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A falconer competes at the Sharjah Falconry Championship last year. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The celebration of the 49th UAE National Day continues at the ongoing 4th edition of the Sharjah Falconers Club Championship. The competition, supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), kicked off on Wednesday (December 2) and will conclude on Saturday (December 5).

According to the organisers, the Sharjah Falconers Club (SFC) Championship has proved to be a major attraction to falconers from across the UAE and GCC countries as 165 falconers with 391 birds are participating in the four-day falcon racing at Sharjah’s Maliha desert area.

Abdulaziz bin Sultan Al Ali, vice chairman of the SFC and chairman of the Organising Committee noted: “The championship, now only in its fourth year, has grown bigger from year to year. It has also attracted strong participation from falconers inside and outside the UAE.” He also thanked the falconers for their efforts in preserving and promoting the UAE heritage sport.

Positive response from falconers

Falconers were likewise satisfied with the special arrangements done by the Organising Committee. Juma Abdullah said organisers were able to adjust and implement the necessary precautionary measures in light of the prevailing health condition brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Falconer Hamid Mohammed Al Tayer also expressed his appreciation in holding the falcon racing as it motivates them to continue their path in the traditional sport and strive for excellence.

Continuing the heritage sport

The competition will conclude on Saturday with races in various categories, including Pure Jeer, Qarmoosha Jeer (adult falcons), Jeer Farkh (under one year of age) and Jirnas (over one year).

Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at HHC, commented: “Through the years, falconry has become more popular in the UAE. Once an integral part of Bedouin life, it has evolved into a highly skilled sport, with big rewards for those highly-skilled at training their birds of prey.”

She added: “The tournaments have become more and more sophisticated. One of the many achievements of the HHC has been to raise awareness among the general public about heritage sports, including falconry — and we look forward to more success and championships in the coming months.”