Doha, 31 March 2010 - Qatar National Bank (QNB) announced its sponsorship of the main event of the Annual Purebred Arabian Camel Race for the "Golden Sword of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, for Sheikhs and Tribesmen". The event will be held at Al Shahaniya race track from 18-28 April 2010.
Present during the sponsorship signing ceremony were His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Faisal Al Thani, Chairman of the Camel Racing Organizing Committee in Qatar and Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive Officer. The ceremony was held at the Committee’s headquarters.
The grand prize awarded to the winner of this event is a sword of pure gold in addition to QR1 million which will be personally handed to the winner by His Highness the Emir.
The Annual Purebred Arabian Camel Races are a traditional attraction for camel racing fans in Qatar. Large numbers of spectators and dignitaries from Qatar, the GCC region, and the Arab World, in addition to senior QNB officials, are expected to attend the final day of the camel racing festival.
The Camel Race Organizing Committee hosts this event each year which welcomes many leading purebred Arabian camels from across the Gulf region, making it a major traditional sporting attraction across the region.
This is the seventh successive year in which QNB has supported the camel racing festival. It is part of the Bank’s commitment to helping preserve and promote Qatari traditions and culture for the benefit of future generations.
Camels are a long-revered treasure of Qatar’s heritage and camel racing is one of the most popular sports in this country. Purebred Arabian camels are known for their athleticism and are also considered a symbol of traditional status.
The championship race for the Golden Sword of the Emir will be held over morning and evening sessions and many GCC-based trainers and stables will be vying to win the prestigious prize.
H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Faisal Al Thani, Chairman of the Camel Race Organizing Committee, expressed his pleasure, during the press conference that was held after the signing ceremony, at the support the Committee has received for the festival from national institutions, in particular from QNB.
He said that the Bank’s support for these tournaments is invaluable to promoting the sport of camel racing in the modern era. He also praised the personal efforts of the Bank’s senior executives in extending the relationship with the Camel Race Organizing Committee in Qatar.
Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, QNB Group Chief Executive, said that the Bank is extremely honored to have been a major sponsor of the annual camel racing festival for the best part of the past decade.
During this period the Bank has established a strong relationship with the Camel Race Organizing Committee to work towards supporting the State of Qatar’s role in hosting events of such significance. These events are in line with the vision of H.H. the Emir to promote traditional sports and to sustain the heritage of the people of Qatar whilst highlighting the cultural importance of these traditions for the benefit of future generations.
In addition to sponsoring local racing festivals, said Mr. Al-Emadi, QNB also strives to support international camel racing events. In 2009, The Bank also sponsored the Tadmur Festival, which takes place in Syria and welcomes participants from across the Arab world.
Mr. Al-Emadi said by sponsoring such events the Bank aims to help promote the honor and prestige of the sport as well as help generate new legions of fans, by encouraging the media and the public to partake in these festivals.