Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, The Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi has announced the launch of Al Dhafra Grand Kingfish Championship for men and women, from 14 to 16 May at Dhafra, Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee, said: "Al Dhafra Grand Kingfish Championship for men and women is a direct embodiment of the directives of our wise leadership to develop marine heritage activities that reflect the strong bond with the sea in the consciousness of the people of the UAE. The championship promotes fishing as part of our heritage in the UAE, and encourages members of society to engage in this activity”

His Excellency Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei went on to express appreciation for the invaluable support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler's Representative in the Dhafra Region, of activities and events that contribute to developing the Dhafra Region, reflecting His Highness' keenness to protect and preserve the heritage of our forefathers for generations to come, and embody the values of endurance, patience, cooperation and self-reliance.

His Excellency affirmed that The Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi creates and develops maritime competitions to safeguard the UAE’s heritage and preserve it for current and future generations. By organising these championships, the Committee hopes to support interaction with cultural and heritage activities and events, raise awareness of the Dhafra Region and promote it as a diverse tourist destination that hosts a number of heritage and sports festivals for visitors.

His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Faris Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police, and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee, also expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to all festival sponsors and supporters, including the Ruler's Representative Court, Al Dhafra Region, the festival's strategic partner Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), festival sponsor Delma Marine, and the support provided by the Department of Municipalities and Transport - Al Dhafra Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Police, Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority and Baynounah TV.

Issa Saif Al Mazrouei, Committee Vice Chairman, announced that the organising committee has allocated 20 prizes for both the men's and the women's categories, with a total value of AED1,240,000 including 10 prizes for men worth AED620,000 and 10 prizes for women also worth AED620,000. First-place winners in each category will receive AED200,000, second place will receive AED100,000, and third place will receive AED75,000. Prizes will be given up to the tenth place.

The Committee Vice-Chairman also confirmed that the championship organisers will be implementing strict precautionary and preventive measures for the duration of the championship, in coordination with the concerned authorities to ensure the safety or participants and organisers.

Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Director of Planning and Projects Department of the Committee, said that the championship aims to introduce the coasts and islands of the Dhafra Region to the public and create an opportunity for amateur fishermen to participate to revive fishing as a hobby, while contributing to maritime safety, regulating kingfish hunting, and preserving traditional competitions that reflect the UAE’s heritage.

Registration for Al Dhafra Grand Kingfish Championship is open until the last day of the tournament (16 May), and can be done online via the championship website kingfish.aldhafrafestival.com where participants can obtain their registration number. The launch of the championship was specifically set to coincide with Eid Al-Fitr holidays to allow for the largest number of participants.

Al Mazrouei stressed that the only fishing method allowed at the championship is with a mandrake / scraping / with a hook or a traditional thread, and fishing by the method of weaving of all kinds is not allowed (hayla, brassim, nylon, marine pistol, manhla or poi and all other means). Fish caught should be taken for weighing at the Committee's office on site, between 8am and 6pm.

Championship terms and conditions include shooting a video of the contestants in action – starting with catching the fish and ending with taking its weight. The minimum fish weight is 25kg for men and 15kg for women. The video must be clear, uncut, and taken from inside the boat only. The boat's circumference must be shown without using camera zoom. Interrupted videos and videos not focusing on the fish, shall be disqualified. Videos must be uploaded to Instagram with contestant's name, date and time, and hashtag #ourheritage. Videos should also be sent via WhatsApp to 00971508282330, or handed over to the Committee office at the festival site on USB or any other suitable format.

Al Mazrouei added that it is necessary during the filming process to show the contestant's sticker with their number, full name, date and time, and a 360 shot before loading the fish to the boat. Also important is shooting the scales at zero before the weigh-in and showing the full fish before weighing. Any videos that do not comply with the video terms and conditions shall be disqualified.