RAS AL-KHAIMAH- Falcons have played an important role in the history of Arab communities and their ancient civilisations and traditions, especially in the UAE and other Gulf countries.
Falconry was a popular sport among the ancestors of the people of the UAE and the Arab Peninsula and was inherited by subsequent generations, and Arabs are the first people to practice the sport. The UAE was the first country in the world to issue passports for falcons and establish a hospital for them in Dubai in 1983.
The people of the UAE and the Arab Gulf are passionate about their falcons and segregate them into several types, according to their size, nature, intelligence, speed and strength, as falcons became part of their lives a long time ago and remain an essential part of their social lives, having contributed to shaping popular literature in the UAE and the Gulf region and being inspiration for many poets.
Falconry in the UAE has gained special attention due to the interest of the wise leadership in the sport while following the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who said that falconry is an important sport that teaches patience, strength and how to overcome opponents through intelligence while reflecting the ability of the people of the desert to tame this wild bird.
The UAE has adopted many initiatives to protect falcons and other types of endangered wild birds, such as the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme, which aims to bring back species of falcons to their natural environment while allowing them to reproduce, to support their natural reintroduction and protect the sport of falconry.
The Pro-Falcon Project for breeding falcons in Al Ain is just one of the leading project that aims to protect wild falcons around the world, to preserve wild falcon species and reduce the risks that endanger their lives due to hunting and their use in falconry while allowing them to reproduce.
The falconry season in the UAE and other Gulf countries will start in the Autumn, when falcons begin migrating to their breeding sites between October and March.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.