The 13th edition of Al Dhafra Festival Kicked off Monday in Madinat Zayed, al Dhafra Region, Abu Dhabi.
The festival, which embodies the spirit of heritage in this part of the world, is organised by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi from December 9-25, in order to celebrate and preserve the heritage of the people of the United Arab Emirates.
This yearly festival, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is an occasion to celebrate heritage within the young generation who lives in a globalised society open to the cultures of the world.
Major General Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander-in-Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, and Chairman of the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, assured that such events reflect the legacy of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in preserving the heritage and the continuing support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region.
"Sheikh Mohamed’s directives are aimed at preserving and transmitting cultural heritage to successive generations and promote heritage festivals. Therefore, the festival will witness a huge expansion in terms of organisation and competitions year after year," said Al Mazrouei.
Organisers said that the value of the festival prizes has been increased to AED20 million. The total amount of festival prizes in its current edition has been increased to around AED60 million; AED25 million of which for the prizes of camel race and AED8 million for the prizes of other various heritage competitions.
The festival will be attended by the largest number of camel owners who are participating in the camel races comprising 81 rounds to win 695 prizes.
There are hundreds of prizes allocated for numerous heritage and popular camel competitions and races in addition to daily prizes for visitors of the festival during the various events of Al Dhafra’s traditional souq.
In addition to the main camel race and camel-milking contest, the festival is organising nine competitions reflecting the UAE and Gulf cultural heritage. These nine competitions have been allocated around 245 prizes in addition to 16 heritage-related handicrafts and cooking competitions designed for women, men and children in the centre of Al Dhafra’s traditional souq.
The events of the festival include a falconry contest which is organised by Abu Dhabi Falconers Club.
The heritage-related Arabian Saluki (greyhound) competition championship for 2500 meters will be held this year.
Al Dhafra’s Traditional Souq will witness the Best Dates and Dates packaging competitions. The competition has allocated 25 prizes distributed to 5 categories (Dabbas, Khalas, Sheeshee, Fard and dates packaging).
There is also the sour milk competition which has been allocated 50 prizes distributed to five competitions over five days. In addition, the Souq will witness various traditional competitions including (traditional dress stitching competition, Al Telli’ (embroidery), Sadu (weaving cotton and wool), Al Saff competition, perfume competition, frankincense competition, women fashion show competition, girls fashion show competition, women popular food competition, men popular food competition, Burqa competition, Thaml and weaving competition, traditional carpet (Zarabeel) weaving, milking competition, making dolls using the old way).
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