ABU DHABI - As part of the events of Al Dhafra Festival, the Falcon Hunting Competition kicked off on Sunday, in Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia (the Western Region) in Abu Dhabi. The number of participants who competed for the valuable prizes reached 180 in the category of Gyr-Shahin. The event was attended by a large public, including visitors and guests who came to discover the aspects of Bedouin life at the official site of Al Dhafra Festival.
The Emirati falconer Hamdan Saeed Jaber dominated the Gyr-Shahin category by winning the four top positions with his falcons: Shebabi, Meskat, Baroud, and Shojaa 1, in times: 17.769 seconds, 18.068 seconds, 18.090 seconds, and 18.370 seconds, respectively.
The Falcon Hunting Competition is organized by the Emirates Falconers' Club which has always dedicated its efforts and work to the protection and preservation of environment from daily changes. On the sidelines of Al Dhafra Festival's events, the unique heritage competition was organized for the third time in a row after it won the appreciation of visitors, from different ages, and nationalities.
Director of Al Dhafra Festival's Heritage Competitions, Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei said that the Higher Organizing Committee had launched this competition because of the close association it has with
popular heritage, in which it is deeply rooted. The main objectives consist in preserving authentic heritage, promoting its bright image, and offering an opportunity for visitors to discover a number of interesting and unforgettable events.
Al Mazrouei noted that the success of the Festival lies in its ability to revive traditional games that appeal to young lovers of heritage, whether from inside or outside the UAE. The Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival is seeking to set the standards needed to ensure the dissemination of traditional pastimes, notably falconry.
The Higher Organizing Committee of the Festival has set the conditions and designated the different categories for the Falcon Hunting Competition to ensure the smooth progress of the event. Concerning the different categories of the competition, Al Mazrouei stated two categories, namely the Gyr falcon and its different types such as the three-quarters, 8/7, Al Qurmousha Gyr and the pure Gyr, as well as the category of the Shahin falcon (Peregrine) and all its types, such as the Shahin Gyr, and the Wakri Gyr. Also this year, the Committee has added a competition for the category of Gyr-Taba along with a training series with radio-controlled aircraft aimed at underscoring heritage with modern aspects. The RC aircraft competition aims at proving that there is no conflict between the old traditions and the modern aspects, mechanisms and tools.
According to al Mazrouei, the conditions set for the competition stipulate that the distance is 400 meters. The Supervising Committee will check the falcon’s category in the case of any doubts. Any falcon that doesn’t carry an ID ring will not be allowed into the competition. Every participant is entitled to participate with more than one falcon in the categories of the competition, provided that the owner the falcon takes full responsibility for the process of the falcon’s invitation, and the providing of the falcon’s fake prey. The conditions also stipulate that the falcon’s invitation cannot be carried on using a pigeon. Al Mazrouei stressed that that the Committee’s decisions are final and not subject to be challenged by the participants.
Al Mazrouei also confirmed that valuable prizes have been set aside for the winners of the ten first positions. It should be noted that the competition aims at promoting the use of hybrid falcons bred into captivity as a substitute for wild falcons, ensuring, hence, the protection and survival of the rare species.
Al Mazrouei expected that the 6th edition, which depicts the pure nature of the Bedouin spirit on the ground, would draw large numbers of tourists and visitors from various countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). He noted that this Festival, which has turned international in every sense of the word, shows that modernity is compatible with the cultural heritage of the UAE.
The results of the Falcon Hunting Competition for the category of Gyr-Shahin, held Sunday, are as follows:
First position: Shebabi of owner Hamdan Saeed Jaber, the United Arab Emirates in 17.769 seconds
Second position: Meskat of owner Hamdan Saeed Jaber, the United Arab Emirates in 18.068 seconds.
Third position: Baroud of owner Hamdan Saeed Jaber, the United Arab Emirates in 18.090 seconds.
Fourth position Shojaa 1 of owner Hamdan Saeed Jaber, the United Arab Emirates in 18.370 seconds.
Fifth position: Lahab of owner Khalifa Ahmad Ben Migrin , the United Arab Emirates in 18.370 seconds.
Sixth position: Dhahab of owner Khalifa Ahmad Ben Migrin , the United Arab Emirates in 18.460 seconds.
Seventh position: Khatir for owner Mohammed Khafan Butti Al Qubaisi - The United Arab Emirates in 18.460 seconds.
Eighth position: Raheef of owner Muhrah Butti Al Qubaisi- the United Arab Emirates in 19.077 seconds.
Ninth position: December 2 of owner Abdullah Saeed Suwaidan Al Qumzi - The United Arab Emirates in 19.153 seconds.
Tenth position: Falcon of Nad Al Sheba Team in 19.167 seconds.