Curtain came down on the 8th Local Dates Festival 2023 on Saturday evening at Souq Waqif. The festival attracted more than 40,000 visitors comprising citizens, residents and tourists. Around 219,760 kg of various varieties of dates were sold during the festival, from July 27 to August 5.

The festival, jointly organised by the Agricultural Affairs Department of the Ministry of Municipality and the Souq Waqif Administration, captivated attendees with its array of delightful activities.

With a remarkable participation of 100 local date farms and three fruit farms, the festival showcased the finest produce and flavours from the region, celebrating the richness of Qatar’s agricultural heritage.

The ‘Khalas’ variety of dates ranked first in terms of sales, with about 92,217 kilograms, followed by the ‘Shishi’ variety with sales of 44,496 kilograms, the ‘Khnizi’ variety with sales of 44,452 kilograms, and the ‘Barhi’ variety with 21,085 kilograms. The rest of the other items amounted to 17,510 kilograms. The total value of the dates sold at the festival was about QR2 million.

Additionally, the total quantity of fruits sold was 1,203 kilograms, including 855 kilograms of figs, 318 kilograms of almonds, and 30 kilograms of pomegranates.

The increase in the sales of fresh dates during the eighth edition of this year was approximately 13 percent compared to the previous edition. The seventh edition saw the sale of 195 tonnes of fresh dates during the 13 days of the festival.

On the sidelines of the 8th Local Dates Festival, a competition was held between farms to determine the heaviest date palm of the Khalas variety. Sixteen farms participated in the competition, and the winner was Al Baida Farm, which secured the first place with the heaviest fruit weighing 30.1 kilograms. Al Baida Farm received a cash prize of QR10,000.

As many as 21 farms participated in the second competition, which focused on determining the farms with the lowest number of fruits -- shishi, barhi andkhunaizi. The first place was shared by three farms: Wahid Al Shaflahieh Company, Mubarak Ghanem Rashid Al Juffali Al Nuaimi Farm, and Al Badia Farm. Each of them received a cash prize of QR10,000.

The organisation of the Dates Festival is a reflection of the prominence that the State of Qatar places on supporting and promoting local production of various national products, including dates. The festival also aims to provide assistance to farm owners and individuals interested in palm cultivation by promoting modern farming techniques and exchanging experiences to produce the finest and best varieties of dates. Through these efforts, the country aims to upgrade its date production and enhance the quality of dates available in the market.Around 219,760 kg of various varieties of dates were sold during the festival

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