Plans for much-awaited Arabian Saluki beauty contest disclosed

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Saluki championships and beauty contests carry a deep cultural connect and are very popular in the region
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

ABU DHABI: The Higher Organising Committee of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex) has announced the launch of a new version of the ‘Arabian Saluki Beauty Contest’, according to WAM.

Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, and organised by the Emirates Falconers’ Club, the contest will take place during the next edition of Adihex, from September 27 to October 3 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The Arabian Saluki Beauty Contest is one of the most popular events of its kind, both regionally and globally. It is organised by the Arabian Saluki Centre to give the opportunity for owners of Salukis to showcase the skills and qualities of their dogs, said the organisers on Sunday.

During the past editions of Adihex, the contest witnessed a huge response and attracted many Salukis lovers from the UAE and GCC, strengthening the efforts of preserving this cultural heritage.

The competition includes four categories: Al Hoss (smooth) and Aryash (feathery), males and females, with each category allocated its own valuable prizes. The competition is exclusively for Arabian Saluki dogs and owners must ensure that the participating dogs are healthy, vaccinated, and tagged with an electronic chip.

The criteria for evaluation and judging include the lineage and breed from which the participating dog is descended, manner of walking and movement, general appearance such as head-shape and body, hunting skills, and overall impression.

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Not the regular dog show

The Arabian Saluki Beauty Contest differs from other dog shows around the world, which focus only on the external appearance of the dog. This competition evaluates the dog’s temperament, its skills in hunting and tracking prey, and its reactions and responses.

The Saluki has been an important part of Arab hunting heritage since ancient times. Arabs have bred these dogs for more than 7,000 years.

There are two main categories of Saluki dogs: the long-haired Aryash (Al Hadba) and the short-haired Al Hoss (Al Amlas). The Arabian Saluki native habitats are the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. While there are many different strains of Saluki, the most important in the region and at the Arabian Saluki Centre in Abu Dhabi are the Shadeed, Thibyan, Tarrah, and Gannas from the Al Hoss (smooth) family, and the Lahaq, Dhabyan, and Khattaf from the Aryash (feathery) family.

The Arabian Saluki is used along with falcons in the sport of hunting and as a guard dog. It has a lifespan of 16 to 18 years and can run at speeds of up to 75 kilometres per hour. The Saluki has always played an important role in hunting trips.

The Arabian Saluki Centre in Abu Dhabi aims to revive the sport of hunting with Saluki dogs and preserve its tradition and authentic breeds with a documented reference for them. It provides necessary information about this ancient sport, the unique characteristics of Saluki dogs and how to raise them.

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With the support of Emirates Falconers’ Club, the Arabian Saluki Center was established in 2001, in Abu Dhabi, to be the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf region and the Middle East, with the aim of reviving the desert tradition, whereas one of its important pillars is hunting with Saluki dogs, said the press release.



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