Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, October 17, 2011

Al Saif Committee Announces Fujairah Sword Competition for 2011


The Organizing Committee of the Al Saif (Traditional Sword) Championship 2011 held a press conference today (17 October 2011) at the Fujairah Concorde Hotel to announce details of the competition in its second year.

Those who addressed the press conference were Ahmad Hamdan, the Assistant Controller, Rashid Al Yammahi, Chairman of the Training Committee, Sultan Melaih, Chairman of the Jury Committee and Mohammad Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Marketing Committee.

Inspired by Crown Prince
The annual Al Saif Championship was inspired by His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Fujairah, as an initiative to revive traditional Arab heritage and to promote Emirati culture.

His Highness believes that the championship promotes the link between citizens and their country’s heritage and introduces them and expatriates to this beautiful sport from Emirati heritage. This ancient art, which has been practiced in the mountains of the UAE for centuries, has a greater chance of enduring and being appreciated by many if it is demonstrated in an annual competition on the saif (sword) arena before the Fujairah Fort.

Committee members today referred to the constant interest and follow up of the Crown Prince who is vitally involved in the Committee’s work to ensure they attain the desired results and achieve the objectives that he established for the championship.

Critical to the great success of the inaugural Al Saif Championship last year was the coordinating work of Sheikh Abdulla bin Saif Al Sharqi (pictured below with the Crown Prince). He drew together the committee and 27 volunteers and in only three short weeks, established the objectives and rules of the Championship, prepared the arena, a road and parking area, and developed the heritage village and its associated programme. Sheikh Abdulla was in attendance today and he continues in the key role of general overseer and coordinator of the Championship.

Key Dates

The Committee revealed today that the commencement date for the Al Saif Championship is 11 November 2011 and the final night will be on 16 December 2011. The associated Heritage Village may get underway a day or two before the championship begins.

New Features

The Organizing Committee is working on several new features that were disclosed at today’s conference:

+ The sword arena will be expanded (lengthened and widened).
+ The grand stands will be extended to accommodate greater numbers in the audience.
+ The heritage village will be developed with more stalls in order to enrich the total experience and the showcasing of Emirati culture.

Generous Prizes

Assistant Controller, Ahmad Hamdan, stated that the prizes will take the form of generous cash awards, granted by the Patron, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

Prizes will be given to all winners in the finals from first to eighth place.

Mr. Hamdan praised the Crown Prince’s ongoing support for Emirati heritage through keeping traditional sports alive.

Training Programme Keeps the Art Alive

Rashid Al Yammahi, Chairman of the Training Committee, revealed the establishment of a training programme that will introduce members of the younger generation to the traditional art of the saif.

The training programme will be for young men 14 and above and will be held in the Saif Arena with the cooperation of the Fujairah Educational Zone.

Trainees will learn the basics of holding and using the sword, how to be creative and artful and the important values behind the Al Saif tradition.

If trainees excel this year, they may well apply to enter the championship next year or sometime in the future.

Rules of the Competition

Sultan Melaih, Chairman of the Jury Committee, explained the conditions for participation, how the judges grade each swordsman, the specifications for the safety of the sword and other details relating to points for creativity and excellence in the use of the sword. These rules are outlined in the Al Saif booklet.

Mr. Melaih says that the committee expects a big increase in the number of participants this year because of the success in the inaugural year of the Championship. More participants will mean that more qualifying rounds will need to be conducted before the competition proper commences.


Mohammad Al Hamadi, Chairperson of the Marketing Committee, stated that the echoes of the first year of the Al Saif Championship successfully introduced the competition to departments, businesses and the general public within Fujairah and throughout the Emirates and the Gulf.

The establishment of two Guinness World Records during the Al Saif Championship in 2010 was also a wonderful means of promotion.

Mr. Al Hamadi said that the Committee is currently securing sponsors for this year’s Championship. The successful sponsors will be announced at a future Press Conference as well as being advertised on the television channel that is broadcasting this major event in the UAE.

Further Information

To keep up to date with developments for the Al Saif Traditional Sword Championship 2011, stay tuned to these sites and links:

* Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Web Site.

* Al Saif Competition Facebook Page—Click LIKE to keep in touch.

* Al Saif e-Booklet with competition details, historical background etc.

* Al Saif—Check this site to indicate that You Are Attending.

Al Saif Organizing Committee 2011

Ahmed Hamdan

Abdulaziz Al Abdouli

Ali Obaid

Ali Yaeesh

Badriah Al Hosanny

Ghada Al Zaabi

Humaid Al Yammahi

Jasim Al Jasmi

Khadijah Al Hindi

Maryam Al Saadi

Mohammed Al Hammadi

Mosabbah Obaid

Mustafa Thanikkai

Ohood Abdulaziz

Rased Al Yamahi

Saeed Al Samahi

Sheikha Al Mesmari

Sultan Mohammed

Tariq Abdulla

Some of the Al Saif Organizing Committee Members meeting with His Highness, the Crown Prince.

Relive the Al Saif Championship of 2010

Watch this 3 minute video of the Al Saif Competition to see how it is a total experience.

To learn more about what happened in the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in its inaugural year, go to this article and follow the links.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

Images: The three photos of the swordsmen in action at the Fujairah Fort were taken by Michele Ziolkowski. Most other photos and logos are used courtesy of the Al Saif Championship.

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