HH Mansoor Festival, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club cement bond

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Race Festival has enhanced its partnership with the Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club following which falconers will be part of the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards and thereby showcase the Purebred Arabian horse and the Falcon as two of the important elements in the heritage and culture of the UAE.

This announcement was made along with the Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club schedule of the competitions during the 2014-2015 season at a joint Press conference at the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Race Festival Lounge, Suite 321, the Eastern Mangroves Jannah here on Sunday.

“The feature event of the new season would be the second edition of the President’s Cup that runs from January 15 to 27, 2015 with the total purse of Dh25m in prize-money for the season,” Sultan Al Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club confirmed.

“Pursuant to the great support of the HH the President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, May Almighty Allah Preserve Him, and under the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the follow up of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, and HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and under the direct supervision of HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the current competition features three finals including, ‘telwah’, training of falcons with balloons and training of falcons with wireless aircraft. This is over and above the special competition for members of the general public who own five or less falcons as well as the open category for falconers who own more than five falcons besides the Sheikhs category,” Al Mahmood said.

“The new categories and rules are the first of their kind at the UAE level, including the one through which the AD Falconers’ Club will allow falcons of less than one year in age to take part in the competitions,” he added.

“The club has raised the value of the prize-money to Dh25m plus 64 cars to motivate everybody to interact and encourage participants to show up and add more colours and thrill to the heritage sport.

“The club also launches its global initiative of the smart electronic ring to be fitted around the falcon’s leg to provide accurate information about the speed and flight distance. This step comes within the club’s keenness to apply the latest technology in promoting the sport to keep pace with the progress that has been achieved in other fields.

“There will be also the falconer of the season Award based on the points accumulated and the overall performance in the final competitions,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to Al Mahmood, the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival is considered a priority on the agenda of the club.

“The club participates in the various competitions of the festival from December 2 to 6 at Al Falah field which will be divided into four categories, two for the Sheikhs (Jernas and Farkh Falcons), and two for the general public and a purse of Dh250.000 has been allocated for the winners.

“Al Dhafra Heritage Festival will be held from December 20 to 24 and the competitions feature four finals for the Sheikhs and the general public. The final day of the festival features a Falcon Chicks challenge and the prize-money is Dh One million,” he said.

“Qasr Al Hosn Festival Falconry Cup from February 23 to 27 will see 110 falconers with 367 falcons making the line up,” he concluded.

Fadhel Al Mansouri reiterated on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council their determination to promote the UAE history and heritage and present the true image of the nation to the rest of the world.

“Under the directives of HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has become a strategic partner of the Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club and not just sponsors,” said Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies Racing Committee in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) and Chairman of Apprentice Jockeys & Racing in IFAHR.

Regarding the support of the festival to enhance the success of the sport, Sawaya said they will provide prizes for the spectators the details of which will be announced in due course.

“Moreover, the falconers will be honoured during the annual HH Sheikha Fatma bint Mubarak Darley Awards where the falcon will stand alongside the Arabian horse,” she confirmed.

“Abu Dhabi will also host the General Assembly of the newly-formed body, the International Federation of Training Schools for Purebred Arabians,” she said.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in association with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR and Emirates Arabian Horse Society, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with Arabtec Holding PJSC as the Official Partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Rashid Investment, Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2014, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Racing Post.