x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Simple pleasures

Next month’s Liwa Date Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural and nutritional values of dates

The humble date occupies a special place in this country’s culture as well as providing well-known nutritional value and being a tasty component of many dishes. The founder of the nation, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, encouraged the planting of date palms as part of his efforts to transform the harsh desert into a haven. In addition, the fruit is considered the perfect way to break your fast during the holy month.

There are many reasons why we should celebrate the date, particularly at this time of year, but there will be few bigger or better opportunities to do so than at next month’s Liwa Date Festival.

As The National reported yesterday, this year’s event – the 10th time it has been staged – will run from July 12 to 18. It will also be the second consecutive year when the festival has coincided with Ramadan.

The festival, like the fruit it celebrates, serves many functions: for the newcomer to this country it will provide a wonderful window onto life here. And for Emiratis and long-term residents alike, it is a chance to reconnect with traditions and to enjoy one of the simplest and most authentic parts of life here.