Welcoming outsiders: First expat team to partake in Qatar hunting meet

First international team in the Al Galayel hunting competition.

A traditional Qatari hunting tournament that is famous throughout the region for extolling customs from a bygone era, has opened itself up to foreign participants for the first time today.

Al Galayel, now in its fourth year, is one of the most highly celebrated hunting and falconry championships in the Gulf, and is known for strict rules that prohibit participants from using any modern technology, such as vehicles and mobile phones.

Instead, competitors must rely on traditional techniques like tracking, hunting and orientation, passed down through the generations, as they move by camel and horse through the 900 square km Al Areeq reserve in the south of Qatar.

During the contest, teams of six to eight participants hunt houbara, gazelle and a type of bird called curlew for four days.
Four teams each compete in four preliminary rounds, while the winning team from each round goes through to the final. Teams are scored according to the number of animals they successfully hunt.

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Source News: Doha News
Photo: Lesley Walker