Dubai: More than 2,000 falcons were in action at the month-long Fazza Championship for Falconry–Telwah, which concluded in the Al Ruwayyah desert area of Dubai on Friday.
Organised by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, falcons that took part in the competition were broadly divided into Farkh (under one year of age) and Jirnas (over one year). Each category had races for Sakr (falcon) and Shaheen (peregrine).
“Excitement was high as the races saw participation from the best falconers from across the UAE and Gulf countries, reflecting the rich tradition of this sport in the Arab world,” said Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships.
Bond among falconers
Al Khasouni also praised “the strong bond and brotherhood among the falconers”. He noted: “Falconry, as a traditional sport, has always been associated with the traditional Arabian values of courage, honour and nobility as well as nature conservation, respect for animals and camaraderie among falconers. These were the values we promoted at the competition as we also celebrated our heritage is passed on from many generations.”
Al Khasouni further said: “Over the years, the Fazza Championship for Falconry–Telwah (lure in Arabic) has grown in size, popularity and prestige. The sport of falconry takes its roots back 2,000 years when it was practised by the Bedouins in the wider Arabian Peninsula as a form of hunting. Now it is one of the UAE’s oldest and most honoured heritage sports.”
In the Open Category, which was open to all falconers across the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dubai team won first place in the first race of the day with falcon named ‘Prairie’ finishing the 400-metre distance with a time of 17.939 seconds, followed by Muhammad Khalifa Al Mansouri’s bird ‘T4’ in 18.046 seconds, while another Dubai team bird, ‘Al-Tuff’, came in third place in 18.047 seconds.
Saudi national Amin bin Abdullah Al-Mallah won first place in the following race, with his Jirnas bird named ‘Barq’ reaching the finish line in 17.459 seconds, followed by Hamid Rashid Al-Mansoori’s ‘Harb’ at 17.499 seconds. In third place was Saif Jamal Al-Huraiz’s ‘35’ with 17.512 seconds.
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Other first-place winners in the other races were Hamid Muhammad Al Tayer’s bird ‘Arrow’; ‘T18’ owned by Muhammad Ali Al-Asiri; and falcon ‘H52’ belonging to Ghanem Khalfan Al Mazrouei.