According to the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, around 6,000 entries were recorded across the four falconry championships.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) has announced the conclusion of a record-breaking 2019-2020 season for heritage sports/activities aimed at promoting and preserving the local heritage for next generations, with new records set and greater participation registered for various tournaments and events that promote Emirati cultural heritage.
The series of events were organised under the generous directives of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The annual championships were held between December 2019 and March 2020 across key locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman.
For almost two decades, the Fazza Heritage Championships have become an enduring legacy attracting nationals, expatriates, Arabs in the region and competitors from around the world competing in diverse heritage sports that include falconry, saktoun (rifle shooting), camel marathon, free diving and Saluki racing.
The 2019-2020 Season started with Sharjah Falconers Club Championship (Telwah), held at Maliha desert area. The Championship has proven a major attraction not only for senior falconers but also for the young ones who took part in the heritage sport.
The new season of the 19th Fazza Championship for Falconry-Telwah, organised by the HHC, kicked off on Dec.30, 2019 and ran until Jan.16 at Al Ruwayyah desert area. The falconry championship, which is one of the oldest and largest tournaments of its kind, honed the skills of top falconers and found new talents in the heritage sport.
There was also the Rashid Bin Humaid Falconry Championship at Al Yasmeen area in Ajman and the Fakhr Al Ajyal (Pride of Generations) Championship for Falconry, held also in Al Ruwayyah, Dubai.
The combined entries at the four falconry championships registered the largest number of participants in a single season since the start of the first falconry tournament 18 years ago. According to HHC, around 6,000 entries were recorded across the four falconry championships.
The Meydan Grand Knight of the 20th edition of Fazza Championship for Youlah was crowned in March during a grand award ceremony held at Dubai Global Village.
The annual heritage sport, organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, which is now on its 20th edition and 15th year shown live over Sama Dubai TV, has seen participation of not just from UAE nationals but also performers from Iraq, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Libya.
To further promote the UAE’s rich cultural heritage, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) has launched the staging of an annual ‘Camel Trek Marathon’ for expats and visitors in the UAE.
The ‘Camel Trek Marathon’ will be held next year, alongside the 6th National Day Camel Marathon, as part of the Arabian Camel Festival under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan.
This year, around 300 camel riders participated in two new preparatory races and the 5th National Day Camel Marathon,.
A large number of enthusiasts and spectators witnessed the Saluki Championship at Dubai’s Al Marmoom racetrack. Participation in the tournament also increased from outside the UAE, with at least 30 entries from Saudi Arabia joining participants from other countries and an ever-increasing contingent from Emiratis.
Moreover, this year’s Saluki Championship has used the first time a robotic gazelle that was chashed by the salukis to test their stamina, speed and hunting capabilities.
The 14th Fazza Championship for Freediving concluded with yet another record-breaking year. Polish, Omani and Kuwaiti divers posted not only their personal
bests but also smashed some world and tournament records at the Hamdan Sports Complex. This proved the freediving championship in Dubai has gone from strength to strength over the years. A total of 30 divers from 12 countries competed in the final round, divided into three categories — Professional, UAE Nationals and GCC Amateurs, and Juniors (for UAE Nationals and GCC) — with 10 competitors in each category.
The slow motion video shows Sheikh Hamdan’s love for falconry.
The current season 2019-2020 of Fazza Championship for Falconry is taking place in full swing as participants in different categories showcase their falcons skills combined with techniques, strength and sophisticated training.
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