Date festival kicks off in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, November 23, 2010
The Fourth International Date Palm Festival has got off to an exciting start with a wide display of exotic variety of dates, and unique entertainment activities in Abu Dhabi.
The Date Palm Festival which opened on Monday brings alive the Arab world’s age old ties with the date palm fruit, national pavilions and workshops on the production and international marketing of the date fruit.
With a fantastic line up of entertainment and educational programmes- many of them being staged for the first time ever, the festival promises to be six days of fun and edutainment for families, manufacturers and other visitors.
It is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and chairman of the executive board of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre has been transformed into a desert paradise with over 100 exhibitors occupying over 5600 sq m and displaying date fruits as varied as Khalas, Khastawi, Khalti, Mejhoul and Dayiri, said Turret Media, the event organisers.
Oman, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco are hosting national pavilions for the first time at the festival, giving visitors a glimpse of their culture and heritage and an exotic selection of date fruits.
“The festival presents a remarkable journey into the heritage, tradition and benefits of the date fruit. The festival also highlights the current challenges faced by date farmers, modern farming methods and opportunities for local and international marketing,“ said Qaboos Khalid, director of the festival, Turret Media.
'The festival will also announce the winners of its cultural photography competition. A celebrity chef will demonstrate winning recipes submitted online by the public at the live cooking station.'
'Visitors will also get to sample a variety of delicious recipes including entrées, desserts, main dishes and milkshakes made using date fruits. All the photography entries are currently on display at the festival,' he added.
Al Foah Company, an Emirati firm known for its quality dates, is showcasing its innovative, first of its kind “Zadina” products at the festival.
“Zadina” was launched last September, its product range includes in addition to dates a large range of date-based food and beverage products that are being introduced for the first time worldwide.
The new products include fresh date (besr) juice made entirely of the pure juice of organic besr-stage dates with absolutely no additives or flavors (besr is the first stage in the dates ripening process which is followed by the famously tender rutab stage).
Saeed Salem Mesarri Al Hamli, General Manager of Al Foah Company, said “Al Foah participation comes in line with Abu Dhabi government’s strategy that focuses on enhancing the date palm sector in the country and making Al Foah a global ambassador for Emarati dates and one of the leading government companies that contribute to the development of this sector.'
'We are showcasing some of the best Emarati date products that are produced by local farms which will help open channels of communication between the producers and the manufacturers of dates,' he added.
The Zadina products include date ice cream available in 12 flavors, cakes and cookies, fine jams with dates, other fruits and spices available in 10 flavors, a caramel made of date honey, truffles, chocolate coated dates and chocolate coated date pieces infused with other delicious spices such as cinnamon, ginger and rose.
'As a country with such an abundance of date palm trees, it is only fitting that we should hold an event of this nature which will bring manufacturers, processing companies and experts together to share ideas and discuss ways to market our products internationally, ' said Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, head of the Organizing Committee, director and chief technical advisor of Date Palm Research Unit Dept. UAE University, and Secretary General of Khalifa International Date Palm Award.
The Community of Nutrition Department at Al Tawaam Hospital has organised a Date Palm Oasis at the event to give visitors a real life feeling of being in a desert oasis surrounded by date palm trees.
The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is also hosting a Dates Tasting Area which allows visitors to taste around 200 varieties of dates from all around the world.
Children visiting the Kids Zone at the festival are being treated to a host of entertainment activities such as creative art, face painting, mud sculpting and personalised photography.
They can also enjoy Date Tree Climbing, an exciting experience that allows children to challenge themselves. The Date Theatre Area of the festival has around 12 schools taking part in lively mix of competitions, lectures and specialized film shows.-TradeArabia News Service