Al DHAFRA, 20th January, 2022 (WAM) — The 15th edition of Al Dhafra Festival competitions continues in Madinet Zayed, Al Dhafra – Abu Dhabi region, with a large number of heritage enthusiasts and racing enthusiasts camels and horses from all the emirates descend on Al Dhafra region to participate in delightful and challenging traditional cultural competitions and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and nature in its most beautiful form.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, the festival is organized by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee from 12 to 22 January. It reflects the sustained efforts made by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to highlight the position of the United Arab Emirates as a regional and international hub for strengthening the preservation of heritage for future generations.
This year’s edition is full of exciting activities that start from the early hours of the morning until 4:00 p.m. The festival features multi-faceted heritage activities and contests, primarily the Camel Beauty Pageant, which this year features 82 rounds for Asayel, Majahim, Hybrid Asayel and Wadh. This is in addition to the six-round Mahaleb contest and nine heritage contests that celebrate the legacy of our ancestors and founding fathers, including the traditional Arabian Saluki race, Falcon Mazayna, Arabian Saluki Mazayna, Ghanam Al Naim Mazayn and the shooting to the arch, as well as the Arab bazaars. of Saluki, mazyna dates, happiness sheep bazaar, shooting contest, sour milk contest, and other functions.
Another highlight of the event is the Heritage Souk, where visitors can find up to 200 indoor and outdoor shops selling traditional Emirati and Gulf handicrafts, including perfumes, incense, clothing and household accessories and utensils. The outdoor shops feature some of the best of UAE heritage. Sadu (weaving), talli (embroidery) and khos (palm leaf weaving) are present in the Al Dhafra souk not only in the finished products but also in the workshops, showing visitors how to create their own basket or decorate their dress in traditional Emirati fashion.
On Million Street, visitors have access to camel auctions and the chance to participate or watch the winners march to their camp. The atmosphere of Million Street is amazing with dozens of food trucks, camping and hunting gear stores selling state-of-the-art handcrafted camping and hunting knives, and restaurants with dedicated family areas. Visitors can also watch some of the finest camels in the Arabian Gulf marching its way, beautifully dressed in gold and silver as they travel to and from competitions. Their owners and keepers are always with them, driving in 4x4s, playing music and occasionally dancing around the camels if they win one of the top places in the beauty contest.
COVID-19 countermeasures are strictly in place at all festival venues, with visitors required to present an active Green Pass on their Al Hosn app to enter. Camel pageants also require green status on Al Hosn, as well as a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours of the event.