Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 13 December 2019

Dates scrutinised by judges on first day of Liwa festival

Thousands descend on the remote oasis town on the opening day of the Liwa Date Festival

It is that time of year again, when thousands of farmers gather in the desert to compete at the UAE's largest annual market, the Liwa Date Festival.

Thousands descended on the remote oasis town at the fringe of the Empty Quarter on Wednesday, the first day of the festival, to compete for millions of dirhams in prizes.

About 60,000 dates in six varieties are expected to be presented for the judges to inspect.

Farmers from across the Gulf will be entering their fruit in competitions including the contest for the most beautiful Al Ratab – or half ripe – variety, the best fruit basket and the heaviest palm branch.

Last year, the award went to a branch that was so laden with dates that it weighed 97.1 kilograms.

The festival, in its 15th year, runs until July 27, from 4pm to 10pm, and is open to anyone seeking an insight into traditional Bedouin life.

Updated: July 18, 2019 01:48 PM