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Al-Dhafra Festival announces conditions for participation in Arab Heritage Saluki Race

posted on 09/12/2013: 2338 views



The Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi, is to organise the Arab Heritage Saluki Race in Madinat Zayed later this month at the camel racetrack, on the sidelines of the 7th edition of the Al Dhafra Festival.

Considered one of the most popular competitions among the activities accompanying the Camel Mazayna, the races are being held for the fourth time in a row on December 21st and 28th.

The Director of the Festival's Heritage Competitions, Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, said in a press statement that the organising committee has set a number of terms and conditions required for participation in the competition.

He said that the Salukis must be Arabian and pure-bred from the two categories (Reesh and Hoss) and both genders. Mazrouei stressed that only Salukis above the age of one year are allowed to take part, noting that participation is open for the public and that each participant should take part with no less than 4 Salukis.

The terms and conditions also stipulate that the participating Saluki must be free from diseases and disabilities, and given all the essential immunisations and vaccines. The Saluki must carry an identification electronic microchip to prove ownership and be physically fit. Illegal doping for Salukis is strictly banned and a laboratory examination will be conducted.

Referring to the schedule, laps and prizes, Al Mazrouei said that participating Salukis will compete over a two kilometre racetrack, noting that there is a qualifying race, and another which is final, Challenge Race.

Registration for participation continues until the 15th of December, and owners of Salukis from the U.A.E. and the GCC countries can take part.

Mazrouei said that the Organising Committee is keen on the preservation of the purebred Arabian Saluki which enjoys high significance and historical value in the Bedouin hunting tradition. The Arabian Saluki is one of the oldest breeds in the world, its history goes back 13,000 years and its roots have been traced to the Arabian Peninsula.

"This competition bestows an opportunity upon Saluki owners and lovers of the pure Arabian breed to improve their hunting skills in a natural desert environment. It also serves as a platform to reveal the beauty and qualities of Salukis as well as their hunting and racing skills," Mazrouei said.

"The race helps in the promotion of our historical heritage. The preservation of the Saluki is a key part in our efforts to safeguard Arabian tradition, our ancestors' heritage in the Arabian Peninsula, and the deep-seated Bedouin way of life. With the passage of time and progression of generations, authentic traditions and customs are threatened with a gradual depletion. For this reason, we should care and accord the highest priority to preserve and protect the pure breeds in our present and future, for generations to come," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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