Local dates on view at a previous edition of Liwa Ajman Dates and Honey Festival.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman and Member of the UAE Supreme Council, the 7th edition of Liwa Ajman Dates and Honey Festival launches on August 5, for three days at the Emirates Hospitality Center in Ajman.
This yearâ€™s edition of the Festival, which is organised by the Ajman Department of Tourism Development (ADTD) has more than 400 participants and aims to project palm trees as a symbol of authentic Emirati heritage.
It hopes to continue the pioneering journey set by the Founder of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to preserve and invest in palm trees. The Festival also encompasses many events that aim to revive old Emirati customs and traditions, all around a fun atmosphere filled with exciting activities suitable for all family members.
The Festival also showcases the finest dates produced in the UAE; farmers will display the best types of dates. In addition to competitions for choosing the best dates, honey, citrus fruits, lemon, mango and almonds, there are traditional food competitions to encourage local production and support farmers in preserving agriculture.
The fest will also hold several educational lectures and seminars on the importance of agriculture in general and the status of the palm tree in the Emirati heritage in particular, and the various ways to produce the finest local honey; the grounds include a childrenâ€™s area which is specifically designed to educate kids about various methods to plant and maintain palm trees and encourage them to adopt this profession through a set of educational and interactive workshops.
The events also include Emirati folk performances and the traditional market, where a large area has been allocated for families to promote their products. Homemade craft houses will introduce visitors to the traditions and history of the UAE. Ajman Tourism is also keen on diversifying these events and activities that accompany the fest to attract more visitors.
So, an auction for antiques is being organised on the first day of the Festival, and there are daily auctions for selling dates and honey. The Festival presents exclusive platforms for plantations to showcase the solutions and latest practices and techniques in the fields of alternative agriculture, irrigation and types of fertilisers, that greatly serve the process of improving food security and sustainability of the agricultural sector in the country. Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, ADTD Chairman stated that the Liwa Ajman Dates and Honey Festival comes as part of the departmentâ€™s strategy to activelyÂ contribute to reinforce the sustainability of the countryâ€™s food security, and support and develop local palm cultivation and date production.
The Festival has become one of the most prominent events of Ajman Tourism and the department wishes to organise and develop it due to its value in supporting the overall development process in the emirate, by strengthening its position in the agricultural sector through palm tree cultivation.
Ajman Tourism aims to increase the interest in palm trees and support landowners and farmers and develop the local dates industries to enhance the quality of this Emirati product. Khadija Turki, ADTD Acting Director General, stressed that the Liwa Ajman Dates and Honey Festival has succeeded over the past years in enhancing Ajmanâ€™s position as an important destination for domestic cultural tourism that attracts many tourists to the emirate, and has become a regular event for heritage enthusiasts and people interested in the produce of the UAE and its dates.
She said that this has been achieved due the continuous efforts and support of Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, ADTD Chairman, and the importance of preserving Emirati cultural heritage, reinforcing the tourism movement, encouraging investments in the agriculture sector, the preservation and sustenance of palm trees and promoting the general economy cycle.
Turki added that the Festival has become an annual platform awaited by palm owners and farmers to promote their date products and local fruits through display channels provided by it, to boost participation and exchange of expertise.
The fest enjoys the participation and support of Al Foah, Royal for Honey, Emirates Beekeepers, Ajman Police General Headquarters, Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, Ajman Municipality & Planning Department, Dubai Municipality, Al Ain City Municipality, Municipal Council of Khorfakkan City, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, Baynounah TV and C. Live.
ADTD aims to promote the touristic attractions across Ajman, shedding light on the unique elements that the emirate has to offer as one of the leading travel destinations in the UAE. The department works on developing strategies to improve local, regional and international tourism in the emirate through planning and implementing global campaigns for tourism promotion, organising and participating in conferences and exhibitions, regulating and developing the tourism industry, and improving capacities and services of the tourism facilities and businesses operating in Ajman.
ADTD is responsible for setting regulations and legislations required to organise the tourism sector in the emirate, providing the appropriate tourism standards and services offered to tourists, issuing licenses for travel and tourism agencies and administering their efficiency.