Oct 13 , 2015
Oct 13 , 2015
ABU DHABI - Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi organises the 9th edition of Al Dhafra Festival. Held in Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia (The Western Region) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the new edition will run from the 7th to the 30th of December, 2015.
The Festival, which has turned into a major regional and international event, is inspired in its form and content by the authentic Bedouin spirit. It features up to 15 heritage activities and competitions, with a total value of prizes that exceeds AED 50 million, namely: the Baynounah Camel Mazayna, Al Dhafra Camel Mazayna (Asayel and Majahim), the Heritage Camel Race, the Camel Milking Competition (Mahaleb), the Purebred Arabian Horse Race, Falcon Competitions, the Arab Heritage Saluki Race, the Photography Competition, the Dates Mazayna (Best Dates Competition), the Dates Packaging Competition, the Traditional Market, the Children’s Village, the Sour Milk Competition, and the Sheep Mazayna (Sheep Beauty Contest).
“Al Dhafra Festival has managed to promote the authentic Emirati heritage and reinforce the valuable efforts made to ensure its safeguard and protection. Over the years, the Festival has contributed to the promotion of Al Gharbia on the map of international tourism, through introducing the region, the details of its culture and authenticity, and the different traditions of the Emirati people,” said His Excellency Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi.
Al Mazrouei noted that the Festival “has succeeded in acquiring a distinguished status, owing to the generous support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (May God protect him).” He hailed the considerable attention that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan accords to the various efforts made to ensure the safeguard and protection of the Emirati heritage. Al Mazrouei also commended the constant follow-up of the Festival and its development strategy by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, noting that the activities of Al Dhafra are essential to safeguard the national identity and protect the local heritage.
Since the launch of the 1st edition in April 2008, under the directives of the wise leadership, Al Dhafra Camel Beauty Contest has developed into the largest and most comprehensive Mazayna of its kind. The success was made possible by means of a generous support and a substantial confidence. The Committee continues to make valuable efforts as it strives to develop the event and diversify the activities while taking into consideration the suggestions and opinions of visitors and participants.
“Al Gharbia is intensifying its preparations for this major cultural and economic event that will be held in Madinat Zayed. Tales of ancient history, civilisation and modernity are awaiting visitors who will experience a unique harmony between the authenticity of the past and the excellence of the present,” Al Mazrouei said.
Al Dhafra Camel Beauty Contest has succeeded in reinforcing its position and credibility. Over the years, the Mazayna categories, laps and prizes have developed, with the number of participating camels rising to reach over 25,000. Only camel owners from the Arab Gulf region are allowed to participate in the Mazayna, which has been described by international media outlets as the “biggest camel gathering in history.”
In the 2015 edition, the Higher Organising Committee has agreed to organise the Baynounah Camel Mazayna as part of the activities of Al Dhafra Festival. Hence the event will kick off with the exclusive participation of Emirati camel owners in the Baynounah event. Later, during the Festival, Al Dhafra Camel Mazayna will be organised, with the participation of camel owners from the GCC states.
This year, the Organising Committee has made a number of required changes in the laps of Mazayna in order to achieve further development for the competition. The Committee is also providing essential services for participants, and their camels so as to offer equal opportunities for all.