Liwa Date Festival ends in compliance with Covid-19 norms
No visitors allowed to the fest; prizes worth Dh8 million distributed to participants
The Liwa Date Festival that celebrates the UAE’s culture and heritage and supports local agriculture produce concluded in the Abu Dhabi emirate's Al Dhafra on Sunday.
The 17th edition of the festival was held from July 15 to 25 and prizes worth over Dh8 million were given out.
Each year, thousands of farmers compete to win prizes for the heaviest date branch and the best fruit basket.
The festival aims to introduce date farmers to modern agricultural practices and facilitates the exchange of expertise on innovative ways to produce the best quality date.
This year, the festival was organised in compliance with all precautionary measures owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Visitors were barred entry and only date farmers and participants in the competition were allowed to take part. The participants had to present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test report as the eligibility norm for the competitions.
The event offers an opportunity to highlight the significance of palm trees in the Emirati culture and also to taste half-ripe Ratab dates.
In the UAE’s rich history, the palm tree occupies place as a national symbol of heritage and a major source for food security.
Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chairman, Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi, said 22 competitions were held during the festival.
Farmers from across the UAE took part in 11 Ratab Al Dabbas Mazayna; seven fruit competitions for all those who are big on kitchen garden farming; three competitions for the model farm from participants who belonged to eastern and western Liwa and Al Dhafra; and a handicraft competition.
Al Mazrouei said that the first day of the competition saw the Ratab Al Dabbas Mazayna, for which 25 prizes worth Dh446,000 were given out, and another 15 prizes worth Dh234,000 were distributed for the largest A'adj.
The fruit is highly nutritious, while the trunk, fronds and other parts of the tree are traditionally used in buildings, making handicrafts and tools, which are displayed in the annual festival.
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