The ‘6th Fresh Local Dates Festival 2021’ will open at 4pm today at Souq Waqif with participation from more than 80 farms. The event will continue until July 30.

“During the last festival, we sold about 205 tonnes (2019). We expect to sell more during this festival, as we expect more visitors this year,” said Adel Al Kaldi Al Yafei, Assistant Director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). The festival would be open daily in the evenings from 4pm to 10pm.

Speaking to Qatar TV yesterday, Al Yafei said: “What is distinctive about this edition is that all the Gulf countries are now in Rutab (Fresh Local Dates) period, and therefore there is a particular interest in the festival from the citizens.

“We were at a stage where we wanted to introduce our dates and let others know more about it, and today we have reached the stage of presenting only the best varieties,” he said.

Regarding the entry and exit of visitors, he said: “There is a regulation by the Souq Waqif administration in cooperation with Ministry of Public Health. The festival tent was built on an area of 3,600 square metres, and thus it will be able to accommodate 720 people at the same time.” 

Al Yafei also noted that organisers have sent samples of the participating farms’ products to laboratories over the past few days to ensure they are free of pesticides.

To promote healthy produce from these participants, the Organizing Committee of the festival has set requirements for the dates offered for sale, including that the fresh dates showcased in the festival should be in the ripening stage and free from any odour. In addition, the dates should have a natural taste and smell.

The festival is part of a major programme of the MME to provide platforms to market local produce during their harvesting season.

Different types of fresh local dates will be offered from today during the festival at very attractive prices, including Khalas, Al Shishi, Al Khanizi, Barhi, Iraqi, Silji, Sufri, Nabt Saif, Al Sawafi, and Khurdi.