Fazza Heritage Championships, held under the direct patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, bring together thousands of professionals and amateurs from different cultures to compete in various traditional sporting disciplines. These championships enjoy wide popularity, attracting participants not only from the UAE, but from across the Arab region and beyond. The Fazza Heritage Championships are looked upon as a vibrant example of the ability of heritage to serve as a meeting ground for contemporary civilizations.
The guidance and encouragement of the patron of the championships, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his instructions to provide all moral and material support for the success of the tournaments serve as a perennial source of inspiration for the Center to spread the heritage of the UAE.
The championships are further distinguished by the generous awards handed out to those who excel in the competitions, most notably the awards allocated by Her Highness Sheikha Hind Bint Juma Al Maktoum, wife of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Fazza Heritage Championships are attended and followed by a large number of the general public who each year eagerly await the heritage championships that carry the legacy of the past and seeks to integrate that legacy into the future, ensuring the preservation of the nation’s cultural heritage. Organized annually by a specially constituted team within the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center known as Administration of Championships, Fazza Heritage Championships have today established itself as one of the richest and most important heritage tournaments worldwide, and stand out for being a one-of-a-kind event where competitions are held almost throughout the year in different categories.
Fazza Championship for Falconry - Live PreyThe Fazza Championship for Falconry - Live Prey is one of the most keenly anticipated falconry competitions. Live hunting means that the prey is a live bird launched as the first for the falconer, who would be first to capture it to become the owner of the most important figure. Many veterans regard it as the fiercest and most important of all falconry contests. The "Telwah" competitions have proven a major attraction not only for falconers but equally for sports photographers, who look forward to attending these competitions to capture rare, exciting images of the falcons chasing after and hunting down their prey. The competitions are staged within a traditional atmosphere befitting the heritage and history of the sport. At the same time, the championship is known for its use of the latest modern technology as well as the state-of-the-art facilities that are offered to participants and the public, such as special lounges equipped with digital TV screens. The participating birds are required to undergo medical tests prior to the start of competitions, and a small transparent ring that electronically scans and stores all necessary information relating to the falcon is placed on the feet of each bird. Substantial cash prizes await the winners of these competitions.
Fazza Championship for FalconryFazza Championship for Falconry is the most popular of the various Fazza heritage competitions. Sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the falconry championships have gained tremendous popularity over the years, prompting the organizers to increase the prize fund for the tournaments and introduce new competition categories, thus further elevating the championships’ status as one of the most prominent heritage tournaments globally. The sport of falconry – known locally as "kanas" (hunting) – is an integral part of the heritage of the UAE and stretches back hundreds of years. Falconry originated in the Arabian Peninsula and holds a special place in Arab culture and civilization, where it was practiced as a means of obtaining food. Human records, excavations and ancient texts prove that the sport of falconry emerged with the advent of civilization and was known in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region since 4,000 years. The sport then spread throughout the Muslim world and onwards to Europe and North America and is regarded as one of the noblest forms of hunting known throughout history. In the UAE, the hunting season begins in autumn, when the migrating "Houbara" birds start to arrive between late September and early October until around March when the summer heat begins. In the past, Arab falconers would capture falcons passing across the Arabian Peninsula towards the south at the start of winter and use all their skills to tame the wild birds to turn them into trained, highly skilled predators. At the time, the falconers went hunting on foot or on camelback, and preys were freely available in the nearby areas. These days, however, preys are scarce to come by, forcing hunters to travel long distances or even abroad. Among the most important types of falcons is the "Horr Saker". The name 'Horr' describes a type of falcon that shares a number of common characteristics while varying in size, color and capabilities. The different types of “Horr” falcons include the 'Shangar', 'the Seniary', 'the White', 'the Adham', 'the Safi', 'the Jerodi', and 'the Ahmar, Akhdar and Ashkar'. Another prominent type of falcon is the "Shaheen", meaning 'scales' in Persian. It is thus described due to its extreme, insatiable appetite.
Fazza Championship for FreedivingThe Fazza Championship for Freediving has been designed to embody the traditional ways of diving in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, when earning a living required ancient denizens of the region to go diving for months in search of pearls - a key source of income. The freediving competition is divided into two categories - the first one caters to professionals while participation in the second category is limited to UAE citizens and GCC nationals. The competitions attract top divers from around the world who look forward to participating in the championship every year, and are attended by a large number of nationals and expatriates. Divers do not use any tools or equipment underwater and instead rely on the traditional diving techniques employed by ancient mariners in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region. When first launched, the tournament was held in the sparkling waters of the Arabian Sea before being moved indoors to the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex in Al Ruwayyah, on the recommendation of the Organizing Committee of the championship. The tournament plays a key role in bringing back the traditions and practices of the past and provides an opportunity for divers in the UAE and the GCC to compete against each other in a lively atmosphere that reflects the heritage and tradition of the region.
Fazza Championships for the DisabledAs per the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the Patron of Fazza Heritage Championships, Fazza Championships for the Disabled – a newly established tournament – was added to the existing roster of championships in collaboration with the Dubai Club for the Disabled. The championships aim to enhance the social and cultural integration of people with disabilities, and comprise competitions in a variety of sporting disciplines such as Stronglifts, Badminton, Table Tennis (Ping Pong), Basketball, Athletics, Archery, Boccia, and Bowling.
