FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO Presents Gold Medal to Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid at FAO Conference

Director General recognises Zaid's efforts and achievements to develop the Date Palm Sector

Abdelouahhab Zaid received the FAO medal from Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General

Rome, 28 June 2019 - José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), presented the Gold Medal of FAO to Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid, Agricultural Advisor at the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, in recognition of his efforts and achievements to develop the infrastructure, development of Date Palm cultivation and the production and processing of dates at the Arab and international levels. The awarding ceremony took place during the 41st FAO Conference in Rome on 22-29 June 2019 in the presence of Her Excellency, Mariam Bint Mohammed Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security,  head of UAE delegation to the Conference and H.H. Ministers of Agriculture and heads of the international delegations of FAO member-states.



-          Zaid has occupied several administrative and technical positions since his arrival to the United Arab Emirates, including the Director of Studies and Research Unit of Palm and Dates Development, Coordinator of the Global Date Palm Network, General Director of the Arab Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. Director of palm cultivation program in Namibia.

-          Founder and Secretary General of Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.

-          Founder of the Emirates Award for Distinguished Farms and Innovative Farms.

-          Agricultural Advisor in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs in the UAE.  

-          Organizing International Festival of the Egyptian Dates (5 years), the Sudanese International Festival of Dates (3 years) and the International Festival of Dates of Jordan (Two Years).

-          He succeeded in multiplying (Al-Ain Fertile Palm), a distinct solution imported from Tunisia and cultivated in the plant tissue culture laboratory, at United Arab Emirates University, achieving a success that exceeded all expectations.

-          Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid has supervised the organization of a number of seminars, workshops and conferences in UAE, including:

The International Date Palm Conference Series (The 1st - 1998, The 2nd - 2002, The 3rd - 2006, and the 4th - 2010), as well as the preparation of a number of national cadres (staff) to take responsibility in the Date Palm sector in UAE.

-          In 2002, he established the International Date Palm Network, located at Department of Palm and Date Development Studies and Research Unit, at United Arab Emirates University. He also succeeded in mobilizing community support for Date Palm to create Palm-Friends Society in UAE, which has more than (300) members.

-          He succeeded in establishing the Emirates International Palm and Dates Exhibition (The 1st - 2004, The 3rd - 2008, and the 4th - 2010),

-          He has published numerous books, most notably the book on Date Palm, which was published by FAO in Arabic and English and the Glossary of Biotechnology Terminology in Agriculture and Food, first published in English and translated into five languages.

-          Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid was able to establish strong relations with those concerned with and interested in Date Palm: agriculture, industry and trade, inside UAE and abroad. He provided scientific and technical consultations to many bodies to promote the cultivation of Date Palm and increase the productivity of dates. Also, he has contributed to this activity in support of the UAE position in this field.

-          Prof. Abdelouahhab Zaid held many awards and other honours including:

  • B-R. Sen Award, from FAO of 1999.
  • Award of Excellence, awarded by the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development - 2000.
  • Goodwill Ambassador of FAO - 2014.


Share this page