20210112 antar
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Rashid's falcon, named Antar, finished third, covering the 400-metre distance in 19.625 seconds. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One of the falcons belonging to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, participated in the ongoing Fazza Championships for falconry and finished strong in a tight race for Hur Jirnas on Tuesday morning.

Sheikh Hamdan’s falcon, named Antar, a Jirnas (over one-year old), finished third, covering the 400-metre distance in 19.625 seconds. Mansour Ali Al-Ketbi’s falcon edged out Antar by only a split second to clinch the first place with a time of 19.574 seconds, and was closely followed in second place by Swaidan bin Demaithan’s falcon ‘S2’ with a timing of 19.604 seconds.

The Fazza Championship for Falconry is now in its 19th year and is organised annually by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) in Dubai’s Al Ruwayyah desert area.

Taking falconry to greater heights

“The participation of Sheikh Hamdan’s falcons has added an atmosphere of joy and powered the sport of falconry in the UAE to greater heights,” noted Suad Ibrahim Darwish, director of championships at HHC. “Falconers sought to achieve the best timings and highlight their competitive capabilities in this championship that is held under the patronage and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan,” Darwish added.

Rich cultural heritage

Darwish also noted that the new season of falconry was remarkable as it coincided with the UAE’s ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign — a 45-day campaign aimed at promoting the UAE as a diverse winter destination. She further said: “Falconry defines the UAE’s rich cultural heritage and we are happy to present the championship in the best way possible to showcase the intangible Emirati culture. Over the years, the Fazza Championship for Falconry, organised annually by HHC, has grown in size, popularity and prestige and is now recognised as a highly-anticipated annual gathering of the best falconers from across the region and beyond.”

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Public health and safety

Darwish also praised the strong participation and cooperation of the falconers. “In terms of health and safety, the falconers have been carefully following all precautionary measures to ensure everyone’s health and safety as they follow preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.