ABU DHABI // The Duchess of Cornwall visited some feathered patients at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, on the second day of her UAE tour with Prince Charles.
Camilla watched as staff operated on a falcon and other birds being treated at the hospital’s veterinary centre, after hearing about falconry’s role in Arab culture during her visit on Monday.
The duchess also met a group of children from the British School Al Khubairat and two Emirati children with falcons.
She was received by Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Dr Margit Mueller, the hospital’s executive director.
“The visit of the Duchess of Cornwall to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a great honour,” Dr Mueller said.
“It has provided an opportunity to celebrate the deep-rooted tradition of falconry in our Emirati society, while at the same time allowing her to enjoy the way in which the hospital lets visitors get close to majestic falcon species and gain a deeper understanding of the beautiful heritage of falconry.”
The falcon hospital is the largest of its kind in the world and was established 1999. Since then, it has received for treatment about 95,000 falcons from the UAE and the Gulf, Dr Mueller said.
Also on Monday, Camilla met a group of prominent UAE women at a Women’s Empowerment Lunch, where she was greeted by Dr Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
The duchess met senior government officials, business leaders and Armed Forces officers during the event.
“We were delighted to have had the opportunity to demonstrate to the duchess the way in which UAE women are engaged not only in the building of those ties, but also how Emirati women are engaged in the UAE’s development in all fields,” Dr Al Kaabi said.
In a day with a full appointment book, Camilla also unveiled a plaque to formally inaugurate a branch of the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Zayed Sports City.
The royal couple arrived in the UAE on Sunday for a three-day visit as part of a regional tour that started in Oman and will end in Bahrain.
* Reporting by Wam