The 19th edition of Liwa Date Festival will feature more than 20 competitions with prizes worth Dh8 million given to hundreds of farmers, top officials announced during a press conference.

Under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, the festival will run from July 17 to 30 in Liwa City, Al Dhafra region.

Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Planning and Projects Administration at the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi, noted the annual event brings together stakeholders involved in the agriculture sector.

Al Mazrouei said the aim of the event is to highlight the Emirati heritage, support all local products, spread the culture of agriculture in society, showcase UAE’s intensive efforts in promoting sustainable food practices, and encourage community participation to support national sustainability strategies.

Al Mazrouei revealed that the festival, which coincides with the Year of Sustainability, will feature 23 main competitions for which 293 prizes worth Dh8.3 million have been allocated.

The competitions include best dates, fruits, model farms, beautiful basket, heritage model, in addition to a range of other cultural and heritage contests and events.

Mubarak Ali Al Qusaili Al Mansouri, Director of Mazayna at the festival, explained that the best dates contests will cover the following varieties: Dabbas, Khalas, Fardh, Khenaizi, Buma’an, Shishi, largest date clusters, and Khalas Al-Ain. The fruits competitions will include the following categories: mango, lemon, fig, and the local fruits basket.

Al Mansouri pointed out that registration and participation will be through the festival’s mobile app, which also provides details about the competitions’ terms and conditions, the results, latest updates, the entries deadlines, and the dates set by the organising committee.

“The general conditions for fruit competitions require that the participating crops should be of the UAE local produce harvested this year from the participant's own farm or home garden. Also, upon registration, participants must submit farmland or house ownership documents. Each individual can only compete in two categories of fruit competitions, and the winning farms or houses will be subjected to inspection and scrutiny by the jury.”

For her part, Samira Omar Al Ameri, Head of Media Department at Emirates Heritage Club, said that the club through its pavilion is eager to highlight the cultural dimension of the traditional Emirati handicrafts and how they reflect the particularity of the UAE society.

Al Ameri pointed out that the workshops include traditional handicrafts related to palm products, such as Sadu and khous, as well as a workshop to teach the art of Rababa (old musical instrument) to children.

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