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Al Hosn Festival: UAE beekeepers give visitors taste of ‘authentic’ Emirati honey

Al Hosn Festival: UAE beekeepers give visitors taste of ‘authentic’ Emirati honey
26 Jan 2024 05:06

MAYS IBRAHIM (ABU DHABI)

UAE beekeepers at Al Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi are giving visitors a taste of authentic Emirati honey in its myriad colours and flavours.

Aletihad spoke to Sheikha Abdallah Rashid, an Emirati grandmother of seven and a beekeeper participating in the annual event for the first time.

Rashid entered the profession four years ago as a hobby. She currently raises bees in her home garden and sells the produced honey to customers in her neighbourhood.

“It was very hard in the beginning; I was scared of bees, and I got stung a lot,” she told Aletihad.

Now Rashid views the bees as her own “children”.

“I have to go see them and check up on them every morning. I also make sure to put their favourite and most nutritious plants in my garden,” she said.

Rashid further explained that her goals in the beekeeping profession are far from material.

“I don’t think of this as a business; it’s not my goal to make profit. I just want to give myself and people a taste of true Emirati honey,” she said.

Emirati beekeeper Ahmad Al Mazroui from Al Ain city is also taking part in Al Hosn Festival for the first time.

“Everything you see here is 100% Emirati,” he told Aletihad, pointing at the various types of honey displayed in his booth.

Al Mazroui noted that the main purpose behind his participation is to introduce people to the “unique” taste of authentic local honey.

The 43-year-old has been a beekeeper for over two decades and passed down the profession to his son Mohammad.

“I inherited the profession from my father. I’ve been watching him do this since I was a kid,” the 22-year-old told Aletihad.

Al Mazroui’s dedication to beekeeping springs from his belief in its “invaluable” contribution to the UAE’s food security, as well as the various health benefits associated with honey.

The UAE’s continuous efforts to expand green spaces in the country and to protect the biodiversity of its environment have allowed beekeepers to produce more diverse types of honey, he added.

Al Hosn Festival welcomes visitors to Al Hosn, home of the historic Qasr Al Hosn, until January 28.

The festival highlights Emirati traditions and heritage by showcasing local food, hospitality, and clothing, in addition to live musical performances and art exhibitions.

Source: Aletihad - Abu Dhabi
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