H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers' Club, on Thursday announced the launch of the Mohamed bin Zayed Falconry and Desert School during his opening of the third International Falconry Conference in Abu Dhabi today.
Held under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Al Forsan Sport Resort in Abu Dhabi, the event attracts nearly 800 falconers from 80 countries.
'The school aims to instil principles and sustainable practices of Arabian falconry in the young generation, promotes and introduces Arabian falconry ethics and legacy to the world and presents falconry as an important cultural and heritage feature in the emirate of Abu Dhabi,' Sheikh Hamdan said.
The school, he added, will also work to support international efforts to safeguard falconry as a moral legacy and living human art, raise awareness about laws and policies for preserving falconry, conduct research on falconry in the Arab World and establish a falconry library and archives.
Falconers from as far as Kazakhstan, China, Austria and the United States have set up camps in the desert, training their falcons and other birds of prey to perform in an arena show. The festival also features morning and evening hunting trips on camel and horseback, to fit in with the Arab traditional way of hunting. They go houbara and rabbit hunting which roam wild in these grounds.
Participants from all over the world share stories, facts and the history of falconry. Falconers will present research papers and take part in discussions and workshops on the heritage of falconry, falconry skills and techniques. Falcon trainers, painters and photographers will also participate in the festive activities.
Viewers will get to see falconers from participating countries parade with their birds of prey, carrying the flags of their countries and wearing traditional attire that represents the various cultures of the world.
The Falconers Camp will be an ideal platform for those interested in the sport to exchange expertise and learn about the diverse traditions of falconry followed in various countries.