‘A hobby which fulfils my spirit and passion for challenging.’

This is how the Emirati Rashid bin Howaiden describes his love and passion to the Arabian Saluki, which started in 1998.

Speaking to Dubai Post, Bin Howaiden explains that the hobby of Saluki racing increases his feeling of challenge and its value.

‘Every year, the competition and challenge becomes tougher, as well as the number of rivals increases. This encourages me to do better to win, and it also increases my level of challenge and thrill,’ he says.

Bin Howaiden reveals that the Arabian Saluki was named after its native village of Salouq in southern Yemen, which was famous for breeding good hunting dogs.

He adds that the training and competition season for Salukis starts from September to April as it is difficult to do that during the hot summer months.

‘The Arabian Saluki has many good qualities, most notably is that it is a calm, sensitive, and loyal dog. The training period begins at the age of four months by teaching it to hunt rabbits. When it reaches 15 months, we begin training it with a big Saluki where it learns to run and chase the prey without fear in order for it to be ready for the race and the tournaments,’ he states.

Bin Howaiden chooses his best Salukis to participate in the races, and he keeps them in service until they reach 4 years of age, after which their speed starts dropping. Then, they are moved to the breading stage.