x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Less is more at the Liwa Date Festival

More than 70,000 visitors attended the 2011 Liwa Date Festival.

More than 70,000 people attended this year's Liwa Date Festival, which finished yesterday.

The 10-day event included several competitions for the best date in various categories.

There were fewer entries this year in the main competition of Mzainat Al Rutab - half-ripe dates.

According to Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, the director of the festival, the organisers were keen to improve the quality of entries and wanted to focus on quality rather than quantity.

On display were the Al Khalas, Al Dabbas, Boumaan, Kunaizi, Al Fard, Al Nukhbah, Akbar Azej dates varieties, plus mangoes and lemons - the first time these fruits had been included in the seven-year history of the festival.

Ghabisha Saeed Al Murar won first place and Dh3,000 in the Best Ripe Date Table contest.

Entries were judged on the table's appearance, degree of difficulty in preparing the presented meal, its health benefits and degree of consistency.

Mr Al Mazrouei said the size of the exhibition area increased by 20 per cent, with more than 50 pavilions.

The average daily sales at the festival were Dh250,000.

About 75,000 people attended last year's festival.