A wide array of palm products was showcased at the festival. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Sustainable Living has been gaining significant importance in the UAE thanks to the changing mindset among the environment conscious individuals.
The United Nations had asked the world to change lifestyle and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, otherwise known as the Global Goals, to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that everyone enjoys peace and prosperity.
Effectively contributing to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UAE has been at the forefront in implementing green strategies. The UAE’s green effort was very much evident at the Al Dhaid Dates Festival that concluded on Saturday after a four day successful run at the Expo Center, Al Dhaid, where the Al Ain City Municipality showcased a line of palms products it has been producing as part of the ambitious recycling project.
Speaking on the opening of the show, Minister of Climate Change and Environment Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said that sustainability in all sectors, particularly in agriculture, is the main goal of the UAE Vision 2021.
He said, “The ministry, in collaboration with all public and private sectors entities, spares no effort to boost the sustainability of this sector and attain food diversity to ensure a better future for current and future generations.”
Held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the festival saw people, senior officials, and dignitaries from across the country flock to the four-day event.
Organised annually by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the festival saw some 35 exhibitors taking part in the event, along with 15 local and federal government entities.
Dates festivals being held nationwide reflect the tireless effort being exerted to develop a sustainable agricultural sector that ensures the country food security and supports the economic development.
The Al Dhaid Dates Festival, which has become a perfect platform for exchanging information and expertise and adopt the latest sustainable practices on the same, will be remembered for showcasing a wide array of palm products that equalled or became more important than the date crop itself.
For centuries, palm products were used in the UAE for various purposes ranging from construction of roof and doors to fruit crates and fishing rods for domestic use. Those products are not in practice anymore, thanks to the advancement of technology and the availability of modern facilities.
But the increasing artisanal skills have given a new impetus to the art of using various parts of the palm trees that suits to the modern world requirements. Today, palm products have made a giant leap from domestic use to the urban centres.
Leaves are used to produce a wide array of beautiful baskets, sacks, mats as well as smaller articles like fans and hats. It was the usage of midribs for modern furniture that caught visitors’ attention. The wide array of furniture displayed at the four-day dates festival included garden chairs, sofa set, rocking chairs, baby cots, pool side beds and swings for children. While the old palm tree stumps were used for planting flowers and succulents.
These palms products were displayed as part of the Al Ain City Municipality’s Palms Products Recycling project, which focuses on recycling palm products into furniture suitable for gardens and houses and showcase them at fairs and festivals. At present, more than 50 varieties of products are made from palm produces.
The project aims to achieve the highest sustainability standards that represent a strategic goal for Al Ain Municipality through the optimal use of environmental resources and reduce carbon footprint in the oases of Al Ain and preserve the environment by not burning palm residues which reduces heat emissions generated by the burning process, as well as reducing the transport costs of waste into landfills areas.
The recycling project is one of the most important factors in the success of pest control, which enhances the aesthetic and tourism values while maintaining the heritage character of the palm oasis, as this the project works to invest in traditional industries while preserve national identity.
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