Under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the activities of the Baynounah Camel Festival (Mazayna) kick off on Saturday morning in Madinat Zayed in the Western Region (Al Gharbia) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Organised by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, the 2nd edition of the Mazayna will run from the 8th to the 13th of November, 2014.
As part of the intensive preparations for the Baynounah Camel Festival, the Organising Committee announced adjustments to judging grading points with the aim of guaranteeing equal opportunities for all participants and promoting the standards of integrity and credibility. The participation in the Mazayna is exclusively open to Emirati camel owners, and the Committees of Age, Type and Judging include Emirati experts who are recognised for their experience and integrity.
The Organising Committee lowered the grading points for the whiskers from 5 to only 2 out of 100 grading points, with the aim of preserving the natural form of the whiskers and preventing any transformations. The three remaining grading points were distributed as follows: One for the size of the head, one for the cheek, and one for the posture of the nose.
It should noted that 100 grading points for the category of Asayel (locals) are distributed as follows: 25 points for the head and the neck (whiskers, posture of the nose, the width of the cheek, the firmness of the ears, the length and posture of the neck, and the size of the head); 25 points for the upper part (the length of the withers, the height of the withers, the shape and position of the hump, the length of the whole body); 15 points for the front part (the width of the neck, the width of the shoulder, and the size of the pad); 10 points for the back part (the size of the rump, and the straightness of the legs); 25 points for the general shape and fitness (the length of the body, the height of the camel, obedience, physical health and shininess of the hair).
The 100 grading points for the category of Majahim are distributed as follows: 25 points for the head and the neck (whiskers, posture of the nose, the width of the cheek, the firmness of the ears, the length and posture of the neck, and the size of the head); 25 points for the upper part (the length of the withers, the height of the withers, the shape and position of the hump, the length of the whole body); 15 points for the front part (the width of the neck, the width of the shoulder, and the size of the pad); 10 points for the back part (the size of the rump, and the straightness of the legs); 25 points for the general shape and fitness (the display of beauty, the length of the lip, the physical health and the shininess of the hair).
The Baynounah Camel Festival is a camel beauty contest for the categories of Asayel (locals) and Majahim (dark-skinned camels). The participation in the Mazayna, which comprises 32 laps (24 Fardi laps and 8 Jamal laps), is exclusively open to Emirati nationals. The Mazayna also includes 16 laps for the category of local Asayel (12 Fardi laps) and 16 laps for the category of Majahim (12 Fardi laps). The number of prizes for the different categories, laps and positions reaches 280 with a total value that exceeds AED 4 million. In addition to cash prizes, winners can also collect a number of luxury cars. The total value of prizes for every Fardi (single) lap reaches AED 115,000 and the total value of prizes for every Jamal (male camel) lap has been set at AED 170,000.
H.E. Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Advisor for Culture and Heritage in the Court of His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee said that the “Baynounah Camel Festival contributes to the preservation of the heritage legacy and the promotion of the traditions and customs of ancestors among younger generations.”
He pointed to the significance of camels in the recent and ancient history of the region.
“The Baynounah Camel Mazayna attracts a huge number of camel owners who come to compete for the valuable prizes and shed light on entrenched sports. The Camel Mazaynas have begun since the dawn of time and are still practiced until today. They are considered as part of the most important heritage festivals that globalization and city life failed to remove from our lives. Camel Mazaynas remain entrenched and well-established in the desert culture of the Arab Gulf Region, in general and the UAE, in particular,” Mazrouei said.
He praised the special efforts of the locals and their contribution to the preservation of heritage, through providing valuable donations for the different laps of the Mazayna.
“The contributions of the locals come as part of a serious cooperation with the different sponsors of the Festival. The interest and desire to contribute to the Mazayna prove once again that camel beauty contests do actually amount to an important cornerstone in the efforts made to preserve and protect popular heritage,” Mazrouei added.
Until today, a number of nationals have donated valuable prizes for the winners. Some of these donations include all the prizes from the top position to the 10th position of some laps. The donators are: Khamis Mohammed Al Sheddi Al Mansouri, Salem Eidah Al Buqami, Ali Salem bin Haiai Al Mansouri, Mohammed Salem bin Haiai Al Mansouri, Mohammed Bakheet Bin Tanaf Al Menhali, in addition to the Tristar Engineering & Construction company, and the Abu Dhabi Gas Industries company (GASCO) - Habshan Complex.
The Baynounah Camel Festival enjoys the support of 11 official and state bodies and institutions that work toward proving all the necessary support needed to achieve the objectives of the Mazayna. This valuable support helps in the transformation of the Emirati heritage into a lifestyle that is experienced with all its details in our contemporary days.
The Mazayna enjoys the support of: The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, the General Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police (The Western Region Police Directorate), the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), the Centre of Waste Management (Tadweer), the Department of Municipal Affairs (The Western Region Municipality), the Emirates Falconers' Club, the Ruler's Representative Court in the Western Region, the Emirates Camel Racing Federation, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, and the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.