Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

The ceremony where everyone has a date

Developers of the burgeoning Australian date industry and US scientists are among the winners of the second annual Khalifa International Date Palm Awards.

ABU DHABI // Developers of the burgeoning Australian date industry and US scientists working to protect the trees are among the winners of the second annual Khalifa International Date Palm Awards. The event attracted 67 entrants from 24 countries, a 72 per cent increase on last year's competitors. Doubling of the prize money, up to Dh300,000 (US$81,000) for first-place winners and Dh200,000 for second, plus the addition of extra categories, helped too.

Professor Abdelouahhab Zaid, the secretary general of the awards, said it had taken similar competitions several years to achieve the same momentum. "We added two categories and doubled the budget from Dh2.2 million to Dh4.4 million immediately after the first year's winners were announced, to grab international attention and highlight the prestige of the award," he said. A presentation ceremony will take place on March 15 at the Emirates Palace hotel, on the opening day of the three-day International Date Conference.

Prof Zaid, the director of the date palm development research unit at UAE University in Al Ain, announced that the university would build a laboratory to aid the identification of date palm species. It will monitor the genetic conformity of date palms, of which the unit produces 150,000 annually. "This will ensure the quality production to meet the needs of both local and international markets," he said.

Distinguished Research/Studies ? First: Dr Benaichi Bachir for his work on the economics of date production in Algeria. Second: Dr Joel Malek of Cornell Medical College in Qatar for the sequencing and comparative genomics of the date palm tree using massively parallel sequencing. Distinguished Producers ? First: Saleh al Rajhi, of the Awqaf administration in Saudi Arabia. Second: Al Foah Organic Farm, UAE.

Best New Technique ? First: Palm fibre polymers from the UAE. Second: Early detection of red palm weevils in the US. Best Development Project ? First: Developing the Australian date industry, by David James and Anita Reilly. Distinguished Figure ? Dr Abdulrahman al Humaid of King Saud University. Second withheld. @Email:hkhalaf@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National