The camel milk competition, motivated by the ancient Bedouin tradition of maintaining and taking care of camels, was the initial contest to open up Al Dhafra Festival, happening in Madinat Zayed's desert, in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, from 13th to 29th December.
As in previous years, the competition drew in numerous participants in the 3 groups, Asayel (golden-red camel type, original to Oman), Majahim (the black camel of Saudi Arabia) and hybrid camels. The camels providing the most and ideal sampling milk were the winners of each classification, which this year granted rewards with a total value of AED one million. Each camel in the leading winners created over 10 litres of milk.
Together with camel milk, the Festival opened up with a sour milk competition - well-known in your area as laban - and, for the first time at Al Dhafra, the saluki appeal competitors that will end on Saturday evening
Arranged by the Abu Dhabi Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Board - Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafra festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and it does so with new competitors, more activities and a bigger concentrate on visitors. " We have actually accomplished a great deal in the past One Decade. With Al Dhafra Festival we have produced a platform for the UAE citizens and residents to reveal their pride for the UAE heritage and continue to protect it and pass it on their children," said Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of Projects Management and Interaction at the Committee.
" We added 2 new competitors to the festival this year, the falcon elegance one and the saluki appeal, to address phone calls from saluki and falcon proprietors in the Western Region to have more such competitors for them and, naturally, to comply with the guidelines of His Highness, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, to sustain and increase the variety of competitions and to have much more content that shows, through the number of participants and visitors, that the Festival is contributing to the conservation of our heritage. Examining the Festival's website, I would certainly state we have actually succeeded to give everybody needs to be proud of our practices," he included.
Days before Al Dhafra Festival opened its desert entrances, one truck convoy after one more, carrying camels, sheep, fire wood, materials, tents, was going into Madinat Zayed, establishing camp over the gentle dunes at the foothills of the Empty Quarters.
This year, the organisers anticipate over 1,500 individuals and a minimum of 25,000 camels to enter the competitions, which will award 1,200 prizes with a total value of AED 35 million.
Amongst the 16 heritage tasks planned at the Festival there is the Handicrafts competition, available to both Emirati males and females, which has just begun this Saturday, 17th December, and will end at the end of the occasion. The obstacle is to make to gauge a cover in a specific dimension for any one of the winning camels in the Camel Mazeinah (beauty competition).
Influenced by the authentic Emirati heritage, the cover must be handcrafted and embellished with heritage ornaments like "Al Tarabish" (tassels), gold liras, Al Telli (weaved silvery and gold strings), Al Zari towel and more.
Classic cars, pure Arabian competition, lamb appeal competition, children's town, ideal dates and days packaging competitions, a bigger souk and the falcon mazaynah, the falcon beauty program, which is organized for the very first time at the Festival by Al Marzoum's conventional hunting premises, are amongst the occurring of Al Dhafra. " This year we additionally plan to bring in more visitors and we have different programmes to do this. Among them is our Committee's hospitality camp, where we have dedicated outdoors tents for visitors; if they want to hang around in the desert, in an outdoor tents, this is a possibility for them," concluded Abdullah Al Qubaisi