Jumaa Al Ali, a contestant, performs in the third episode.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Residents turned out in large numbers to enjoy a variety of entertainment at Global Village in Dubai. Besides activities in different countries’ pavilions, the residents, especially locals and from the Arab countries, have been attending and enjoying the Youlah contests being held in the Global Village’s Meydan Fort every Friday.
Emirati Yuweels (Youlah performers) dominated the first two qualifying rounds of the 20th Fazza Championship for Youlah, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC).
The UAE’s Abdullah Ali Al-Ketbi topped the first group with an almost perfect score of 49 out of possible 50 points. Al Ketbi hit the sensors four times and was able to catch the rifle three times. His Ghutra or traditional headdress fell during the performance but that did not affect his over-all score.
Emirati Sultan Al Ketbi also moved on to the quarterfinal round after finishing with 47 points.
In its latest episode, two more Emirati yuweels advanced to the next stage. Rashid Al Mansouri and Rashid Sultan Al Darmaki got the judges’ nod and received high scores in the public voting.
The performers were evaluated by a panel of judges based on their skills in spinning and throwing a replica rifle. Bonus points were given to those who were able to hit the height of 17-20m. A loud buzzer and laser lights go off when a Yuweel reaches that altitude with his rifle.
The judges’ scores were added to the public vote and the top two performers in each qualifying episode advanced to the quarterfinals.
This year’s Fazza Championship for Youlah also marks the 15th year that the annual heritage sport is held at Meydan Fort and broadcasted live every Friday night over Sama Dubai TV.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, HHC Director of Championships, noted that current season is exceptional at all levels, especially since Youlah competition is now on its 20th year.
“We have participants from various parts of the region, including Iraq, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Libya and the UAE. We are also pleased to see the elderly enjoying watching the Fazaa championship which is being staged every year in the past 20 years,” she underlined.