Hatta: The quiet hilly village of Hatta on the outskirts of Dubai shot into the limelight with the opening of the UAE’s first Honey Festival on Wednesday.

The heart of the honey trade in the UAE since ancient times, Hatta was chosen as the venue for the festival by Dubai Municipality to uplift the profile of the heritage town by boosting tourism and the trade of honey products.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, inaugurated the four-day festival, which showcases 25 honey product exhibitors from inside and outside the county.

Lootah said the festival was part of Dubai Municipality’s efforts to develop the rural area of Hatta as directed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“A lot of people in the private sector are interested in the honey trade. So, it is also important to encourage them by hosting such events. We will make this an annual event to support the trade and also encourage the use of this healthy food product,” he told Gulf News.

From live bees and fresh beehives to huge machinery used in bee production and a variety of honey products were part of the exhibition held at the festival.

Exhibitors including Emirati family businesses and expatriate companies were upbeat about showcasing their honey products.

Ahmad Al Mazroui, an Emirati from Al Ain, said Betlike the festival was a great support for honey traders. “I have been in this business for 15years. It’s great that we now have a festival to highlight honey trade and celebrate this traditional business of Emiratis.”

Several people including families from different parts of the UAE and neighbouring countries visited the festival on its first day.

Dr Dalal Al Saadoun, a dermatologist working with a university in Saudi Arabia, came to visit the festival with her mother and brother.

“I am on vacation now. When we read about this festival we thought of visiting Hatta and take a trip to Dubai city as well. I am very happy to see the tradition alive at the festival and all over Hatta.”

Michala Skodova, an Emirates airline crew member from Czech Republic, said she and her friend decided to take a trip to Hatta after they read online news about the festival.

“It’s a great idea organise something like this. We tasted a variety of honey. I never knew there are so many varieties.”

She said the event could attract more tourists to Hatta for “one more sweet reason”.


What: Hatta Honey Festival

Where : Hatta Hall

When: 9am to 8pm till February 4

Makani code for location: 1125643537

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