A date palm museum featuring a large ensemble of images, photographs, cut-outs and display screens will be major attraction of this year's Emirates International Date Palm Festival in Abu Dhabi.
Live demonstrations by craftsmen at the museum will serve as the key highlight of the eighth edition of the festival, which will run from November 24 to 29 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the U.A.E., Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi food Control Authority (ADFCA), the event is organised by ADFCA in association with Date Palm Friends Society and SIAL Middle East.
The festival will bring together the largest exporters and producers of dates from the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Oman, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Iran, a press release issued by ADFCA said on Saturday.
In addition to the U.A.E. national pavilion, over 200 exhibitors have already confirmed their participation with dedicated pavilions.
The heritage event will showcase a wide variety of the finest dates and the U.A.E.'s rich cultural heritage associated with date palm. The festival will also feature various social, cultural and artistic activities, besides offering discounts up to 40 per cent on a wide range of date varieties.
Mohammad Jalal Al Raisi, head of the event organising committee, said: "Dates are important crops in the U.A.E. and an integral part of our history and cultural heritage. With the rising production and consumption, today dates have a strong presence in international markets. Food industry recognises dates as an important ingredient in preparing pastries, popular sweets, juices, among others due to its numerous nutritional and health benefits. It is indeed noteworthy that our leadership extends special attention to date palms by establishing dedicated centres and organising numerous exhibitions and festivals.” He said this year, several new activities and programmes are planned for visitors.
Fadi Jamil Saad, General Manager of Emirates International Date Palm Festival, said: "This year, we expect to draw over 200 exhibitors from more than 16 countries as well as 20,000 visitors.”
Among other activities lined up for this year are a series of entertainment, educational and fun initiatives including an educational maze and a massive message board that will invite visitors to leave short messages. Palm tree climbing, another key activity, will give visitors an opportunity to take ‘selfies' while climbing a date palm for posting on social media websites.
The food preparation area, a date tasting zone, heritage tents, and kids' zone will also serve as crowd pullers at the event.
The festival will coincide with SIAL Middle East, the region's fastest growing food and beverage exhibition, which will run from November 24 to 26.