UAE: Dates season is here; know more about rutab, the favourite choice of many

The semi-ripe dates possess a soft and moist texture that effortlessly melts in the mouth

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Ruqayya Al Qaydi

Published: Sat 8 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jul 2023, 4:35 PM

Summer is here and it’s the season to fill the date plates, symbolising the generosity and Emirati heritage.

The appearance of ‘rutab’ or semi-ripe dates marks the beginning of the date season, captivating palates with its unique qualities. Often commanding high prices, rutab dates are an esteemed commodity sourced from Oman, known for its early date production, which quickly finds its way into local markets.

The joyous arrival of rutab dates is met with special celebration before locally-grown date trees begin yielding their fruits, eventually stabilising prices to their usual rates.


For discerning palates

Dates undergo three stages: bisr, rutab, and tamr, with all three stages being edible.

Known for their exceptional texture and flavour, rutab dates have emerged as a favourite among discerning palates — captivating taste buds with their softness, caramel-like taste, and limited availability.

Rutab dates, harvested when they are still semi-ripe, offer a delightful experience for date enthusiasts. Unlike their fully ripe counterparts, rutab dates possess a soft and moist texture that effortlessly melts in the mouth.

Beyond their texture, rutab dates boast a flavour profile that has garnered a devoted following. These dates offer an exquisite sweetness that is both rich and syrupy, creating a gustatory experience that keeps people coming back for more.


Adding to their allure, rutab dates are only available for a limited time. Their exclusivity and shorter window of availability contribute to their desirability and turn them into a much sought-after delicacy.

Rutab dates are also believed to possess a higher nutritional content compared to fully ripe dates. The increased moisture content helps retain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a potentially healthier choice.

Favourable for diabetics

In the rutab stage, dates are rich in moisture and offer a generous dose of natural sugars. When in the tamr stage, dates experience a decrease in moisture content while their sugar levels rise. This makes the earlier stages of dates more favourable for individuals with diabetes.

Rutab dates are often pressed and packed for storage at this stage. The shelf life of rutab dates, when properly stored, is approximately eight months, which can extend to a year when frozen. On the other hand, the shelf life of tamr dates is much longer and can last a full year without freezing.

Regarding calorie content, tamr have more than double the calories of rutab dates. This is due to the absence of water, resulting in a higher concentration of sugars and calories.

For example, 100 grams of rutab dates contain approximately 145 calories, while the same weight of tamr dates contains around 280 calories.

Rich in antioxidants

Both tamr and rutab dates share numerous health benefits. They are believed to aid in disease prevention due to their rich antioxidant content.

Additionally, rutab dates are known to facilitate childbirth by helping to widen the cervix. Dates assist in regulating blood sugar levels by providing antioxidants and fibre that prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar.

While the preference for rutab dates continues to grow, it is important to note that individual tastes may vary. Some date connoisseurs may still favour bisir or fully ripe dates for their unique qualities.

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

Published: Sat 8 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jul 2023, 4:35 PM

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