ABU DHABI // Turnout has exceeded expectation at the Liwa Date Festival, the festival director said yesterday.
Even though the festival this year coincides with Ramadan, Obaid Al Mazrouei noticed a "larger than expected number of visitors and participants".
Participants were not only Liwa residents but from all over the UAE and others from neighbouring Arab countries and some from western countries.
"That is a clear indication of the importance of the festival," he said.
Aside from some of the best dates, mangoes and lemons from across the country on display, a market also offered visitors many bargains. Also on display were numerous handicrafts made by Emiratis.
Azza Al Qubiasi was one of many women who came to exhibit. Her hobby was to make gold, traditional jewellery.
"Year after year we see a big development in the number of people wanting to take part in the festival," Mr Al Mazrouei said.
In the first day of the festival, 414 entered the date competition. While competitors exhibited their produce from 8.30am until 2.30pm, visitors came at night from 8pm until 1am to take part in activities.
Mr Al Mazrouei said as the number of visitors increased, their responsibility has, too, offering a larger number of games and competitions for all, with prize money of up to Dh5 million.