Liwa Date Festival announces opening of registration

Abu Dhabi, July 8th, 2010 (WAM) — The Organizing Committee of the Liwa Date Festival 2010 opened the registration process at the site on Tuesday for those wishing to participate in all ratab (half-ripe dates) branches of the competition.

The Festival is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. It is being organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) on July 17-26, and will take place in the city of Liwa, Al Gharbia (the Western Region) in Abu Dhabi.

The Organizing Committee has called for all farm owners to register before the due date of July 15.

ADNOC is the official sponsor of the Liwa Date Festival. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation is the Platinum sponsor; the Dahra Agricultural Company and the Al Foah Palm Cultivation Developing Company are the Gold sponsors; the Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society is the Silver sponsor, and ADMC is the Media sponsor.

The Festival is also supported by Al Gharbia Development Council, Al Gharbia Municipality, the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company.

Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Festival, announced the terms and conditions of the Mazayin Al Ratab competition. These regulations are as follows: the �ratab’ must be produced in the UAE; ripe dates are ruled out; participants must bring produce from their own farms (they must produce written proof of this when registering, along with proof of their farm ownership); participants must comply with deadlines when handing in samples and produce them in accordance with the pre-specified categories and periods. These specifications will be announced later. Participants are permitted to take part in up to two categories, in addition to the ‘Nukhba’ category.

The judging panel will evaluate the participants’ farms first, and on the basis of this they will award half of the available points. The points will be awarded based on the following criteria: general hygiene of the farms; care for the palm-trees (examining both form and hygiene) and methods of irrigation. The remaining points will be awarded according to the �ratab’s’ specifications.

Further competition specifications and conditions are as follows: the �ratab’ must be of the 2010 season and at least 50% of the �ratab’ must be presented in a suitable state of ripeness; there must be no less than fifteen types of �ratab’ in each category; they must be free of infections or insects (or their eggs or waste); they must be free of apparent defects; they must not have an unusual smell or taste; they must be free of metal or sand impurities (or burns and black spots); they must be non-fertilized (this will be tested in labs); they must be submitted in ‘Mukhrafa’ and, finally, they must be 3-5 kg in weight in the initial category and 2-3 kg in the �Nukhba’ category.

Decisions made by the judging panel are final.