The fifth edition of the Al Dhaid Date Festival, which was organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) at Expo Al Dhaid, was concluded after attracting over 20,000 visitors who flocked to the festival to enjoy the heritage atmosphere and learn about the best varieties of dates produced by the UAE farms.
About 271 cash prizes with total prize money of AED 1.5 m were handed over to the winners of the 7 categories of the 'Mazayna' competitions, in addition to in-kind prizes for the winners of the raffles conducted by the Sharjah Chamber on social media platforms.
The festival included 23 platforms where farmers displayed various types of dates from the local production.
Commenting on the remarkable success of the event, HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman, SCCI, said: "This confirms the sound strategic approach that the Chamber has set for the festival since it was launched in 2016. This success would not have been possible without the support and care provided by the wise leadership to such events concerned with preserving our inherent legacy and introducing new generations to the bright side of our country’s history and the heritage of our ancestors.”
Al Dhaid Date Festival has established a firm foothold despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, said HE Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, Director-General, SCCI, adding that the event has proven its leading position among the most important economic and heritage activities in the country, thanks to the unwavering support of the wise leadership and the cooperation of those involved in palm cultivation and strategic partners.
The festival has also become an important marketing platform for dates in Sharjah and the country, he noted.
This year's edition has attracted a high turnout of farmers, thanks to the support and care of the leadership and its directives to raise the value of prizes to 50% and increase the categories of dates and fruits competitions. This has greatly helped the SCCI entice palm owners, farmers, industrialists, and traders to participate in the event's activities and increase their returns on investment in palm and date-based industries.
For his part, Mohamed Musabeh Al Tunaiji, the festival’s general coordinator, said: "This edition is an important landmark in the history of the festival in terms of new qualitative additions and activities and special events that grabbed the attention of visitors. Al Dhaid Dates Festival continues to prove its importance and role in raising awareness among farmers about the correct farming methods, irrigation mechanisms, pest control, farm cleanliness, and others."
About 271 cash prizes were handed over to the winners of the 7 categories of the 'Mazayna' competitions. The first place in the 'best dates' category went to Salem Ali Salem and Khaled Saif Al-Raihi for the 'lemon' category.
Saeed Hamouda Al-Ariani won first place in the 'Shishi' category, while first place in the 'Khunizi' category went to Ahmed Al-Ariani. In the Al-Khunizi (Northern Emirates) category, Salem Al-Qaidi won first place.
The first place for the 'Al Khalas' (Abu Dhabi-Dubai) went to Sultan Al-Ariani, and to Salem Muhammad Hashel for the 'Al Khalas' (Northern Emirates) category.
The last day of the festival saw the honoring of the winners of the local mango competitions. The first place went to Mosbeh Al-Qaidi. In the mixed mango category, the first place went to Khamis Al-Kindi, while Amna Al Ketbi seized the first place for the best 'Mekhrafa' category (for women).