Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, the activities of the Baynounah Camel Festival, Mazayna, kick off Saturday morning in Madinat Zayed. Organised by the Cultural Programmes 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 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. Participation in Mazayna is exclusively open to Emirati camel owners, and the Judging Committees include Emirati experts who are recognised for their experience and integrity.
The Baynounah Camel Festival is a camel beauty contest for the categories of Asayel (locals) and Majahim (dark-skinned camels). There are 280 prizes for the different categories, laps and positions with a total value of over Dh4 million. In addition to cash prizes, winners can also collect a number of luxury cars.
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 Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee, said, "The Baynounah Camel Festival contributes to the preservation of the heritage legacy and the promotion of the traditions and customs of our ancestors among younger generations." He pointed to the significance of camels in both the recent and ancient history of the region, saying, "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 been organised since the dawn of time and are still practiced today. They are considered part of the most important heritage festivals that globalisation and city life have 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 U.A.E. in particular," Mazrouei concluded.