It's a date as UAE date festival returns with AED8 million prize money
It's a date as UAE date festival returns with AED8 million prize money

It’s a date as UAE date festival returns with AED8 million prize money

Dates are serious business in the UAE, with the Liwa Date Festival returning to Abu Dhabi this year with an AED8 million prize fund.

Sadly, however, the date festival will be held without visitors again this year.

But if you’re a date farmer – niche, we know – you could be in with a chance of winning AED8 million. In total, there will be 22 different competitions during the festival. Which is 21 more than we assumed – the only competition we could come up with was best tasting date.

Eissa Saif Al Mazrouei, deputy chairman of the Cultural Programmes & Heritage Festivals Committee, said the competition is an ‘opportunity to highlight the significance of palm trees in Emirati heritage.’

The UAE date festival runs from July 15 until July 23 and competitions include the heaviest date branch and the best fruit basket.

The competition is fierce, with more than 60,000 dates across six varieties submitted for judges to munch and observe.

There are also side-competitions for the best mangoes and lemons.

In normal years, the date festival is a huge cultural experience with thousands of visitors. There are seminars and workshops to discuss the UAE’s heritage. And of course, all the dates you could possibly drool over.

Sadly, there won’t be any spectators this year. Next year though, DubaiLAD are planning a Liwa road trip so make sure to save the date.