Ten years ago, around 300 Emiratis were married on the day in a ceremony organised by the Abu Dhabi government
Timeframe: The big wedding date
The Liwa Date Festival kicked off in Al Dhafra on Wednesday – it runs until Saturday, July 28 – and this photo shows a young bridegroom at a mass wedding at the 4th Liwa Date Festival, 10 years ago, in 2008. Around 300 Emiratis were married on the day in a ceremony organised by the Abu Dhabi government.
The Liwa Oasis on the fringe of the Empty Quarter, where the annual festival is centred, is the southernmost inhabited area of Abu Dhabi (it’s a 240-kilometre drive from the capital’s city centre). Dates have been cultivated in the region for around 5,000 years thanks to the dry air and fertile sand, and thousands of farmers come to the festival each year to showcase their produce. Last year, date sales at the festival’s auction topped Dh480,000, with nearly 2,000 kilograms of dates sold each day.