The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi is organising the 14th Liwa Date Festival, which will be held from 18th to 28th July in Liwa, Al Dhafra Region, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The annual event seeks to facilitate the exchange of technical expertise among farmers and transform the date palm tree into a symbol of Emirati perseverance in the past, a source of wealth in the present, and a guarantee of prosperity for the future.The palm tree which has played a great role in catering to the nutritional and daily life needs of the human communities in the desert, is the source of the most beloved fruit that is in the very center of the festival.
The festival’s supreme organising committee, which is chaired by Staff Major General Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi, held a meeting, along with the committee’s members and representatives of official authorities supporting the festival, to discuss their overall preparations and to guarantee that the festival will achieve its goals.
The upcoming festival is expected to attract a large audience for its events and activities, which will make it a forum for exchanging expertise and knowledge with all those concerned with date agriculture, as well as for promoting date products and helping to achieve sustainability, which was encouraged by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan through activities and programmes that supported date farmers and workers and encouraged the preservation and care of palm trees.
The Festival will host outstanding events, notably competitions, date auctions, lectures that aim at raising awareness on the importance of the palm tree, special workshops for children, poetry evenings, popular games and others.
Traditional Market is one of the key highlights of the Liwa Date Festival as it sheds light on Emirati heritage and reinforces the cultural legacy the Emirati ancestors bequeathed to their sons and daughters.
The festival aims to achieve a series of goals, such as preserving the UAE’s cultural heritage, encouraging the preservation of palm trees, promoting economic development in Liwa, guiding farmers about the methods of modern agriculture and how to care for date trees, encouraging farmers to produce quality dates without chemical fertilisers, and organising the annual festival to enable farmers to interact and exchange expertise.
Al Mazrouei said that the festival is being organised to showcase the heritage of Sheikh Zayed and is an important national event, which is inspired by the vision of the founder of the country’s agricultural advancement, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established the historic stature of the palm tree and helped in its preservation, while safeguarding an ancient folk heritage and passing it down to future generations.
The Liwa Date Festival has gained considerable attention and recognition on account of its increasing role in tourism and economy, and its role in linking the local date and palm tree handicrafts to tourism and economy.
A visitor can find a model of the flourishing oasis decorated with meticulously-woven palm leaves. There, he has a chance to discover all products made of date palm, in addition to date sweets, and Jumar (the milky-white inner part of the tree heart). The visitor can also have a close look at every aspect that is related to the daily life of the Bedouin family and the different crafts, such as Al Sadu (a traditional form of weaving).
The Liwa Date Festival dedicates a diverse programme and dozens of exceptional activities to children of all ages. The activities for this year include theatre performances, cultural activities, stories of Al Rawi (storyteller), and wide-ranging art workshops.
The Children’s Village is the must visit spot for children, not only can learn about the rich Emirati heritage, but they can also have fun and practise different forms of art. At the Village, the children explore the history of Liwa and the different forts. They also learn about the significance of the palm tree.