The 13th International Saluki Dogs Racing Championship qualification rounds are about to begin this Saturday afternoon at Sabkhat Marmi, Sealine Area, as announced by the organizing committee. Participants from both inside and outside of Qatar are expected to take part in the five group rounds with great zeal and enthusiasm.
A Unique and Ancient Tradition
Contrary to popular belief that Arabs do not love dogs, the breeding of Saluki dogs or Persian greyhounds has been a long-standing tradition in the Gulf region, including Qatar. This tradition is a significant part of ancient Bedouin culture, where nomads kept and trained animals for travelling in the desert. Salukis and hawks are among the popular animals.
The Growing Trend of Saluki Dog Races in the GCC
Participating in Saluki dog races is a widespread hobby in the Arab world, particularly in the GCC, where many championships are organized throughout the year. The Al Ghannas Association organizes the Arabic Hudad Al Saluki Championship, which is open to both Qatari citizens and expatriates. This race is a part of the authentic Arab culture, which needs to be protected.
Differentiating Non-Arab Salukis from Arab Ones
The participating Salukis in the competition are usually of Arab origin. The Al Ghannas Association has set up a committee to differentiate non-Arab salukis from the Arab ones.
A Popular Event among Racing Enthusiasts
The Saluki dog races have gained immense popularity among racing enthusiasts, with many people coming to Qatar from neighboring countries, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where such races are also trendy. While the races in Qatar are only for dog owners in Qatar, UAE championships are open to an international audience.
Preparations for Participants and Public’s Convenience
The organizing committee has made all the necessary preparations to ensure the convenience of both the public and the contestants to enjoy such a unique event. The Saluki dog races are an essential event for the people of the Gulf region and a way to celebrate their cultural heritage.
The Hunting Hounds of the Desert
Saluki dogs are known for their grace, elegance, and speed, making them a popular choice as racing dogs. Their long, lean bodies and powerful legs make them ideal for running and sprinting, and they have a natural instinct to chase prey. Saluki dog racing is a popular sport in many countries, particularly in the Middle East, where it has been a part of the culture for centuries. These dogs were traditionally bred for hunting, and their speed and agility made them effective at catching prey, such as hares and gazelles. Racing is typically held on a straight track, and the dogs are let off at the same time to race to the finish line. Races can range from short sprints to longer distances, with the dogs reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. In many cases, Saluki dog racing is a family affair, with generations of families breeding and racing their dogs. The dogs are trained rigorously, with a focus on building their endurance and speed. They are typically trained to run on sand, as this surface is more forgiving on their joints and allows for better traction.