On display are a rare collection of photographs, falconry classes and competitions for the public
9 December, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, May God Protect Him, the initiatives of the 4th International Festival of Falconry organized by Emirates Falconers Club will be inaugurated today in collaboration with several ministries, national organisations and local authorities. The Festival will be taking place over the next two days in Khalifa Park in the capital Abu Dhabi.
The Festival in its current edition has witnessed extensive international participation and is the largest in the world with participation from over 700 falconers and researchers that represent 90 countries from across the globe. The Festival is of great importance as it is one of the main events that contributes to the preservation of the dignified UAE cultural heritage and deepens the link between the past and the present.
The Organising Committee of the Festival completed all the organisational, technical and logistical preparations for the initiatives to take place in collaboration with strategic partners from government authorities and clubs and organisations related to falconry.
The Organising Committee developed an agenda for the activities with sponsorship from official sponsors of the Festival which include: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the Gold Sponsor, YAS TV, the Media Sponsor, Telal Resort that hosted the Desert Camp of the Festival in addition to Al Ain Zoo where the International Falconry Conference took place in the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre. The Festival was also sponsored by several individual official sponsors and official organisations that are part of the government of Abu Dhabi.
The Festival offers more than 30 initiatives designed specifically for all age groups targeted towards passing on the sport of falconry hunting to future generations and the knowledge of the benign manners inherited by the children of the region from the first falconer, May God Forgive Him, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Organising Committee of the Festival extended invitations to all organisations and clubs related to falconry and all those interested as well as the general public and local and international media to attend the activities and initiatives of the Festival, which are taking place daily on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December.
Part of the initiatives and various activities of the Festival include a “Falconry Display” which takes the visitors through an enjoyable and unique journey through the history of the International Festival of Falconry since 1976, as well as through an exhibition of rare photographs taken by the lenses of those who witnessed the most important event in the history of falconry.
As for the UAE section in the park, visitors will be able to know the most important leading initiatives of the country regarding the preservation of falconry and its active role in the protection of falcons, its prey and its environment.
At the pavilion of Emirates Falconers Club, visitors can visit exhibitions to get to know the different breeds of Arabian Saluki Dogs that have always accompanied falconers during hunting over the past centuries, and at the section of Al Ain Zoo there will be a display of several birds of prey and a tent for “Sheltering Birds of Prey.”
On a cultural level and to create awareness, there are specialized tents for International Initiatives displaying a group of initiatives that are concerned with falconry, its history, its conservation and passing it on to future generations.
At the “International Falconry School,” visitors and researchers may get to know the most important methods followed by countries such as Slovakia, Poland, Spain, Zimbabwe, South Africa for the conservation of this international heritage and the most important tools used by these countries to spread the art of hunting with birds of prey and all their different types.
The Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School offers visitors, through its tent on display, an opportunity to learn how to deal with falcons, train them on standing on their perch, and to be familiar with the different kinds of falconry equipment and how to use them. Visitors who are interested in falconry will also have the opportunity to join the school which is the first specialized one in the world that teaches Arabian Falconry, tracking and desert studies.
As the Festival this year is focused on Youth, the Organising Committee has created a specialized section dedicated to juniors and the family where there are dynamic workshops and stories and fascinating events related to falcons and a chance for children to meet the cartoon characters that they love. In the section there are also workshops where children can learn to make hoods and design them with clay, in addition to taking part in competitions with valuable gifts for the participants. Children will also be able to learn healthy methods to carry the falcon and to take memorable pictures with them.
The International Festival of Falconry has been taking place every three years in the United Arab Emirates for the past forty years with participation from international delegations and experts working in the fields of hunting and the environment. The current 4th Edition of the Festival was inaugurated in Remah on 4th December where there was a Desert Camp that lasted for three days and the initiatives shifted to Khalifa Park starting today and will continue till 9 pm on Saturday 9th December.