Open Fazza Championship for Shooting with Saktoun RifleThe tournament was inspired by UAE’s traditional Saktoun rifle, and the first edition of the championship was launched in 2003. Eventually, it evolved and was set on the annual calendar of competitions. It is held at the dedicated shooting range in Dubai’s Al Ruwayyah. The competitions comprise 6 different categories dedicated for men, women, juniors (boys and girls), seniors and plate shooting. The Center prior to the date of the championships, launches training programs to teach willing participants on the basics of shooting, terms and conditions of competing, and familiarize them with the Saktoun rifle. The aim of this championship is to host an international heritage-sport tournament that attracts professional shooters from across the world.
FAZZA SUMMER YOULAH CHAMPIONSHIP FOR JUNIORS
Under the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this tournament was launched at the time of the Modhesh World showing debut in 2005.
It was inaugurated as a competition for boys to shed the light on young talents, and to encourage them to perform and innovate.
This championship continued to reap success with a growing number of junior participants every year.
FAZZA CHAMPIONSHIP FOR YOULAH
Youlah was the first among a series of tournaments launched under the directions of the Crown Prince of Dubai. The debut edition was held in 2002. As an authentic Emirati performance, the Youlah, is tied to the historic roots of the Emirates. It is an expression of enthusiasm, patriotism and festivity. The tournament was designed for the participants to showcase their skills of controlling the Youlah weapon, pace and performance in harmony with traditional rhythms.
This performance has multiple arts and traditions that govern the standards of excellence among competitors. The Youlah committee has summed it up in 5 key performance assessors, placing the UAE as the first among world and regional countries in transforming this folk art to a sport tournament targeting the youth. The 5 assessors include: pace, rotation of weapon, throwing and receiving the weapon, and general skills such as changing the weapon from one hand to the other. The performer is graded on a scale of 50 (being the highest).
FAZZA SCHOOL YOULAH CHAMPIONSHIPIn coordination with UAE’s Ministry of Education, the competition is held annually at the level of the various public schools. The aim of this championship is to enhance the spirit of competition among the participating students and enroot them to their national identity at an early age. At the end of the torunament, a cermony is held to honor winners and award them with trophies and prizes. Members of the press, parents and academics to celebrate the young knights. Additionally, this gesture motivates students and parents to continue safeguarding their cultural heritage, proving that the past paves a future driven by the presence of a generation well aware of its social values and responsibilities.
Fazza Championship for Shooting with Saktoun Rifle (UAE Nationals)Inspired by the original model of the Open Fazza Championship for Shooting with Saktoun Rifle, this national tournament was launched specifically, to prepare and empower UAE shooters, from both genders, to participate in worldwide tournaments. The aim of this championship is to encourage, train and support nationals to get rankings in shooting competitions locally and internationally.
National Day Camel MarathonIn its quest to sustaining widespread heritage, in alignment with the Center’s vision, HHC’s Championships Department launched the First Camel Marathon on the 3rd of December 2015. It coincided with UAE’s 44th National Day and was held in Dubai’s Al Marmoom’s area. Being the one and only camel marathon in the world, the distance of the race was initially set between 21-25 kilometers. To achieve the Center’s mission, of creating competitions for nationals of all age groups, with promising talents, UAE citizens from the age of 15 and above, were allowed to compete in the marathon. In 2016, the marathon’s name changed to National Day Camel Marathon, since it represents a cultural celebration on a significant day. The aim of the marathon is to preserve one of the Beduin’s most precious animal, and prompt nationals to ride, preserve and train it, in order to enhance competitions in the popular domestic camel races.
Fazza Championship for Falconry – Tilwah categoryThe Fazza Championship for Falconry began more than 15 years ago, with a collection of contestants who practiced hunting with falcons. In more recent years this has begun to attract more falconers and gain widespread popularity across UAE communities. Since its early beginnings, the competition has called for flying the most famous breeds of falcons in the region in a speed race which covers a distance of 400 meters. Later, more classifications, including ‘pure’ and ‘hybrid’ falcons were introduced to meet growing demand by amateurs and professionals in the field. The organising committee of the Fazza Championships for Falconry continued to increase the number of categories and the overall size of championships to ensure transparency, quality and to encourage contestants. The Tilwah, which means the lures that are held at the finish line by the ‘Daou’ (the caller of the falcon), is regarded as the only model of its kind in the world. It requires a high level of training for falcons competing in the race. Eventually, as the number of contestants grew in size and in demand both locally and regionally, The Fakhr Al Ajyal Championship and Al Furoukh were introduced besides the main championship of Tilwah.
Fazza Championship for Falconry - Faroukh categoryUnder the direction and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, a new edition of the Fazza Championship for Falconry in the Faroukh category was launched in December 2014. The new Championship covered a specific category for younger falcons with four different breeds. The decision was made by the organising committee, as the introduction of a more specific edition in the falconry championship reflects the transparency of the organisation and will certainly prompt professional falconers to compete. The Furoukh category was introduced in the Tilwah series as a result of the continuous demand of the falconers and regular participants in the main Fazza Championship for Falconry Tilwah. To further encourage this Emirati heritage sport, the Furoukh was launched and managed to attract more than 1700 participants in its first year. The Fazza Championship Furoukh continues to be held every year prior to the start of the main Tilwah championship, and its third edition was last held in December 2015.
One of the main features unique to this championship is that it is inspired by one aspect of the quest to provide daily food. Salukis or greyhounds can run up to 65 kilometres per hour.
The Salukis were always part of the UAE’s past environment as well as training them for hunting.
The greyhounds start running in a race towards the prey and are led to the finish line. The results of the championship are based on the speed of the Salukis and the number of rounds.