Tallest date palm contest to recognise farming skills

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Tallest date palm contest to recognise farming skills
Care and dedication are needed to grow tall palms.

Abu Dhabi - The tallest date palm tree competition proved highly popular among the farmers as it highlighted their efforts and care for growing the trees.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jul 2015, 3:53 PM

The Liwa Dates Festival welcomed, for the first time in its 11-year history, a new competition that is neither about ratab - half ripe dates - nor about the UAE heritage.
The new contest celebrates palm tree farming skills and the passion for the Arab's tree of life.
The tallest date palm tree competition proved highly popular among the farmers as it highlighted their efforts and care for growing the trees.
Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Director of Projects Management at the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, states that the festival developed new and improved activities this year.
"We came up with new competitions that recognise people's work all year long," he said.
The tallest date palm tree competition will be held once every three years, he added.
This year, only palms located in Liwa oasis will enter the competition. There are over 40 million palm trees in the UAE and a good few million of them are in Liwa.
Obaid Al Mazrouei, Director of the festival said the competition will recognise the hard work of farmers, since plenty of care is required for tress to grow tall.
"The height of the palm tree is not related to the quality of its dates, but having this competition will help us establish a record for the tallest date palm trees in Liwa. The information can be used for all kind of purposes, even tourism," said Al Mazrouei.
"It is not difficult to grow a tall palm tree, but it takes a lot of care and dedication. To reach a great height, the tree must be 50 years old or more, so the competition is also a way to say thank you to the people who are taking care of these old palms," he added.
Since the opening of the festival, nearly 100 farmers have entered the competition, and more are expected before the deadline. Daily, a group of judges visit the orchards, measuring the palm trees from base to the top leaf. The top three winners will be awarded Dh50,000 for the first place, Dh30,000 for the second and Dh20,000 for the third place.
reporters@khaleejtimes.com



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