The Aljada residential community in Sharjah is gearing up to host a new outdoor farmers' market from Friday.
It's called Manbat, an Arabic term that means seedlings or a place where plants grow, and will be held every week from 3pm to 8pm.
It is the result of a collaboration between developer Arada and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
Farm to table
Promising fresh and local produce, the market will host 30 farmers, home-grown entrepreneurs and food stalls. Spinneys is the official retail partner.
Manbat has a threefold aim: to connect Emirati farmers directly to consumers thus building trust in local produce, to enhance the marketing and sales skills of farmers and vendors, and to improve the UAE’s agriculture sector and food security.
“Manbat is a strong community initiative and will be a valuable addition to the Sharjah weekend calendar, helping to champion the best that the emirate – and the UAE – has to offer," said Arada chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi.
"The launch of this weekly market allows families to have a fun and safe day out, as well as giving them access to amazing farm-to-table produce.”
Meet the vendors
The majority of the stalls will be run by local farms and suppliers, all of which focus on fresh produce. Look out for fruit, vegetables and more by:
Badia Farms, an urban vertical farm growing gourmet greens.
Emirates Hydroponics Farms, which uses mineral nutrients to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and strawberries, among other produce.
Modern Organic Farm, the UAE's first organic farm.
Revolution Real, which focuses on immunity-boosting superfoods.
Astraea Farms, which will showcase and sell its olives and olive oil.
Al Khaleej Food, which will bring its myriad honey varieties, from Sidr and Samar to Emirati Ghaf honey.
Other stalls include Vanilla Sukkar cafe, Chapter One Floral Cafe, Pide Concept, Rumailah Farm's cafe, Casa Gelati (for organic ice creams and milkshakes), Nayla Organics and Veggie Box UAE.
Food and family entertainment
Manbat's opening weekend on Friday, January 22 will coincide with a rally of vintage and classic cars, arranged by Sharjah Old Cars Club and Museum. The rally is open to the public, and will begin at the club at 3.30pm and proceed to Aljada, which is about a 15-minute drive away.
Other family-friendly attractions in the community include a soft play area, a skatepark and amphitheatre, and a free-to-enter drive-in cinema. Movie Nights at Aljada on Friday will screen Night at the Museum at 8pm, and Men in Black at 11pm.
If you're hungry after the farmers' market has shut shop post 8pm, head to Zad, a vibrant food truck village and drive-through with 25 outlets, including Dr Pasta, Meet and Steakanji (for meat lovers), Musl (for seafood lovers), vegan concept Veger and Cracked, an Emirati food truck.