The UAE's capital is organising the ninth edition of Al Dhafra Festival at Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia (The Western Region) from December 7 to 30.
The event held 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, will feature up to 15 heritage activities and competitions, with total prizes worth over Dh50 million.
The competitions include 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).
Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi, said: "Al Dhafra Festival has managed to promote authentic Emirati heritage and reinforce efforts made to ensure its 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," he added.
Since its launch in April 2008, Al Dhafra Camel Beauty Contest has developed into the largest and most comprehensive Mazayna (contest) of its kind. 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.
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 begin 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.
The ninth edition is expected to be the largest since the inauguration of Al Dhafra in Festival in 2008. The Mazayna is also expected to attract the highest number of participations in 103 laps: 37 laps at the Baynounah Camel Mazayna, and 66 laps at Al Dhafra Camel Mazayna.