UAE establishes falconry governing body to promote and regulate events

UAE Falcons Federation will aid the development of the sport and represent the country at international competitions

Falconry is a key feature of the UAE's identity and remains a popular pastime.
Falconry is a key feature of the UAE's identity and remains a popular pastime.

The UAE has established an independent governing body to promote and regulate falconry, the country's oldest sport.

UAE Falcons Federation will oversee all events and activities related to the sport, as well as representing the country in competitions abroad.

Until now, activities such as requesting passports and identification rings for falcons involved the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

For 4,000 years, Bedouin in the UAE and wider Arabian Peninsula practised falconry as a form of hunting in a resource-scarce land, Abu Dhabi Culture said.

It remains a popular sport and pastime today and is a key feature of the UAE’s identity.

Experts say it takes about two to three months to train a falcon, the national emblem of the UAE, to participate in competitions.

The birds of prey can cost up to $60,000 each.

"The sport of falconry is part of the rich cultural legacy that has been passed on to us by past generations,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, who was appointed chairman of the federation.

“Our founding fathers have always emphasised the importance of preserving these traditions.

"The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a pioneering practitioner of the modern form of the sport. He set a new vision for enriching the sport and promoting excellence in falconry."

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Updated: June 3, 2021 04:17 PM

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