Abu Dhabi, UAE, 26 April 2017 - Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and Al Foah Company that owns Al Foah Organic Date Farm, the largest organic farm in the world, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a long-term strategic partnership for an initiative that encourages visitors to explore the culture of the emirate. The collaboration is in line with TCA Abu Dhabi’s constant efforts to showcase the city’s rich heritage, combining it with a unique tourism experience for residents and visitors alike.

The MoU was signed at the Arabian Travel Market, the region’s largest travel trade exhibition, by HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, and HE Musallam Obaid Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer of Al Foah Company. The integration further established Abu Dhabi as a cultural hub, offering immersive experiences revolving around dates as a part of the food and beverage industry.

Located in Al Ain, the Al Foah date factory’s diversification into a new leisure attraction is anticipated to add a unique tourism experience to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with the development of the site attracting local, regional and international visitors.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Through our combined expertise, we will create a compelling visitor experience merging our rich culture with unparalleled recreational activities, highlighting the diversity of our cultural assets.”

“In addition to the engagement with organic date-picking activities at Al Ain Oasis, which contains more than 147,000 date palms of up to 100 different varieties, visitors will now have the opportunity to experience all the different phases and steps in the dates manufacturing processes,” HE added.

Commenting on the agreement, HE Musallam Obaid Al Ameri, Chief Executive Officer of Al Foah Company, said: “We are proud to be a part of this collaboration, which will allow us to support TCA Abu Dhabi’s vision in developing the tourism industry in Abu Dhabi.”

“Our mission is to build a global date brand in the UAE and highlight the significance of dates in people’s daily lives while promoting tourism in Abu Dhabi and providing visitors with a unique experience,” HE added.

The MoU also serves as a framework to facilitate wider product development, marketing, and promotional cooperation between the two parties with an aim to create mutual opportunities for partnership and exchange of expertise and benefits.

Abu Dhabi is strategically positioning itself as an exciting tourism destination where visitors can experience cultural authenticity, diverse natural offerings, and dynamic family leisure entertainment. The MoU is expected to herald a surge in interest for authentic cultural experiences, such as in Al Ain Oasis – the UAE’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage site visitor experience. Together with a mandate to preserve heritage and culture, protect historic sites, and develop museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, these contribute to differentiating the emirate by its unique attributes for leisure, culture, and nature.

As part of the agreement, TCA Abu Dhabi will provide guidance and consulting for the development of a new experience centre within the factory, and also coordinate with Al Foah in developing itineraries and making the experience centre suitable for visitors from all walks of life.

Established in Al Ain in 2005, Al Foah is the leading player in the date palm industry and is the largest date receiving and processing business in the world, with its two factories producing a capacity in excess of 113,000 metric tonnes of dates per year. With a reputation for quality, taste, and innovation, Al Foah exports dates to 48 countries across the globe, representing more than 90% of the total company sales, and operates a network of luxury boutiques and retail shops in malls across the UAE.

The integration will be instrumental in transforming the date and palm tree into a symbol of Emirati culture. This is further aligned with the Liwa Date Festival, one of the region’s most sought-after festivals where families and individuals gather to celebrate date harvesting and the agricultural riches of Abu Dhabi.