Under patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court
Press Release Date: Abu Dhabi, UAE - 27 November 2023

Under the generous patronage of H.H. Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Presidential Office, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), and with the follow-up of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, the Ninth Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition began this morning.

Organised by ADNEC Group in cooperation with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palms and Agricultural Innovation, the exhibition, which is being held at the Abu Dhabi International Exhibition Center alongside the second session of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE), will draw a significant local, regional and international presence over the next three days.

In a statement, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan praised the guidance and support of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Presidential Office, for date palm cultivation and production and the importance of the Khalifa International Award to the leadership’s vision. Through the International Dates Festival series, a qualitative leap had been achieved in the development of the date sector, and His Excellency expressed his appreciation for the high standards of excellence achieved by the Abu Dhabi Dates Exhibition over nine years as an incubator for producers, manufacturers and exporters of Arab and international dates. Over the years, the exhibition had evolved into a melting pot in which national and Arab experiences combined with active international organizations in the field of date cultivation, production, processing and marketing across the region and beyond.

This in turn contributed significantly to the quality of the products available and the increase in the quality and reputation of dates and the high demand for them in markets at the national, regional and international levels. This progress was consolidated by the General Secretariat of the Award being responsible for supervising the hosting of a series of international date festivals in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Sudan, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Kingdom of Morocco, and the United States of Mexico. His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan added that the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition was widely regarded as a compass and performance indicator for international date festivals and a hub of expertise for the development and development of the palm cultivation sector, date production and agricultural innovation in the region.

For his part, Dr. Abdel Wahab Zayed, Secretary General of the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, confirmed that “the Abu Dhabi International Date Palm Exhibition, in its ninth edition, is following the path of success and boosting its pivotal role in highlighting the importance of dates as a cornerstone in the food security equation in the national economies of producing countries. The exhibition also enhances Abu Dhabi’s position as the capital of dates and a platform for the development

of this sector through its support for and facilitation of efforts by major growers, producers and importers of dates. The exhibition also represents an ideal opportunity in the United Arab Emirates for interactions and deals between suppliers and providers of dates from all over the world.”

Exhibition participants

The Secretary General of the Award added that the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition is considered the most prominent event of its kind in the field of palm cultivation and date production. It also represents the largest distinguished international platform that allows exhibitors to showcase their products, exchange experiences, and enhance their presence in the global market. The ninth session of the exhibition will be the largest held so far: the national, Arab and international participation at this year’s exhibition represents a milestone in terms of number and quality, with 79 brands present and distributed 65 products from producers, manufacturers and exporters of dates.

20 countries will be represented at the exhibition, with exhibitors from the UAE, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Mexico, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Morocco, Palestine, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan and Syria, the Republic of Sudan, Algeria, Australia, Indonesia, Italy, Tunisia, Thailand, and India present at the exhibition.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “The ADNEC Group is committed to actively national efforts to advance the performance, output and future of various promising sectors and industries in a way that enhances their competitiveness at the local, regional and global levels. Our hosting of the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition alongside ADIFE reflects ADNEC Group’s strategy of driving and advancing the food, food and hospitality industries sectors in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. As one of the most vital sectors on which the vision of our wise leadership for the next fifty years is based, the exhibition will provide a global platform for showcasing the latest innovations, the conclusion of partnerships, and the opening up of investment opportunities in these pivotal and important sectors.”

An incubator to leverage expertise

The exhibition’s participants praised the importance that the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition represents holds for them from an economic and technical perspective. Mr. Engineer Talal Al-Fayez,

representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jordan Office, confirmed that the exhibition was a golden opportunity for the exchange scientific and technical expertise related to the production, processing and marketing of dates. At the regional and international level, engineer Nancy Ammar from the Arab Center for Studies of Dry Zones and Dry Lands said that the exhibition enabled examination of this vital sector’s importance in view of the production and marketing innovations available and the economic and nutritional value that dates represent for the world and the future of agriculture.

Engineer Mohamed Refaat, a member of the Egyptian delegation attending the exhibition, said that his delegation were enthusiastic participants at the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition because of its importance and the opportunities it afforded. The annual event enables the Egyptian delegation to build strong partnerships with a number of countries that import their dates. At the same time, Dr. Nour El-Din Shalgami, Secretary General of the Sudanese Palm Agricultural and Care Association said that Sudanese date farmers and producers were keen to participate at this distinguished exhibition to exchange experience and marketing expertise, as Sudanese dates were characterized by the fact that most of their varieties are dry, a feature that gave them a commercial and industrial opportunity over other Arab dates.

Engineer Anwar Haddad, President of the Jordanian Dates Association, said that Jordanian dates, especially Medjool dates, occupy a distinguished position at the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition, and that the Jordanian delegation were proud of their participation and the distinguished relationship they had with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palms and Agricultural Innovation. Engineer Haddad added that the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition gives date producers an opportunity to build international partnerships and expand the geographical scope of exporting Arabic dates to the world.

Dr. Ricardo Salmon, head of the Mexican delegation participating at the exhibition, said that date producers in Mexico were participating for the second year in a row in the Abu Dhabi Dates Exhibition and had already achieved great success in building relationships and partnerships for marketing Mexican dates throughout the Arab region. Mr. Raed Hoshiya from Palestine thanked the UAE for providing him with the chance to participate in Palestinian dates at the exhibition. He added that Palestinian dates, especially Medjool dates, have a competitive advantage over the region’s dates in terms of the high demand for them.

The Secretary General of the Khalifa International Award, Dr. Abdul Wahab Zayed, explained that the success achieved by the exhibition so far has helped consolidate Abu Dhabi’s position as a major player in

the dates sector in the Middle East and the world as demonstrated by its success in attracting huge numbers of major buyers seeking to import dates. In order to streamline communications between date producers and manufacturers in the Arab region with major global traders and investors within an efficient value chain and food supply, Dr. Zayed stressed the commitment of the Award’s General Secretariat to support the wise leadership’s vision for the UAE to acheive self-sufficiency in dates due to their strategic storage properties and consequent value for food security and economic and social stability.

Dr. Hilal Humaid Saed Al Kaabi, a member of the Khalifa International Award’s Board of Trustees, also expressed his appreciation and thanks to all participating exhibitors and date producers’ distinguished efforts on display at the ninth session of the Abu Dhabi International Dates Exhibition. The exhibition was sure to witnesse intense competition between date producers, manufacturers and exporters seeking to provide the best quality dates. The Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation had to take into consideration the finest dates from each country in terms of early, dry, and semi-dry varieties, or packaging, and the inclusion of chocolate, nuts, and other additions that raised the value of dates and could potentially increase demand for them among target markets in each country or region. Dates were no longer just a traditional food item, but rather a raw material with wide-ranging added value and a promising future in the food industry sectors across national, regional and international levels.

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