Starting 27 March, visitors and residents alike are welcome to visit the Manbat Date Festival, which will take place at Nasma Central, part of the popular Nasma Residences community in the Suyoh district of Sharjah. The festival kicks off a week before Ramadan, and will take place from 4pm to 7pm every day, continuing during balmy Ramadan nights from 9pm to 1am until the second day of Eid. The star of the show will be the region’s finest offerings of dates; a flavourful, sought-after desert fruit particularly popular as an iftar blessing.
Natural, homegrown Emirati dates along with premium varieties from the Levant and the GCC will be displayed for visitors and will be competitively priced and showcased in various forms from organic to artisanal.
A partnership between Arada and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), Manbat currently runs weekend farmers’ markets stocked with produce 100% grown here in the UAE. The Manbat Date Festival will run concurrently with the seasonal Manbat market, noted for its farm-fresh fruit and quality vegetables.
Entertainment offerings at the festival will reflect Emirati hospitality and honour regional traditions, including live Arabic music, Al Ayyala performances, Arabic storytelling, Arabic calligraphy and traditional ceramic painting and henna artistry. In addition, there will be an array of nuts, honey, Arabian desserts, Arabian coffee, sweet luqaimat dumplings – an Emirati favourite – decorative ornaments exquisitely handcrafted from indigenous palm trees and even ‘living statues’ in ornate attire.
Also in its second year is the Arada Foundation’s successful Manbat Ramadan Campaign which provides tens of thousands of boxes of fresh produce towards the needy.
Ray Tinston, Director of Events at Arada, said: “The Manbat Date Festival pays tribute to Emirati culture while continuing to uplift UAE agriculture and farming efforts. Families living in Nasma Residences, Al Suyoh and beyond are welcome to enjoy this free-to-enter celebration of local traditions and values.”
Manbat takes place at Nasma Central – a stylish retail centre, community park and lifestyle hub at the heart of Nasma Residences. Nasma Central is connected to a park that contains cycling and jogging tracks, as well as child-friendly play areas and a striking hilltop pavilion with host of leisure and sporting facilities. Nasma Residences is located about 20 minutes by car to Dubai International Airport and is just five minutes away from Sharjah Grand Mosque.