Leading the way in date production
السعودية رائدة في إنتاج التمور وزراعة النخيل
04 DEC 2019
Source: Nadeen Al-Wazani
Dates and palm trees have always been historically and religiously associated with the daily diet of Saudis since the ancient times. Dates have a high nutritional value and palm trees are a blessed tree mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (ways of the Prophet, peace be upon him).
The Kingdom’s climate ensures that it continues to play a prominent role as one of the leading countries in the production of dates and palm cultivation. Today, Saudi Arabia has more than 28 million palm trees producing more than 1 million tons of dates that are exported throughout the world. This makes the date and palm sector an important economic source nationally. Most regions in the Kingdom have dates markets where million-riyal deals are commonplace, especially during the fasting month of Ramadan when Saudis consume the most dates.
The 60-year-old Buraidah Dates Festival in the Qassim region is the world's largest date production and purchasing market. The festival is a prominent fixture in the agricultural tourism calendar, with sales exceeding SR1 billion annually. The seasonal festival, which usually lasts 35 days, includes a number of dates-related activities. It coincides with the harvest period at the beginning of August, where thousands of dealers from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf buy hundreds of tons of dates and display more than 45 varieties of Qassimi dates, most notably Sukari, Al-Barhi, Al-Shaqra’ and Al-Saqaee.
The Kingdom's palm trees generally produce hundreds of varieties of dates, including Anbara, Ajwa, Safari, Raziz, Khalas and Khodari. The National Center for Palms and Dates seeks to market the fruit and increase its quality and economic value at local and international markets.
Dates are known for their nutritional value, containing most of the essential compounds of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and mineral salts. It helps to clear the mind and balance the water in the body. It also provides the body with the necessary thermal energy for movement and activity.