We were not quite sure what to expect at the Emirates International Date Palm Festival. Sure, perhaps there would be a bunch of dates, and information on the dates, and even some tastings. But we really had no idea. It sounded like a perfect idea for a Friday afternoon – something different anyway.
The Festival showcased more than just dates… in fact, it was a magnificent display of local crafts, food, and products, along with one of the most popular products, dates.
We passed by hand woven straw mats woven with the leaves of the date palm tree…
Fertilizer to grow the date palms
And of course, sweets made from dates…
But the campfire and falcons took center stage from everything else, and as we sat down near the fire (inside a convention center, oh yes – this is true) we looked around, saw kids running, couples strolling, and could smell the incense burning. We both smiled, and realized how rich the country is… No, not with oil, or cars, or gold, but with its own local traditions and people.