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Soils in arid regions are not favourable for agricultural purposes because of intrinsic characteristics; mainly low water retention and poor fertility. We report initial results from on an on-going study into the effects biochar application on characteristics of a soil typically found in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Biochar was produced from fronds of date palm by carbonization at 400 o C in an oven and applied at 0, 10, 50 or 100 g kg -1 soil. Treatment with biochar increased soil water retention up todoi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.729 fatcat:7p5bf6x5fvhodfxtz2pp5kojty