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Falconry
Updated on 08 December 2015

Falconry has been practiced in the UAE for centuries, and hunting hare or houbara (the national bird of the UAE) to supplement the Bedouin diet, was an integral part of desert life. 

Hunting expeditions were also used by sheikhs as a way of touring their territory and keeping in touch with areas that were not able to communicate. The sheikh would hunt during the day and set up a camp in the evenings, allowing the Bedouin to come and pay their respects and raise matters of concern.

In February 2003, one of the most remarkable events in the recorded history of falconry took place when a falcon owned by Sheikh Mohammed brought down a deer many times its own weight.

Today, falconry is practiced purely for the sport, and the two main species found in the UAE are the saker and peregrine. The main prey for falcons is still the houbara and hare, and there is a very successful captive breeding programme for houbara to protect the species.

If you would like to see these magnificent birds first hand, speak to one of the many tour operators who offer private and group demonstrations.


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