Under the patronage of H.H Shaikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the Union and Ruler of Ajman His Highness Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, opened today the third edition of Liwa Ajman Date Festival at Emirates Hospitality Center which highlights the finest and best date and citrus fruits grown by local farmers.
The arrival of the Crown Prince of Ajman signals the opening of the festival where he was greeted by HE Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of Ajman Tourism Development Department and Saud Al Jasmi, Head of Liwa Ajman Date Festival Committee. Along with sponsors of the festival, the officials toured the different pavilions and exhibitions at the venue and met with farmers who submitted their finest and best date and citrus fruits harvests.
During the tour, His Highness and his entourage were briefed about the variety of date and citrus fruits and listened to farmers about production and seedling cultivation process such as examining the soil to make sure there are no large stones beneath the top soil as well as the correct distance of existing irrigation system and soil fertilization.
He also visited the Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage and Khalifa International Award For Date Palm Agricultural Innovation to view the exhibitions of paintings and manuscripts about the types of palm trees in the UAE. The group also visited the dates and fruits market including the heritage market.
His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid praised the support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates for the continued success of the festival dedicated to the palm trees that highlights the the Emirati heritage. He also recognized the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces for the success of Liwa Date Festival whether in Abu Dhabi or in the emirate of Ajman.
He said that the celebration of customs and ancient traditions was one of the important factors that spurred the Liwa Ajman Festival, the idea of the festival from the directives of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council of the Union and Ruler of Ajman. He praised the organizers of the the Liwa Ajman Date Festival which demonstrates the importance of the Palm, considered as one of the most important pillars of authentic Emirati heritage and part of the life of the UAE society.
He called the organisers to continue holding the festival in Ajman every year in order to provide a variety of presentations focused on the importance of the Palm in the people’s lives, a festival which served as a forum for farmers to meet and interact and present their views and ideas to invest in the field of agriculture and industrialization especially that the UAE is famous for different types of high quality dates.
Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi stressed the need for continued cooperation, harmony and communication between the authorities supervising and participating in the festival in order to continue the success it has achieved in the past years.
He stressed that such festivals are held to increase tourism in the UAE and residence will visit in order to have a deep understanding of the UAE agricultural cultivation process and productions of the finest types of dates. These sort of festivals encourages visitors to learn about the customs and traditions as well as visit the destination for its beaches, attractions and various accommodations.
Sheikh Ammar also lauded the main partners and sponsors and awarded them for their support of the festival namely Abu Dhabi Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee and main sponsors Al Foah and Liwa Dates, Zabeel Studio, Ajman Folk Arts Association and Theater, Karji Perfumes, SpaceToon Channel, Thumbay Hospital, in addition to the supporting authorities and festival participants, Juma Al Majid Center For Culture & Heritage, Environment and Protected Areas Authorities, Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah Girl Guides, Khalifa International Award For Date Palm Agricultural Innovation, Children Centers, Ajman Youth Center, Emirates Environmental Group, General Women’s Union, Ajman Educational Zone, Farmers Services Center, United Arab Emirates University and media partner ‘Ajman Vision’.
For his part, HE Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of Ajman Tourism Development said that participants in this year’s festival are excited because of the addition of selected citrus fruits to the categories. The festival will be highlighted by the selection of the best and finest type of dates produced locally. The criteria for judging are based on taste, shape, size, weight and colour of the date and the winning farmers will be awarded with cash prizes. There will be a daily auction in the evening when the dates and citrus fruits entered for the competition will be sold and the collected money will be donated to Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Charity Foundation.
He added: “We have added these elements because it’s the harvest season and we would like to promote the local harvests of our farmers. We have also increased the types of date that are eligible to be submitted to the festival.”
He stressed the importance of this festival, which is an extension of the Liwa Date Festival in Abu Dhabi and which offer a new concept of tourism and heritage, which aims to inform visitors and foreigners about Emirati heritage and identity.
He added the third edition of Liwa Ajman Dates Festival has exceeded all expectations from visitors and sponsors and the agency will strive to make the festival an annual festival to attract those interested in this Cultural Heritage through the distinctive series of events aimed at visitors and their families.
Saud Al Jasmi, Head of the Organizing Committee of the Festival said: “It was a very successful opening day and we are expecting more visitors to attend the festival that celebrates the iconic fruit of the UAE. The wonderful thing about this festival is that it presents a variety of shows related to the whole family, especially children. We have lined-up different programs everyday so there are lots of interesting things to learn and discover during the three-day festival.”
Hundreds of visitors and residents flocked to the venue where educational and entertaining activities have been set-up for families and children such as the Kids Corner where children can watch shows and engage in different activities such as creating bookmarks, camel decoration workshop, date dessert making and recycling workshop. There is live cooking demonstration from chefs of the participating hotels in Ajman.
The traditional souqs feature local delicacies, display of handmade products, clothing and more. It was a busy first day highlighted by cultural programmes such as folk dances, stage competition, heritage musical show and military show.
Entry to the festival is free and opens at 10am to 10pm on Thursday, July 28 and from 4pm to midnight on Friday, July 29.