Dubai, March 5, 2016 – Hundreds of exotic Arabian greyhounds are set to compete in the ninth Saluki Championship here in the Al Marmoum area of Dubai on Sunday afternoon (Start: 2pm).
The event, which is organized and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC), is widely regarded as the most lucrative and prestigious pastime among all of the traditional pursuits.
Salukis are one of the oldest-known breeds of domesticated dogs in the entire world and the Saluki Championship is a highly regarded among Arabs, whose fondness for the sport has been firmly established for a fair old while now.
The 2014 edition saw records broken in both the amateur (2km) and professional (1km) categories, with two seconds shaved off the prior marker in the former contest and four seconds chipped away in the latter tournament.
There was also representation from France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and Syria – aside from the usual participation from the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region overall – at the meeting two years ago.
Last year’s event was characterized by strong competition among the participating greyhounds, which spoke volumes about the sheer level of training the dogs all had received in the build-up.
“The race consists of four rounds – two for amateur and professional male Salukis and two for amateur and professional female Salukis and extends over a distance of two kilometers for amateurs and one kilometer for professionals,” explained Ahmed Saif Al Zafin, the Head of the Organising Committee for the Saluki Championship.
“The winners of the competitions are judged by a jury of independent experts and the entire judging process is kept fair and transparent, which is an important factor for the success of the championship.”
Al Zafin added: “The fruits of intensive training are obvious in the improved technical level of the participating greyhounds and the Saluki Championship has witnessed remarkable progress in the levels of participation over the years.”
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, the Director of Championships at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, commented: “The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center is honoured to be a part of the revival of one of the oldest traditional Emirati sports and the technical management of the championship has consistently improved on a year-to-year basis.”
Ahmed Saif Al Zafin, added: “Attractive prizes and the thrill of competing in a traditional sport have contributed to enhancing the overall appeal of the championship.”