Visiting Liwa date festival this year

Visiting Liwa date festival this year
Visiting Liwa date festival this year
By Robeena Brown

October 18, 2022 | 13 min read

  • Share:
  • facebook
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
The Liwa Date Festival is an important festival as it presents an opportunity to celebrate Emirati heritage. If you plan to attend this year's Liwa date festival, you can also combine the visit by taking the Liwa desert safari tours. You will be killing the bird with one stone because you’ll attend the festival and also take the tour.

If you want to experience desert life, this is the chance. You'll learn how the community living in the Liwa desert has relied on the versatile date palm, and its fruit has fulfilled the dietary and other needs of generations.

The date fruit is very healthy, and the trunk, fronds, and other parts of the date palm tree were traditionally used to build structures and make tools and handicrafts.

Liwa Date Festival

These major features of the date palm are brought to light during the annual Liwa Date Festival. It also showcases the most recent innovations in agricultural operations and makes it easier for experts to share their knowledge about how to grow dates of the greatest possible quality.

The festival, which celebrates the many ways dates have touched the country's cultural, heritage, and economic life is one of the most prominent heritage events and tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi.

It is a wonderful location for guests to discover more about dates and try some of the most well-known date kinds produced in the United Arab Emirates.
The battle for the title of "Best Date Fruit" is the highlight of this year's festival. Farms in the Emirate of Dubai compete for "Best Date Grower."

In addition, there are poetry evenings, seminars on date farming, and exhibition space for agricultural equipment and date products. A kilo of dates can sell for more than AED 6,000 (USD 1,650), which is the price at which they are sold at auction.

In this guide, we have everything you need to know about the Liwa date festival, from when it is held, where, how to get there, Liwa desert tours, and things to do in the Liwa desert.


The Liwa festival starts from July 16 to 24 this year, and you must show a green pass on the Al Hosn app to gain entry.

The festival resumed this year after 3 years because it was lastly held in 2019. The COVID pandemic made it impossible for the public to attend the festival but only featured participants were allowed.


Liwa date festival location

The Liwa date festival is held every year in the western region of Abu Dhabi called Liwa. You can take 2 to 2.5 hours to get to Liwa from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and 3 to 3.5 hours from Dubai International Airport (DXB).

How to get there

Liwa Date Festival

Tour Operators & 4x4 Transfers

We offer morning, afternoon, evening, and overnight Liwa Safari tours; hence you can book a drive on 4x4 from Abu Dhabi to Liwa to attend the festival. We also operate Liwa tours where you can explore the Liwa desert. You can combine attending the festival and a custom tour we will create for you for a life experience in Liwa.

Public Transports from Abu Dhabi

You can also board public transport from Abu Dhabi to Liwa. Bus services run between the Central bus stand in Abu Dhabi, located near Al Wahda Mall, and the Mezairaa Bus station to Liwa.

The bus leaves Abu Dhabi at 9.20 am and 9.00 pm, and it arrives in Liwa at 12.49 pm and 12.29 am, depending on the time of day.

At 5.10 in the morning and 4.15 in the afternoon, buses depart the Mezairaa station in Liwa, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 8.38 and 7.43, respectively.

A ticket going in only one direction costs 30 AED.

Timings are subject to vary; thus, you must phone the toll-free number provided by the AD Trafic department (80088888) to confirm the timings before proceeding.

From Dubai

There are no buses that travel directly between Dubai and Liwa. You may take a bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and you can take another bus to Liwa. From Dubai to Abu Dhabi, there are three different bus options available.

The E100 bus connects Al Ghubaiba Bus Station with the central bus station in Abu Dhabi (Main station near Al Wahda mall)

The IBN Battuta Bus Station to the Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station, Abu Dhabi, is served by the E101 bus.

The E102 bus runs between the IBN Battuta Bus Station and the Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station in Abu Dhabi.

Timings are subject to vary; thus, you must phone the toll-free number provided by the AD Trafic department (80088888) to confirm the timings before proceeding.

Other Things to do in Liwa

Liwa Date Festival

Although you take a bus from Abu Dhabi to the Liwa Mezairaa station, you can still get to the city's main attractions and other event sites.

Here is a list of the most popular places to visit in Liwa that can combine with your Liwa date festival visit, along with how far they are from the Mezairaa station and how much it will cost to get there.

Visit Liwa Oasis

Liwa Oasis is one of the Middle East region's most impressive palm tree oases. The Empty Quarter is a majestic sea of dunes that have not been touched by man's hand. It is in an enormous desert, covering a total area of 650,000 square kilometers.

