Fruit samples of 12 date cultivars were collected at the beginning of the fruit-tip softening ('rutab') and fully mature ('tamar') stages for physico-chemical analyses. Physical and chemical characters showed significant (P = 0.05) differences between cultivars. Physical characters showed a decrease in all parameters studied from 'rutab' to 'tamar' stages except in dry weight which increased. Chemical analyses indicated small amounts of ether extractants, crude fibre, crude protein and ash, with sugars predominant. Total sugars and reducing sugars were higher at the 'tamar' stage than at the beginning of the 'rutab' stage; sucrose followed the opposite trend. In general, the majority of the date cultivars examined were found to be of the soft date type, characterized by the dominance of reducing sugars.