Phoenix dactylifera or date palm is a plant that is cultivated for its edible fruit, called date. It is believed that date cultivation started in the Mesopotamia region, at least 8,000 years ago. From there, traders brought dates to Persia, Pakistan and India to the east and to northern Africa up to Morocco and Spain to the west. Dates were brought to the New World by the Spanish conquistadores. There is a large number of variations of the date palm that are thriving in different countries depending on the climatic conditions of the particular region.
Dates have been used by people in the Middle East as their primary source of nutrition for millennia. The fruit provides a lot of the essential nutrients and is an excellent source of potassium. Traditionally, Muslims break their fast during Ramadan by eating dates.
UAE is one of the pioneers in the cultivation of date palms and date trading is one of the most profitable business in the country. It is estimated that more than forty million date palms have been planted since the 70’s, time that the late Sheikh Zayed launched a campaign for mass planting of date palms. Today UAE is included in the top-ten list of date producing countries in the world.
In March 2016, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan, on behalf of Dubai Municipality, inaugurated the Palm Oasis Park in Al Awir area. A total of 1,240 date palms (39 variations) together with many other trees and thousands of shrubs were planted in the park that uses solar energy as power source for its lights.