A very familiar and common sight when arriving and driving in and around Dubai. The UAE, and the city of Dubai in particular, are not only known for its industrial and construction boom alone, the country is also popular and indeed achieving a sterling growth in dates cultivation and production. In fact, the production of dates make up about 60 per cent of the country's agricultural commodities. And according to Dubai business report, currently there are more than 40 million palm trees grown in the country (40 per cent of which are grown in Al-Ain city).
A popular, traditional food that grow naturally in the region, dates comprise a significant part of the country's agrarian sector. The varieties of date in the Emirates include names such as the Barhi, Braim, Ikhlallas, Sultani, Lou Lou, Hilalee, Suqari, Nebtat-Saif and Shi Shi.
It's still the third week of May and although the date season in Dubai, the country and the region is still a couple of months away (July to December, and specifically August in the UAE), we could already see the budding fruits hanging in abundance all over the palm trees around the city. It really makes the city looking more greener and vibrant. At around some office and major shopping complexes, old palm trees are being decorated with colorful lightings, making the city even more alive and captivatingly pleasant and delightful to wonder around in the evening.
Indeed, date palm played an integral role in the history of Arab life. Affectionately known in the region as "the Bride of the Orchard," date palm has been cherished by the Arab and the people of the region for centuries.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad Salallahu 'Alaihi Wasallam has referred to the date and the date palm in several of his sayings, "A house with a date palm will never go hungry".