Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the 15th edition of Al Dhafrah Festival’s Competitions will commence tomorrow, at Madinet Zayed, Al Dhafra Region, Abu Dhabi.
Organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, Al Dhafra Festival, which will run 22nd until January, reflects the sustained efforts made by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to enhance the UAE’s global position in heritage preservation.
Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of the Abu Dhabi Police, and Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, said, “Al Dhafra Festival embodies the approach adopted by the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as the premier destination for camel owners locally, regionally and internationally.”
“In line with the Emirate’s vision to preserve UAE heritage, and quintessential Emirati customs and traditions, including the preservation of purebred camels, Al Dhafra Festival has become synonymous with the great cultural achievements made. The Festival exemplifies the tireless efforts made to protect the nation’s time-honoured legacy, attract heritage enthusiasts, and convey the UAE’s message of peace and tolerance to the entire world.”
He highlighted the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the unlimited support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Patron of the Festival, and the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, being the driving force behind accelerating the projects and initiatives aimed at promoting the UAE’s national identity and inculcating the nation’s authentic values and traditions.
For his part, Issa Saif Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, highlighted the directives of the Festival’s patron, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to expand Al Dhafra Festival by including camel pageantries in Suwayhan, Razin and Madinet Zayd, in addition to the principal Camel Beauty Contest of Al Dhafrah Festival.
“Coinciding with the UAE’ Golden Jubilee Celebrations, the Festival’s activities now run from 28th October, 2021, to 22nd January, 2022, as part of the Abu Dhabi Camel Auction Season. The festival features 313 camel runs and this new edition of the event includes the launch of the Bairaq Al Emarat Award for Asayel and Majahim camel breeds. For the first time in mazayna competitions, prizes will be based on a new points system. The festival’s 15th edition also witnesses new races for camel mazayna in two categories; hybrid and Wadh,” he added.
He noted that the Festival also supports those interested in traditional Arabian Saluki races, Falcon Mazayna, Arabian Saluki Mazayna, Archery, Ghanam Al Naim Mazayna (sheep beauty pageant).
Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of the Committee’s Planning and Projects Department, explained that Al Dhafra Festival features multi-faceted heritage activities and contests, primarily the Camel Beauty Pageant, which this year includes 82 rounds for Asayel, Majahim, hybrid Asayel and Wadh. This is in addition to the six-round Mahaleb Competition and nine heritage contests that celebrate the legacy of our ancestors and founding fathers, including traditional Arabian Saluki Race, Falcon Mazayna, Arabian Saluki Mazayna, Ghanam Al Naim Mazayn and Archery, together with Arab bazaars of Saluki, mazyna dates, happiness sheep bazaar, shooting contest, sour milk contest, and other functions.
Al Mazroui urged the participants and visitors to comply with all COVID-19 countermeasures put in place by the competent authorities.