major event on the calendar of the annual tourist festivals in Al Gharbia region.
The festival, which is being held to celebrate the heritage of the Emirati ancestors and revive their diverse traditions and unique way of life, attracts about 70,000 tourists and visitors.
The prizes will be given for the Mazaynas (beauty competitions) for the best dates, best lemons and best mangoes, as well as the Traditional Market, the Dar Fruits Basket competition (Fruits of the House), the Best Heritage Model competition, the Model Farm Award, and the activities of the Children’s Village.
“The festival aims at providing a unique opportunity for the different generations to discover and learn about the heritage, and the traditions of the ancestors,” explained Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, the director of the Liwa Date Festival.
He added that the palm tree was and will remain a symbol of the history and culture of the Arab society, in general, and the Emirati society, in particular.
“The historical status of the palm tree requires us to exert all the necessary efforts that are needed to enhance the role of the palm tree and dates in our daily life and preserve their eminent and esteemed position,” he reckons.
Al Mazrouei cited the United Nations statistics to point out that the UAE had succeeded, over the last decade, in planting about 130 million trees, including 22 million palm trees, which constitutes 20 per cent of the total number of palm trees in the world.
“We are still striving to achieve a global reality that is worth our pride,” he remarked.
He reiterated that the UAE remained keen on preserving the country’s historical and national legacy through the efforts aimed at encouraging the farmers to expand and develop the cultivation of good varieties of dates.
Mazrouei hailed the support of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The new edition will also feature the Best Heritage Model Competition. The rules for the competition stipulate the use of natural materials in the artwork, in any of the fields of the deep-rooted Emirati heritage.
The jury will take into consideration the number of heritage pieces used in the artwork, the degree of workmanship, and the harmony between the used materials. The artwork should represent an aspect of the old way of life, and the dimensions of the model must range between 1x1 metre and 2x2 metres at highest.
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