Friday 18 January 2019

UAE: Bullfighting In Fujairah Loved By Many And Hated By Few

Each week, cattle breeders in Fujairah gather to stage dramatic bullfights to determine which of their animals is the strongest. It is a little-known tradition which has been taking place for more than half a century.

Owners claim the brutal clashes are not nearly as bloody as the fights, which take place in Spain and Portugal, where matadors or toureiros typically kill their bulls.

But animal rights campaigners have condemned the bouts, insisting they are unnecessary and cruel.

A policewoman from Sharjah, denounced the contests which are held on the Fujairah Corniche and vowed to put a stop to them.

But organisers insisted the practice was a much valued part of life in the emirate, and that the fights were less about bloodletting and more about the animals' strength and the owners' pride.

At first I didn’t understand why there were always bulls beside the Corniche on a Friday, says and observer. Then a few of my local friends told me. They said the fights had been going on for years and they didn’t know how to stop it.

We need to put an end to this horrendous act. It's not a sport or a hobby, it's a disgrace.

The bullfights take place each Friday afternoon in a wide, fenced off ring.

Crowds, often with young children, gather in groups around the perimeter or watch from their vehicles as the animals are led into the arena.

Organisers check each bull's weight to ensure they are evenly matched against an animal of similar size.

Each fight typically lasts around four minutes, with the bulls goaded into head butting each other from close quarters. The winner is the animal declared to have faced down its opponent, successfully driving it away with its head.

No prize money is involved, although a successful fighter can often cost more if sold on later owing to the animal’s perceived prowess.

On Tuesday, Ms AlMatrooshi, an avid animal rights campaigner, said she had contacted the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment to complain about the fights, but had yet to receive a response.

The 35-year-old said she was determined to continue pushing the issue, believing the weekly bouts inhumane.

I've been trying to reach the authorities to discuss this but I've heard nothing back, she said. The police in Fujairah don't seem to want to interfere.

Harib Al Nuaimi, 75, an Emirati breeder who owns 20 bulls, said his animals were always well cared for. He insisted farmers took immense pride in the strength and vitality of the beasts, treating them as they would family.

The contest is part of our lives and we care about our bulls like we care about our children, he said. We feed them the best food, including even honey. And we provide them with the best medical care.

I don’t think that anyone else treats their animals as well as we do. Mr Al Nuaimi went on to emphasize that the fights, which have been a tradition in Fujairah for some 70 years, were not about winning or losing.

He said raising the animals was a way of life for many in the emirate, and that he was anxious to keep the tradition alive.

It’s a head butting contest not an actual fight, he said. There’s no blood and we don’t let them hurt each other as this will affect the bull’s performance in the next contest.

It’s part of our tradition and one that we intend to pass to the next generation teaching our children and grandchildren the rules and morals of the game.

One of the fights organisers, said it was commonplace for families to bring their children to watch the bouts. The competition isn’t like other bull fighting events in the world, he said. It’s like the rope pulling game.

Some small cuts do occur but it’s very rare and gets taking care of immediately. Neither the breeder or organisers allow injured bulls to fight.

A 16-year-old Emirati who attended his first bull fight when he was seven, said: It’s something we look forward to every weekend.

The fight isn’t scary at all. It’s fun and entertaining. It’s become part of our family tradition to come and watch.

Tourism Observer

1 comment:

Dubai Business Advisors said...

Business formation in Dubai is comparatively simple and hassle-free when compared with other countries. There are many companies that offer formation services at a reasonable price. Company formation in Dubai requires the payment of a nominal fee. The fee usually includes the registration fees, including the statutory fees and assessments (if any), and VAT at the Dubai Registration Authority. Company formation in Abu Dhabi also requires payment of the administrative fees as well as the income tax.