The Liwa Oasis, inhabited by the Bani Yas tribe, may be found at the northernmost edge of the Empty Quarter. The presence of subsurface freshwater resources in Liwa has helped the city to become the largest palm tree oasis and a prominent farmer of dates in the United Arab Emirates.

In the Empty Quarter, the lush date palms and sweeping dunes will leave an indelible impression on your mind because of the contrast between the two. It is an outstanding location for a barbeque, a lunch get-together, and a picnic with friends.

See black camels – Special in Liwa & Saudi region

Whenever we think of the desert, the first thing that comes to mind is probably camels. The oasis of Liwa is home to its breed of camels, known as Liwa camels.

On your journey to Moreeb dune in the Liwa desert, stop by any of the Bedouin-run camel farms to ask questions and get free camel rides. Contrary to its counterparts in Abu Dhabi, Liwa camels are black and are thought to have originated in Saudi Arabia.

If you are fortunate enough to see black camels traveling in herds across the crimson sand of the Liwa desert, you can count yourself among the lucky few. Why don't you sample some fresh camel milk while you're there? If you're lucky, you might be able to get a hold of the farm's owner or one of the workers there.

Visit Fort Dhafeer

The Dhafeer fort is among the numerous built across the oasis to secure it against invading tribes. In truth, the fort looks like a sand castle.

The fort doesn't have much to offer in the way of history, but it will give you a fair understanding of the architecture prevalent during the 19th century, mud-brick construction.

The most exciting part of this excursion is climbing up the stairs to the terrace, which will bring you face-to-face with an elevated perspective of the never-ending dunes that appear to continue beyond the horizon.

Desert walk

A walk is usually a great opportunity to interact with nature, and it almost always results in a feeling that is both calming and exhilarating.
A stroll through the Liwa desert will allow you to feel the brisk desert air on your face and witness the towering sand dunes beneath your feet.
Meanwhile, ensure to stay a safe distance from your vehicle at all times and look at it directly in the eyes.
Walking near a camel farm if you are in the desert is best because it is easy to become disoriented amid the sand dunes.

Liwa Tours

1. Liwa Overnight Camping Empty Quarter tour

Liwa Overnight camping Empty Quarter

We have this overnight camping tour to enable you to attend the Liwa date festival in the morning and tour the desert overnight.

It is a well-known activity on the list of things to do in Liwa. Your perception of the 'Empty Quarter,' which is quite populated, will shift significantly if you spend the night camping there.

Enjoy a desert adventure as you go to some of the world's tallest dunes, meet some of the camels indigenous to the region of Liwa, take on the formidable dunes in a four-wheel drive vehicle, and camp out in the open desert atmosphere.

There will be no prior arrangements made; all that will be offered are some fascinating activities to acquaint you with the desert and the opportunity to watch the sun set and rise over the horizon of the desert.

2. Liwa Sunset Champagne tour

Liwa Sunset Champagne tour

Envisage the peace you would experience if you were to sit on top of a dune with no one else around and watch the sunset over the horizon without any interruptions. You have an intense want to have this experience even as you think about it, right?

Make reservations for the Liwa Sunset Champagne for an amazing evening on the largest sand hill in the Empty Quarter, along with a glass of champagne to celebrate the breathtaking splendor of the setting sun. Come to Liwa and see its many additional attractions, such as the camel farm and the Liwa Fort.

Include lunch or dinner at the Qasr Al Sarab Resort, located in the middle of the Liwa Desert, as an upgrade to this adventure to make it more complete.

3. Self 4x4 Drive on Liwa Empty Quarter

 Self 4x4 Drive on Liwa Empty Quarter

During a tailored Self-Drive Adventure to the Liwa Empty Quarter, you will have the opportunity and the challenge to climb some of the tallest dunes in the world. If checking this activity off your list of things to do in Liwa is important to you, then you should sign up for this tour.

Self-driving across the tallest dunes will not only provide you with a sense of accomplishment, but it will also provide you with a surge of adrenaline that will revitalize you. All of this will occur under the competent leadership of Arabiers Liwa safari guides.

Observe a breed of camel that is unique to the Liwa desert, which can't be found anyplace else in the United Arab Emirates. To round up this exciting experience, you can choose to have either lunch or dinner at Qasr Al Sarab, as well as take in the breathtaking sunset over the desert.

4. Liwa Day Tour

Liwa Day Tour

Book this liwa day tour to visit the Emirates National Auto Museum en route to attend the Liwa date festival. At the museum, you’ll see some of the Sheikh's off-road vehicles, historic American cars, a fleet of Mercedes cars in every color of the rainbow, and the world's largest truck here. If you are a die-hard Top Gear fan, it will be easy to recognize because of the place, because it was featured in one of their episodes.