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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Can residents help themselves to the dates on Qatar’s trees?

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Date tree in Qatar
Date tree in Qatar

As many of the date trees lining Qatar’s streets began bearing fruit, the annual question arises: can residents help themselves?

Yes, they can – but there are some caveats, a representative from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment told Doha News.

In an interview this week, she said the trees are the responsibility of different municipalities and their gardening departments.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“They coordinate with companies to deal with the dates by either selling them or giving them (out),” she said, adding:

“It’s okay for people to take some and eat from it. It’s not prohibited. If someone comes and takes a little bit to eat, that’s fine. But to collect them and sell them, then that’s not okay.”

Energy booster

Of course, trees on private residences or those with netting covering the dates are also not considered fair game.

Speaking to Doha News on the Corniche this week, one man picking dates said the food provides a much-needed boost during the workday.

The cleaner, who asked not to be named, added:

“Sometimes when we are working in the sun, we come and take dates because we feel tired and we need energy. It really helps. We always come and take little, and nobody from police or Baladiya says anything to us. It’s allowed.”

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