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A date with dates

A date with dates

DATE LOVERS ARE in for a treat this Ramadan. A visit to Deira Fish market is ample proof to the wealth of dates available in this region. An alley at the end of the market offers fresh dates all round the year.



by

Muaz Shabandri

Published: Wed 10 Sep 2008, 8:22 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:51 PM

"People of all nationalities enjoy savouring dates. Dates from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, UAE and other Gulf countries are available throughout the year," says Saeedu, an Indian date vendor who has been selling dates for the last 30 years.

He adds, "The variety of dates on offer increases during Ramadan. It is the peak season and sales shoot up considerably during this time of the year.”

Dates are packed with nutrients and are a principal source of energy for anyone fasting during Ramadan. Highly sugary at the core, dates provide substantial amount of calories also. A box of dates can cost you anywhere between Dh30 and Dh190 at the market depending on the selected class of dates.

Bateel, an upscale gourmet confectionery boutique, specialising in premium dates offers high quality dates at its six outlets spread across the UAE.

Alfred Hunter, Deputy GM, Bateel says, "Several new gourmet products and packaging designs are launched ahead of Ramadan. It is the busiest time of the year and a third of our sales take place during the Ramadan season."

The UAE has been at the forefront of date production and is currently the world's fifth largest date producer according to the UN Food and agriculture organisation report. The UAE produces over 120 varieties of dates.

Speaking to City Times, Mansour Ebrahim, Head of Date Palm Development Section, Ministry of Environment said, "The ministry provides farmers with fertilisers and inputs on tissue culture to increase the production of dates. The ministry also undertakes marketing programmes to promote the dates produced in the UAE."

Mature date palms can produce 80–120 kilogrammes of dates per harvest season, although they do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required. A 100 gramme portion of fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy.

Dates ripen in four stages. The ripening process begins at the Kimri or unripe stage. Khalal is the full grown fruit which is crunchy whereas Rutab is the soft and juicy stage. The last step in the ripening process is known as Tamr is where the dates are dried for storage.

Dates are available in Dubai at the Aweer Fruit and Vegetable market, Deira Fish market and all leading hypermarkets.

Most Popular Dates

Variety Price

Lulu Dh10/Kg

Khallas Dh10/Kg

Burhei Dh10/Kg

Most Costly Dates

Variety Price

Ajwa Dh250/Kg

Khidry Dh120/Kg

citytime@emirates.net.ae


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