Participants registering for the Hadad Al Saluki contest last year.
DOHA: More people are expected to take part in the Hadad Al Saluki competition of the Fifth Qatar International Falcon and Hunting Festival.
Arabian salukis are greyhound-like dogs known for their speed, intelligence, stamina and loyalty to their owners, and saluki hunting is a traditional sport practised in the region for thousands of years. “The first day of registration witnessed many participants and I expect there would be rush on the final day of registration,” said Ahmad Sultan Al Mulla, Vice Chairman of the Hadad Al Saluki committee.
During registration, the committee checks the saluki, its type and whether it fulfils requirements set by the panel.
Meanwhile, registration for various categories of the falcon competition saw more participants yesterday.
Mohammad Mubarak Al Ali Al Maadeed, Head of Al Tala’a committee, said there had been no major change on conditions for the competition, one of the popular falcon hunting contests.
Al Tala’a falcon is known for its sharp vision and ability to identify the place of its prey and it is popular with hunters because it guides hunters. Its vision is many times sharper than that of humans.
“The only change is the distance, within which the falcon should identify the place where the prey is. It is now 800 metres. The falcon is given three minutes to identify the hiding place of the prey,” he said. Winners will be the best 10 falcons which meet requirements and in case they are equal in the distance, winners will be decided based on the fastest time, he added.
This year’s competition, he said, would attract more participants because more people are becoming aware of it and participants have gained more experience and training through the previous editions. “They want to win prizes,” he said, adding the new participants would enrich the festival.
Khalifa Nasser Al Ghaisani, one of the participants, said like others, he prepared well for the contest.
“The festival is popular at the GCC level and has gained many followers outside Qatar. It has been attracting participants form Qataris and other GCC nationals in different ages. Also there are many tourists who are keen to know about festival activities and how they can follow them.”
Another participant, Mohammed Al Emadi, said he was taking part in Al Da’o contest for the second time. “It is the most exciting competition, which attracts many participants and I enjoy participating in it. I advise the youth to participate because it will help them gain skills.”