x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Ain date farmer builds a date the size of a double-decker bus

Hamad Sarhan al Darie hopes his Dh1.7m fibreglass date can gain a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The world's largest man-made 'date' has gone on show at Liwa Date Festival. Its creator, Sarhan al Darie, believes it will soon take its place in the record books after Guinness expressed an interest.
The world's largest man-made 'date' has gone on show at Liwa Date Festival. Its creator, Sarhan al Darie, believes it will soon take its place in the record books after Guinness expressed an interest.

LIWA // As the judges weigh their verdict on the dates in question, Hamad Sarhan al Darie hopes to win an altogether larger prize, fixing a date with destiny by gaining a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Mr al Darie, a date farmer from Al Ain, has commissioned and built a Dh1.7m fibreglass date that measures six metres tall and 10.5 metres long - the size of a double-decker bus. And at 13 tonnes, it weighs in only slightly lighter.

Complete with furnished majlis and motorised doorway, Mr al Darie hopes it will soon prove a date for the record books and be named the world's largest fruit sculpture. "The idea came to me to make something extraordinary, that maximises visitors, and celebrates the manufacturing of dates," he said. Mr al Darie drew up the designs, then worked with an engineer to construct the project. Made in Lebanon, the date was then shipped to the Emirates in sections. From design to installation the project took seven months.

Mr al Darie says Guinness has shown interest in his achievement, but has requested further details. He hopes the date will then be set to take on the world's other giant fruit constructions, including the largest pineapple, which stands 16m tall in Woombye, Australia. Or it may even take its place in the world's largest fruit bowl - also in Australia, in Bilpin, near Sydney. mdetrie@thenational.ae