Nearly 170 gardeners are dusting down their spades and rakes for the most beautiful home garden competition.
The contest was launched last October by the Department of Municipal Affairs and covers the municipalities of Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and the Western Region.
Hilal Humaid Al Kaabi, chairman of the technical committee of the contest of the most elegant home garden in Al Ain Municipality, said that the competition has attracted remarkable interest this year due to publicity efforts by the committee and the good reputation it has established among Emiratis and expatriates alike.
Dr Al Kaabi praised residents' insight into the concept of sustainable agriculture acquired through the competition. The event is in its third year in Al Ain.
Rashid Abdullah Al Falasi, the head of parks and recreational facilities in Abu Dhabi Municipality and a member of the technical committee, said many were attracted by the municipality's media campaign to promote a culture of environment protection, the city landscape, aesthetics and greenery.
Mr Al Falasi said the committee members were visiting home gardens to ensure they met the competition requirements. He added that the committee would eventually shortlist six gardens in Abu Dhabi - three internal and three external - before the final stage of the competition.
The contest is a pioneering initiative that aims to promote an eco-friendly environment, boost partnership with the community and establish the environmental aesthetics of modern cities and homes, Mr Al Falasi said.
The criteria for the most beautiful garden includes the overall view, diversity of plants, environment and sustainability, safety and security, care and hygiene, quality of light, irrigation system and the best creative idea.