The Liwa Date Festival is opening its doors to thousands of visitors today as heritage games and shows, hand-made items and over 200 types of locally produced dates greet them.
Over 70,000 Emiratis, residents and tourists are expected to rush to the eighth edition of the festival as they prepare for Ramadan.
Among the most significant events is the daily Date Competition which will help visitors select the best wet-dates (Rutab) as over 2,600 farmers compete to win the prizes amounting to more than Dh 4 million in total. The standards for competing have been set by date experts.
A cooking competition will challenge chefs from all across the UAE to create dishes and desserts containing dates as their core ingredient, as well as local dishes which will be available for everyone.Guests will be able to purchase souvenirs directly from 300 Emirati families participating in the traditional market.
This year also marks the second annual Mango and Lemon Competition which was launched in last year’s edition. This competition has added zest to commemorate the local tradition of adding a piece of mango or lemon with every batch of dates being served or given as a gift from family to another.
Participating farmers will be taught the latest and most efficient agricultural methods including the growth of healthy palm trees by focusing on quality and the minimum use of chemical additives.
Scenes from the past will be painted as Emirati artists exhibit work dedicated to UAE heritage while speakers tell stories to educate children on life before the discovery of oil.