Some 1,500 people are expected to take part in this year’s Marmi international falcon and hunting festival, which began yesterday at Sabkhat Marmi near Sealine in Mesaieed.
The seventh edition of the month-long annual event began three days later than scheduled, due to poor weather conditions.
Organized by Katara-based Al Gannas society, the festival attracts participants from across the Gulf region.
Speaking at the launch of the festival, Ali bin Khatem Al Mahshadi, head of the organizing committee, said the aim was to keep alive traditional skills and practices, as well as to pass them on to future generations, the Peninsula reported.
Dozens of contests take place during the festival, which runs until Jan. 30, including competitions judging the speed of falcons and their accuracy in catching prey from a distance of up to 1km.
One of the most popular events is the Hudud Al Tahaddi challenge, where falcons try to obstruct the flight of homing pigeons. The winning falcon could earn as much as QR100,000 in prize money.
Last year this contest was won by Mukhtar, a falcon owned by Mohammed bin Ghanem Al Kubaisi.
At the end of the festival, a falcon beauty parade is held at Katara, with participants competing for the top prize of QR500,000.
The event is free and open to the public. It runs daily until Jan. 30. So far, the schedule appears to only be posted in Arabic:
— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) January 3, 2016
Do you plan to check it out? Thoughts?