Last night (Tuesday 2 November 2010) was the first of the qualifying evenings for the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition sponsored by the Crown Prince, His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi.
The qualification rounds continue tonight (Wednesday 3 November 2010) and tomorrow (Thursday 4 November 2010).
Each night people start gathering and the heritage souq vendors freshen up their shops from 5pm. The sword skills action gets underway at approximately 8pm.
Last night there were 70 zafin (swordsmen) and the same numbers are expected Wednesday and Thursday.
This week is a good opportunity to come and see the sword dancing, dueling and throwing.
All the action is held at the Fujairah Fort which is looking spectacular lit up against the night sky.
The swordsmen in their white kandoras and armed with glistening swords are a sight to behold against the ancient fort but the pulsating music gets spectators, as well as the competitors, in a festive mood.
New Driveway & Parking
Go towards the roundabout nearest to the fort and enter up the newly paved driveway to the ample parking area.
You can walk through the heritage souq or go straight into the arena where you will find newly constructed grandstands that hold 500+ people. There is more standing and sitting room for hundreds more people.
Security & Safety
The crowds are fenced back from the sword throwing and the safety of people who visit is a top priority.
Police and personnel from the army are in attendance at each gathering.
There are five judges and a panel of four serves at every stage of the competition.
By this Friday (5 November 2010) there will be many swordsmen who have been eliminated and the tension will heighten the nearer the competition gets to the grand final on 10 December 2010.
The schedule has been revised in the light of the period of mourning for the late Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Here is how it looks now:
Tuesday 02/11/2010: Qualifying Round
Wednesday 03/11/2010: Qualifying Round
Thursday 04/11/2010 Qualifying Round
Friday 05/11/2010: Qualification Final
Friday 12/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 19/11/2010 Qualification Final
Friday 26/11/2010 Semi-Finals
Friday 10/12/2010 The Grand Final
Al Saif - Tel: +971 50 989 2000
Fax: +971 9 222 7183
More Information on Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition
Personal Website of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi
بطولة السيف Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition Facebook Page
All the Details on the Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition in Fujairah, FIF, 25 October 2010.
Swordsmen Showcase Their Skills in Fujairah, FIF, 22 October 2010.
Al Saif Traditional Sword Demonstration and Training Commences in Fujairah, FIF, 20 October 2010.
Traditional Sword Competition to be Held in Fujairah, FIF, 30 September 2010.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: “All the action is held at the Fujairah Fort which is looking spectacular lit up against the night sky.” You will notice lots of improvements around the fort and the finishing touches to the arena are almost complete.