The traditional sports in UAE are not only a source of pride for them but they also offer valuable insights into the rich past of the country. The United Arab Emirates ( UAE ) and other Arabic countries are based on desserts. There was nothing in these countries before and the lifestyle before was opposite to now. Now, there is no doubt that the United Arab Emirates ( UAE ) is one of the most developed and famous countries in the world. Arabs are not just famous for their living style, modernity, and luxurious styles, they are also famous for the blessing of unlimited natural resources. The main reason behind their continuous success is that they followed their traditions. The famous one among them is their traditional sports and here we are going to discuss traditional sports in UAE.
Read Also: Traditional dress of UAE men and women
1. Camel Racing:
Table of Contents
Camel racing is one of the most popular traditional sports in UAE and other Arabic countries, also their residents enjoy this traditional game for a long time. They have been practicing it for multiple centuries. Arabs have a very deep relationship with camels. Once, camels were primarily used for transportation in desert areas. However, now camels hold great importance in sports as well. UAE hosts several camel racing events, which feature beautifully decorated camels with skillful jockeys. Because the Government is now making it illegal for jockeys of age under 18, modern advancements have seen the replacement of child jockeys with lightweight robots.
Read Also: Water sports in Dubai
Sudan and Oman are the famous camel breeders of the Arab world, you will only find Omani or Sudan camels there. Other breeds are not allowed in their races. Race camels are on feeding a special diet. Racing authorities determine the camel’s age by observing its teeth. If the camel reaches a certain age, they will include it in races. Trainers make the camels run certain distances on a daily basis to increase their stamina and prepare them for the races. Before registering for the competition, camels undergo medical examinations to ensure their health and fitness.
Al-Azi was performed regularly by desert communities across the United Arab Emirates ( UAE ). It is also known as the traditional Emirati martial art and is a captivating display of strength, agility, and cultural expression. The tradition of this game and practice becomes less when people move to cities in large numbers and spread widely. Thanks to the backing from communities, government authorities, and the increasing interest of Emiratis in heritage preservation, the tradition of Al-Azi has been revived in their lives. Now, It is regularly performed at weddings, national celebrations, and religious holidays, as well as other special events and ceremonies.
You may want to know: How to make money in Dubai
This is also one of those popular traditional sports liked by the people of UAE. Many Emiratis rulers liked falconry since the country gets falcons from the entire world. The commanding sheikhs put many restrictions in place to address the issue of falcon smuggling, as they were running and funding the huge business of illegal falcon trade. But still, smuggling is going and including falcons, there are many birds that are going to extinct now. In most of the Central Asian places where falconry is practiced, golden eagles and Houbara bustards are also on the brink of extinction.
Falconry is a more than 2000 years old traditional sport in most Arabic countries including the UAE. But now, falconry isn’t practiced widely because of the endangerment of this kind of bird. The government put new sanctions on the sale of falcons as well. Currently, trainers typically showcase their skills at annual festivals and competitions such as the International Hunting, Sheikhs Zayed Heritage Festival, and Equestrian Exhibition held in Abu Dhabi. In these competitions, winners get huge prizes such as, the lucky winner gets 500,000 dirhams cash prize.
Read to Know: Bungee jumping Dubai
4. Horse Racing:
Horse riding is not just one of the traditional sports in UAE, it’s a name of passion and remembrance of their ancestors. From its huge heritage back centuries, United Arab Emirates has raised horse racing to new heights, which attracts the entire world to their traditional sports. Arabic horses stand out from other breeds due to their distinct facial shapes. The people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the royal families, and enthusiasts worldwide appreciate traditional horse racing.
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his son, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, popularly known as Fazza, are both skilled horse riders. They both won numerous riding competitions in foreign countries.UAE also hosts multiple horse racing competitions, Dubai World Cup is one of the most famous among them. The organizers reward the winners of these competitions with attractive cash prizes. The winner of the 2022 Dubai world cup got a $ 7.2 million prize, 129 horses, and much more.
5. Saluki Racing:
This is also one of the most famous traditional sports in UAE. The Emirates mostly like this traditional sport. This sport involves the competitive racing of Salukis, also known as Arabian Hounds. Salukis, one of the earliest breeds of dogs, have been cherished for their grace, speed, and endurance for thousands of years. This traditional sport originated in the Arabian Peninsula and is particularly famous in the countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the Saluki breed has deep historical importance. In this racing, these noble hounds compete with each other on a specifically designed track.
The purpose of this race is to decide which Saluki covers this special track in the minimum time limit. People usually organize these races in the cooler months when the weather is suitable for their beloved dogs. Trainers carefully prepare their Salukis for these traditional races, ensuring they are at the peak of their physical condition and well-trained to perform their best. Salukis are also famous for their speed. The sport has deep cultural significance in the UAE and is an essential part of the country’s rich heritage.
Read to Know: Camping in UAE
These traditional sports in UAE are not only a source of pride for them but they also offer valuable insights into the rich past of the country. By celebrating these traditional sports, the people of UAE motivate their younger generations to adore their heritage and cultural identifications. Because of modernization and advancement, most generations forget their ancestors’ traditions, cultures, and guidance. But here, UAE and other Arab countries make an example for all of them by celebrating their all traditions. These are not just sports, this may help to alive their recognition, make unity in them, build a chance to meet each other and show their traditions and culture to all over the world.