The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) is gearing up for the 4th annual Liwa Ajman Dates Festival, held at the Emirates Hospitality Centre, Ajman, from the 2nd till 4th of August 2017, aimed at promoting the importance of date palm trees, as part of the Emirati lifestyle. Details of the festival were announced at an official press conference held at the Pavilion, Al Zorah, on Monday, July 24th, along with further information on this year’s exciting competitions and valuable cash prizes, giving every visitor the chance to win a car in the lucky draw.
The three-day festival will see local farmers take part in a Dates and Citrus Fruits Contest (Mazayna). The competition, which has been at the heart of the festival since it was first launched, will include seven varieties of halfripe dates, namely Elite, Al Farth, Al Khallas, Al Kunaizi, Al Barhi, Al Sheshe and Lulu, as well as citrus fruits, such as Mangos and Guavas.
For the first year ever, a dessert competition will invite participants to showcase their baking skills by presenting a homemade dish to a panel of judges, dates being the main ingredient. The dishes can either be traditional Emirati or contemporary, must be homemade, and a recipe must be submitted along with the dish. Desserts will be judged on both presentation and taste, with entries being restricted to one dish per contestant, to be presented to judges at the festival, between 5:00pm to 07:00pm, either on the 2nd or 3rd of August. There will also be a hotel cooking competition featuring teams from some of Ajman’s leading hotels including The Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah; The Fairmont Ajman; Ajman Saray, a luxury collection resort, Kempinski Ajman; Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman and BAHI Ajman Palace Hotel. The competition, which will take place from 10:00 am to 12:00pm on the 2nd of August, will be judged by a panel from the Culinary Guild UAE.
Visitors who rather wish to put their creative skills to the test on the other hand, are invited to participate in this year’s Photography and Video competition, which boasts a total prize fund of AED 17,000, inviting visitors to submit their most spectacular shots of palms and dates across the UAE.
Commenting on the event, H.E. Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of the ATDD, said: “The Liwa Ajman Dates Festival is a celebration of traditional Emirati culture. It is a significant event for the Emirate and will offer a unique tourism experience to both residents and visitors. The participatory nature of the event invites attendees to get involved and truly embrace the country’s rich heritage and traditions. With a number of new features and competitions, we are confident that this year’s event will be the most successful yet.”
Along with a number of exciting competitions, there will also be a Culinary Corner for visitors, to enjoy the taste of dates and sample a wide variety of innovative date-inspired dishes prepared by some of Ajman’s finest chefs. Children of all ages will be entertained in the Kids’ Corner with several activities taking place, including cultural competitions and art workshops, highlighting the health benefits of dates and the significance of palm trees. There will also be a charity auction on dates and fruits, as well as a collectible auction of antiques.
“Set to attract more than 10,000 visitors, the Liwa Ajman Dates Festival is a unique way of showcasing and celebrating what makes the Emirati heritage unique, while boosting tourism in line with the strategic objective of promoting Ajman as a safe family, business and tourist destination,” Al Geziry added.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, the Liwa Ajman Dates Festival is a major tourism event for Ajman. The annual festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates the country’s rich heritage and traditions, providing residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to learn more about the importance of date palm trees, the farming industry and types of produce grown in the country.
A date farmer in Ajman, said: “The Liwa Ajman Dates festival is not only an opportunity for us to exhibit our finest produce, it is an educational forum and provides a unique opportunity for farmers in the whole region to come together, and share best practices about different techniques, challenges, and ways on how to improve the production of a variety of dates. Furthermore, it helps to foster a better understanding of local agricultural processes, as well as Emirati customs and traditions”.
The Liwa Ajman Date Festival is being organised by the Ajman Tourism Development Department in cooperation with diamond sponsor, Al Foah, a Date Farming and Production Company, gold sponsor, Abu Dhabi Police, silver sponsors, Ajman Chamber, Liwa Dates and the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, as well as the support of the Ajman Public Transport Corporation, the logistic sponsor of the event.
Participants interested in the video and picture competition are asked to send their entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, whereas photographs need to be submitted by 2nd August and videos by 3rd August. Details, along with rules and regulations, can be found on the ATDD’s Instagram or twitter account.