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Khalifa International Date Palm Award Reveals Names of the Winners of the Award’s Seventh Session

جائزة خليفة الدولية لنخيل التمر

The General Secretariat Honors the Winners on the 15th of Next March

The General Secretariat of Khalifa International Date Palm Award held a press conference, during which names of the winners of the five categories of the Award’s Seventh Session were announced.

At the beginning of the conference, held Sunday morning at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi and attended by representatives of various media, Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Secretary General of the Award, welcomed the media people and praised their active role in promotion and presentation of the Award and appreciated the role of all media types as partners in distinction and success.HE Sheikh Nahayan Official Photo

The Secretary General said: “Since its inception, Khalifa International Date Palm Award made great strides with the blessing of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the State, God protects him, and has been honored by bearing the name of His Highness, a fact that throws on our shoulders the great responsibility of setting out towards broader horizons to achieve pioneering as the first specialized award worldwide.”

Dr. Abdelouahhab Zaid added that the Award has attracted the most important researchers, experts, farmers and those interested in date palm sector, on both Arab and international levels, to compete for the top ranks of the Award and has also realized a distinct shift in development of date palm and studies thereof as well as a consolidation of date palm position worldwide.

He also stressed that the great success and quality shift the Award has achieved came thanks to the great support and attention of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the State, God protects him, as well as the patronage of General H.H, Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Higher Commander of the Armed Forces and the close follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Youth, Culture, and Community Development and President of the Board of Trustees, who has been keen to develop the Award and proceed forward with it towards new horizons.

The Secretary General also explained that, within the applicable standards and mechanisms of granting Khalifa International Date Palm Award and in accordance with the report of the Scientific Committee and valuation of participating works in the five categories of the Award’s Seventh Session as blessed by H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, President of the Board of Trustees, the selected winners were as follows:

The Category of Distinguished Researches and Studies.

The First Winner is: A comprehensive catalog of common sequence polymorphisms in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) assembled by whole genome sequencing of 62 cultivars / Dr. Michael Purugganan – New York University Abu Dhabi / UAE.

The Second Winner is: Book of Fruit Tree Horticulture Date Palm, Omani Date Palm Cultivars / Royal Gardens and Farms Affairs – Royal Court Affairs / Oman.

The Distinguished Producers Category

The First Winner is: Date Palm Development Research Unit Department – Date Palm Tissue Culture Laboratory – UAEU / UAE.

The Second Winner is: Was Withheld.

The Best distinguished Technology

The First winner is: Isolation of Conserved DNA Sequences Related to the Human Sex-Determining Region from the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) / Dr. Mohyeldin Solliman Mohammed – King Faisal University / KSA.

The Second Winner is: DNA barcoding based on plastid matK and RNA polymerase for assessing the genetic identity of date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars / Dr. Mohammed Rizk Enan / UAEU – College of Science – Department of Biology / UAE.

The Best Developmental Project Category:

The First Winner is: Developing Date Palm Cultivation in the Jordan Valley (Palestine) since 2004 / Dr. Nasser Gagob & Eng. Faris Ahmed Zaki / Palestine.

The Second winner is: Coachella Valley History Museum / USA.

The Category of the Distinguished Personality:

The Winner is: Prof. Jose Romeno Faleiro / India.

On his part, Dr. Helal Hamid Alkaabi, Head of the Administrative & Financial Committee of Khalifa International Date Palm Award, congratulated the winners and thanked them for their good efforts and the great accomplishments through which they deserved honoring with the top ranks.

Dr. Helal Alkaabi pointed out that the number of candidate works of the Seventh Session came to 134 researches and studies of all categories by participants from 23 countries, 16 of which are Arab and 7 foreign. The most prominent participant countries were: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Oman, Morocco, Palestine, Tunis, Canada, U.S.A, India, Syria, Sudan, Bahrain, Yemen, Iran, Australia, Lebanon, Germany, Libya, Italy and U.A.E.

AL Kaabi also said: “It is no secret for a tracker of the march of Khalifa International Date Palm Award since it was first founded that it has achieved continuous development and great success within a seven years period full of accomplishments and gains, consisting a qualitative addition to the date palm sector. It has also made wide strides and realized a quality shift in the field of research and studies, working thereby on development of production and marketing, improvement of production and innovation of new means as far as marketing, and processing are concerned.”

He also stressed that the great attention and special care of H.H Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of the State, God protects him, together with good governance have had great impact on development of the Award to reach universality and occupy such a prestigious position.

Dr. Al Kaabi further explained that the Award received tenths of participations including researches, studies and experiments by some of the most important researchers, institutions and other workers in this sector. The first category, “ The Distinguished Researches and Studies”, ranked first in the number of candidate works with 66 participants then “The Distinguished Producers Category” with 8 participants, “ The Best Distinguished Technology” with 17 participants, “The Best Developmental Project Category” with 21 participants and “The Category of the Distinguished Personality” with 22 participants.

Dr. Al Kaabi pointed out that remarkably such participations were of versatile researches and studies and in richness as well. They have evolved for the better to come distinctive and more specific, confirming thereby that Khalifa International Date Palm Award is no more just an Award but rather an integrated and pioneering institution in date palm sector and studies, a reliable reference for researchers, scholars and farmers and a bridge of scientific communication and exchange of thoughts and ideas about all matters related to this blessed tree.

He pointed out, as well, that the UAE had a distinguished participation in this session, which confirms the position this blessed tree has in the UAE, the great care and attention rendered by the wise leadership to the agricultural sector in general and date palm sector in particular and keenness of the researchers and farmers to actively participate towards development of this sector which consists a corner stone of our heritage and food habits.

He noted that Arab participation has remarkably grown, which is an indication of the Award’s prestige and importance and that it has succeeded in reaching all those having to do with agricultural sector and date palm.

Dr. Helal Al Kaabi terminated his statement by stressing continuation of the march towards achievement of further success and fulfillment of all aims of the Award, namely consolidation of the internationally pioneering role of UAE in development of scientific research on date palm and encouragement of the workers in date palm cultivation sector, including researchers, farmers, producers, exporters and specialized organizations, societies and authorities saying “We are inspired in all what we are seeking by the wise vision of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, President of UAE, God protects him, bearing of whose name and the special sponsorship His Highness have been an honor to the Award.

At the end of the press conference, the Secretary General of the Award congratulated the winners of all categories, stressing that the top ranking studies and researches would be a qualitative addition and would contribute to development of date palm sector worldwide, saying: “All the candidate studies and researches of the Seventh Session of Khalifa International Date Palm Award are distinctive and a plus value to date palm sector”. He also wished that the next session of the Award would receive more participation to serve and raise this sector on all levels.

It is worth mentioning, however, that Khalifa International Date Palm Award grants great prizes to the top ranking winners of its five categories. The first winner gets an amount of AED 300,000 with a trophy and an appreciation certificate while the second winner gets an amount of AED 200,000 with a trophy and an appreciation certificate.

All The winners would be honored in a special ceremony organized by the General Secretariat of the Award on Sunday, next March 15th, at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi and the invitation is open for the public.


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