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In Praise of Dates

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The festival celebrates an integral and authentic symbol of Emirati heritage 
The versatile date palm and the date fruit have played an important role in fulfilling the dietary needs of generations of desert communities, including those in the United Arab Emirates.  The fruit is highly nutritious, while the trunk, fronds and other parts of the tree were traditionally used in buildings, handicrafts and tools. The Liwa Date Festival highlights these and other important aspects of the date palm. 


Held in the Al Dhafra Region in western Abu Dhabi emirate, the Liwa Date Festival is an annual event that introduces date producers to modern agricultural practices and facilitates the exchange of expertise on the best ways to produce the highest quality date. 


The festival also is one of Abu Dhabi’s most significant heritage events and tourist attractions that highlights the many ways dates have impacted the cultural, heritage and economic life of the country. It provides a great place for visitors to learn about dates and to sample the most popular date varieties grown in the UAE.


The festival’s main event is the competition for the best date fruit.  Emirati farms vie for the title of best date grower. There also are date auctions, where dates can sell for over AED 6,000 (USD 1,650) per kilo; lectures on date farming; poetry evenings, and an exhibition space for date farming equipment and date products.

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The selection process for the best date fruit competition involves judging thousands of baskets of Ratab (semi-ripe dates). 

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