(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), today inaugurated the sixth edition of Emirates International Date Palm Festival - a weeklong celebration of the date fruit and its culture, tradition and heritage - at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Rashid Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said on the occasion of the opening of the Emirates International Date Palm Festival, that the success of the previous editions of the Date Palm Festival, organized by ADFCA under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour, was the reason why top producers and exporters of dates and date products were attracted to take part in the festival.
"More than 165 exhibitors from 18 countries are taking part this time, in addition to official pavilions from a number of countries, including Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, displaying the best varieties of dates." "The festival is hosting several new activities this year, highlighting the heritage of previous generations so that their successors living today become more aware of the importance of the date palm and the date fruit. This event is an occasion to educate the people about the traditions and heritage of the UAE as well as for dates businesses to interact with each other and explore business opportunities. The Festival testifies to the extent to which the UAE cares for preserving its glorious heritage and culture,'' he concluded.
Sheikh Mansour was taken on a guided tour through the festival area where he met exhibitors and sampled some of the most delicious date fruits and date products produced in the GCC region.
An exciting feature, the ¿Planting of Date Seedlings' at the 2012 Emirates International Date Palm Festival, will pay special tribute to the Union Tree initiative recently launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Visitors to the Date Tree Planting feature have the unique opportunity to plant date tree seedlings any time during the festival. These seedlings will then be moved from ADNEC to a specific location in Abu Dhabi allocated by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) to preserve the heritage of this great nation for many generations to come.
The date palm festival has a plethora of other engaging activities for adults and children as well, such as: Date Tree Planting, Heritage Village, Date Palm Theatre, a Kids Zone, Cookery Area and much more.