Dates festival to showcase 500 varieties
Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2012
More than 500 different kinds of dates from 18 countries and new products including perfume, organic dates, date ice cream, accessories made from palm trees and more will take centre stage at an upcoming date palm festival in Abu Dhabi.
The sixth annual Emirates International Date Palm Festival will run from November 26 to December 1 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and supported by the Date Palm Friends Society, the date palm festival will feature around 200 exhibitors from the countries that include Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the UAE.
Some of the biggest and most respected date producers in the region confirmed to participate at this year’s date palm festival include: Al Dhahra Agriculture, Khalifa Fund, Al Wathba Marionet, Onaizah Dates Factory, Al Ain Dairy and Al Foah.
Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, chairman, Al Foah Company, said: “Participation at the festival is an opportunity to highlight the identity of national date products, which also represent the authenticity of the UAE society and its culture.”
“Over the past years we have witnessed high demand from the public visiting the festival. Our stand reflects our heritage as it enables us to highlight the efforts of the UAE in maintaining the date palm tree, an integral part of their heritage, and a symbol of civilization for the children of the UAE.”
“This is notable in those that inherited date palm trees, and have taken care of them since the ancient times,” Al Hajeri added.
The date palm festival will also feature a stunning array of mouth-watering dates from two new pavilions this year being Libya and Tunisia.
The introduction of these two new pavilions came with the overwhelming response the countries have had with the demand for dates, especially Tunisia, which harvested 6,000 tons of organic dates in 2011 of which 4,000 tons were exported, as reported by Freshplaza.com, an in an independent news source for companies operating in the global fruit and vegetable sector.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for the Festival and ADFCA official spokesperson, said: “The festival provides a unique platform for professionals in the food industry to have access to a diverse selection of the most delicious dates of the highest quality.
“We expect to have more than 18,000 visitors to attend the date palm festival this year. We look forward to welcoming returning and new exhibitors and buyers to this year’s festival, and are optimistic about the enterprising relationships that will be formed at this encompassing festival of dates.”
Dates have always been an important part of Middle Eastern culture. Before the discovery of oil and when food was scarce, dates and camel milk were staple foodstuffs to the UAE’s native population.
Currently, according to UAE University’s research programme, the average annual per capita consumption of dates in date-producing countries is between 150 and 185 Kilograms a year.
In addition to providing a network and business building platform for professionals involved in the date trading industry, the date palm festival will provide a variety of fun filled activities for the whole family.
Family features at this year’s date palm festival include Date Tasting Area, Date Tree Climbing Competition, Photo Gallery Competition, Date Tree Planting, Heritage Village, Date Palm Theatre and a Kids Area, among others. – TradeArabia News Service