SHARJAH, 21st July, 2022 (WAM) – The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has officially inaugurated the 6th edition of Al Dhaid Date Festival at Expo Al Dhaid, bringing together hundreds of palm farmers and productive families, as well as a number of official bodies from all across the UAE.
Themed “The Aroma of The Past… The Blossoming Present,” the four-day festival was opened in the presence of Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Chamber, Sheikh Majid bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Head of the Department of Suburbs and Villages Affairs in Sharjah, Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, SCCI’s Director-General, and Abdulaziz Shattaf, Assistant Director-General for Business and Communication Sector at SCCI, and Mohamed Mosbeh Al Tunaiji, the festival’s general coordinator.
Several directors, senior officials, and representatives of government entities taking part in the event were also present. This is in addition to chairmen of municipal councils, and a delegation from the executive team of the Buraidah Date Festival from Saudi Arabia.
The high-profile guests toured the show, visited a number of stands, and took in some folkloric performances and competitions.
Thousands of visitors flocked to the festival on the very first day to view the finest types and sorts of dates and buy stunning handicrafts made from multipurpose palm fronds.
The first day of the festival also witnessed an impressive turnout of palm farmers and owners from Sharjah and other emirates who were keen to take part in the event’s competitions, which offer cash prizes totaling AED1 million for 145 lucky winners in six categories.
The categories include Al Ratab Beauty, Largest Dates Branch, Best Lemons, Fig Contest, Al Heseel Date Contest, and Most Beautiful Dates Basket (only for women). Each category offers rewards of between AED1,000 and AED25,000.
Underscoring the importance of the festival, Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, stressed that the UAE is one of the top 10 date producing countries in the world as well as one of the major exporters of the fruit. He also noted that the UAE’s date industry makes up about 30 percent of all import and export activity in the nation’s international trade.
Al Owais emphasised that the chamber’s strategic plans aim to strengthen the UAE’s food security, as well as to promote and expand the palm farming and date production sectors on a local level, which is why the festival was organized.
Al Awadi stated that the festival has become one of the chamber’s major initiatives through which it seeks to achieve both economic and social goals, such as preserving the historical significance of the palm tree, supporting owners of palm-producing farms, and promoting sustainable agricultural development, in addition to igniting and reviving the local economic movement and educating farmers about modern agriculture and environmental protection.
Mohamed Mosbeh Al Tunaiji said this year’s Al Dhaid Date Festival has seen an increase in the number of participants who are eager to show off the best dates and fruit products and win competitions. “The chamber is keen to diversify and develop these competitions with each new edition in order to draw attention to the traditional value of the palm tree and encourage its cultivation,” Al Tunaiji added.
The executive team of Buraidah Date Festival exchanged memorial gifts with Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, and invited the Sharjah Chamber to take part in the festival’s forthcoming edition in August so they may learn from one another and share successful experiences.