The much-awaited Al Dhaid Dates Festival, organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), is back with its seventh edition, promising a celebration of dates and Emirati heritage. The festival, to be held from 27th to 30th July at the Al Dhaid Expo Centre, will feature an array of competitions and contests, offering prizes worth over AED 1 million. With hundreds of palm farmers from across the UAE participating, the event showcases the best of date varieties and cultivates agricultural excellence.
The organizing committee has revealed the schedule for the four-day festival, which includes an impressive lineup of competitions for various date varieties. Prize money will be distributed among 130 winners in categories such as Al Ratab Beauty, Largest Dates Branch, Best Lemons, Fig Contest, Al Hessel Date Contest, and Most Beautiful Dates Basket (exclusively for women). With rewards ranging from AED 1,000 to AED 25,000, the festival aims to promote date cultivation and enhance the quality of the local product.
The Al Dhaid Dates Festival takes pride in encouraging farmers and owners of palm trees to participate in its competitions. This year, a new competition named “Al Dhaid Fort for Palm Owners” has been introduced to exclusively honor farmers from the emirate of Sharjah. Additionally, the festival welcomes the prestigious Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Award for Agricultural Excellence to recognize outstanding farmers and commercial farms, fostering agricultural innovation and best practices.
To ensure a fair competition, the festival’s organizing committee has laid out specific conditions for participation. Dates presented in the competitions must belong to the country’s local production, and participants from different emirates must showcase dates from their own farms. Females participating in the Most Beautiful Basket competitions must be 25 years or older, and the baskets should be hand-made from local palm fronds and luxurious dates.
Strict specifications and criteria have been set for the dates themselves, including appropriate maturity, freedom from insect infestations, defects, abnormal smells, or taste, and proper size for individual date varieties.
Beyond the competitions, the Al Dhaid Dates Festival promises an immersive experience for visitors. The festival opens its doors on Thursdays from 17:00 to 22:00 and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 08:00 to 22:00. Attendees can indulge in economic and commercial events, captivating performances by folklore bands, cultural programs highlighting palm trees’ different varieties and types, and much more.
The Al Dhaid Dates Festival’s seventh edition is set to captivate visitors with a dazzling showcase of date varieties and Emirati heritage. With impressive prizes and competitions that celebrate the efforts of palm farmers, the festival contributes to the development of date cultivation and agricultural excellence in the UAE. As the festival gates open, enthusiasts and participants eagerly await the unveiling of the finest dates and the recognition of those who play a vital role in preserving this treasured aspect of Emirati culture.