The one-month event is one of the largest festivals in the region solely dedicated to falconry and hunting.
Calling all talented falconers! Registration for Qatar’s most-awaited 13th Marmi Festival has kicked off for a golden chance to be part of a well-preserved tradition from past times.
Organised by the Katara-based Al Gannas society, the month-long festival will be held at Sabkhat Marmi near Sealine in Mesaieed from January 1 to 29 2022. It is considered one of the largest festivals by far in the specialised field of falcons and hunting in the region.
— كتارا | Katara (@kataraqatar) December 24, 2021
Those interested in flaunting their talents and falconry skills have until December 27 to register at Al Gannas Qatari Society Building 33 in Katara from 4pm to 8pm, the foundation announced.
The unique event attracts dozens of contestants from all around the Gulf annually to take part in ‘unusual’ speed and prey haunting competitions to bag a big cash prize, not to mention the prestigious title.
One of the most popular events and a crowd-favorite is the Hudud Al Tahaddi challenge, where pure Arabian Saluqi breeds (non-crossbred) race as they chase a gazelle for over two kilometers. The competition assesses the speed of the falcon from the start point until the finish line and the falcon’s eyesight sharpness and observance of its prey.
The winning falcon could earn its owner as much as QR100,000 in prize money.
The festival will also have competitions dedicated for young falconers ages 11-15 years old to demonstrate their skills in Da’u (the art of luring). All participating falcons must not exceed the size of 15 inches and can be of any falcon species except gyrkins.
Falcons are deeply revered in Qatari society, with the sport of falconry being a well-respected tradition in the Gulf. In 2008, the nation launched a cultural association for hunters, Al Gannas, that aims to promote traditional Arabian hunting.
The association represents Arab hunters in regional and global contests, and organises its own events to encourage and keep the sport alive. It also posses the best facilities and equipment required for hunting and encourages research and studies in the field.