Dubai, 11 December 2022: The mood was electrifying and the level of competition was high as the quest for the next Meydan Grand Knight for the 23rd Fazza Championship for Youlah and 18th edition of Al Meydan Program kicked off on Friday night in Al Marmoom.
Organised annually by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), 16 yuweels (participants) are competing this year for the Gold Cup and Meydan Grand Knight title. The first batch of four yuweels competed in the first episode of the elimination round, that was handily won by Muhammad Al-Ketbi in first place and Abdullah Al-Hali in second spot. Both of them have qualified for the next round.
Al-Ketbi said the competition was tough but he got strong support from the audience and that inspired him to excel in the competition. Al-Hali, for his part, said his determination to win helped him overcome the challenges.
To make the competition more exciting, and in line with promoting the UAE’s intangible cultural heritage, HHC organised an intensive training for all the yuweels in various sections of the tournament, including Youlah, Arabic poetry reading, camel racing, and Saktoun (traditional Emirati rifle) shooting.
The first episode of the elimination round was presented by Rashid Al Khasouni, HHC Director of Championships, and broadcast live over Sama TV Dubai and Al-Oula Radio. Khalifa Bin Sabaeen, who served as judge and adjudicator, gave important points to the participants.
Al-Ketbi received a total of 60 points, followed by Al-Hali with 55 markers, while Shabib Al-Darmaki and Abdullah Al-Falahi finished with 25 and 20 points respectively. Only Al-Ketbi and Al-Hali will advance to the next round.
The participants showcased their youlah skills, where they performed the spinning and throwing of a replica rifle while they danced to the rhythm of the song “Jannat Muhammad” from the words of HHC CEO Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook.
The yuweels were judged based on their footwork and overall fluidity of performance, and both Al-Ketbi and Al-Hali showcased their skills in this traditional event to earn 25 points each.
Earlier in the week, the swimming competition was held at the Hamdan Sports Complex, where Al Darmaki and Al Falahi finished on top to gain 10 marks apiece.
In saktoun rifle shooting, Al Darmaki and Al Ketbi got 15 marks each; while Al-Hali Al-Falahi both excelled in the traditional poetry reading. The participants recited verses from the poems of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Mohammed Almr Bilabed was the judge of the Arabic poetry reading.
Al Ketbi and Al Hali cemented their win with 20 points each in the camel race that was held at Al Marmoom race track on Friday night.
High level of competition
HHC CEO Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, expressed his admiration for commitment of the participants. He underlined the main focus of the 23rd Fazza Championship for Youlah and 18th edition of Al Meydan Program is to promote the UAE’s national and cultural heritage.
Bin Dalmook added the championship is getting tougher every year and winning the Gold Cup requires diligence, dedication and strong focus to keep pace with the high level of competition.
The second part of the elimination will take place on Friday, December 16, at 9pm.