Al Dhaid Dates Festival announces the seventh edition competitions dates and conditions; 4-day event starts on July 27.
The Organizing Committee of the “Al Dhaid Dates Festival”, organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), announced the details of the festival’s competitions in its seventh edition.
The four-day festival will be held from 27 to 30 July at the Al Dhaid Expo Center, outlining the dates of contests and competitions for various dates varieties, as well as the value and number of prizes, their criteria and conditions.
The committee referred that the festival will include many competitions for which prizes amounting to more than one million dirhams have been allocated. The prize money will be distributed to 130 winners of these competitions classified in main categories, which are 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.
The committee declared that Al Ratab Khanzi Beauty, and Largest Dates Branch (40 kilograms and above for Khasab Dates, 50 kilograms for other varieties) are the first competitions to start on July 27; to be followed by Al-Khalas Beauty and Best Lemons competitions on July 28. Al-Shishi Dates Red Fig and the Most Beautiful Basket competitions are scheduled for July 29, while the last day witnesses the General Elite and Al Dhaid Fort Elite Competitions.
The festival’s general coordinator, Mohammad Musabah Al Tunaiji, confirmed that the committee had received numerous inquiries from farmers and owners of palm trees seeking information on the specifics and conditions of the competitions. This confirms the event’s pioneering position as one of the most significant heritage and economic events at the state level, supporting the cultivation of dates and enhancing the quality of the local product, especially in light of the diversity of events and competitions that are launched and developed each edition.
Al Tunaiji added that the festival witnesses this year the addition of a new competition under the name “Al Dhaid Fort for Palm Owners”, which is dedicated to farmers from the Emirate of Sharjah.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Award for Agricultural Excellence will also join the festival for the purpose of encouraging and honoring farmers and commercial farms, in addition to stimulating agricultural innovation, and encouraging the adoption of best agricultural practices.
For his part, Rashid Mohair Al Ketbi, Chairman of the Sorting and Evaluation Committee, indicated that this year the “Al Dhaid Dates Festival” witnesses the participation of hundreds of palm farmers at the state level, who will compete for many valuable prizes, the whole of which is aimed at encouraging palm farm owners to pay attention to the development of palm cultivation.
Al Ketbi explained that entering the competitions includes a number of general conditions represented in for example, dates must belong to the country’s local production; participants from Northern Emirates have to present dates from the production of their own farm or garden; participants from the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai have to present dates from the production of their own farms. As for the females participating in the Most Beautiful Basket competitions must be 25 years or more. The basket must be hand-made from local from palm fronds and from luxurious dates.
The festival organizing committee set out the dates specifications and the competitions criteria, namely, dates should be in the appropriate stage of maturity. Each entry should not include more than one type of dates of certain categories.
Dates should be free of insect infestations, dead insects, their eggs, larvae, or excrement, and any apparent defects, abnormal smell or taste, or be tainted by traces of mineral or sand such as scars. The dates size should be appropriate and should not contain unripe fruits. For dates individual dates varieties, the dates should not weigh less than 3kg without the basket.
The festival, which will open its doors to visitors on Thursday from 5 pm until 10 pm, and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am until 10 pm, will feature a range of economic and commercial events and activities, performances by folklore bands, competitions and various cultural programs to introduce palm trees and their different varieties and types.