Sultan bin Tahnoun visits third International Falconry Festival

ABU DHABI: Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Transport Department and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, on Friday visited the third International Falconry Festival which is taking place between 11-13 at Al Forsan Sport Resort in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun was accompanied by senior officials as he toured the various sections of the festival, considered the biggest gathering of falconers in the world with about 800 people from 80 countries.

The falconry festival is being co-organised by the Emirates Falconers Club and the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee.

In his statement to the local TV channel Baynounah, Sheikh Sultan expressed satisfaction with the success of the cultural festival and noted that it reflects the diverse cultures of the world. He further noted that by bringing together more 800 falconers together at the festival, Abu Dhabi has become an international cultural meeting place for peoples of the world.

Sheikh Sultan also said that Abu Dhabi is recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s lists for human cultural heritage.

A history of falconry in the Middle East, environmental efforts to save certain bird species from extinction, Welsh, Salvador or Arab falconry practices, stories from Medieval Europe about falconry were all to be discovered by the visitors at the festival.

A living human heritage, falconry was inscribed by UNESCO in 2012 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Originally a way of obtaining food, and transmitted as a cultural tradition by a variety of means, including mentoring, learning within families and formalised training in clubs, falconry is today identified with camaraderie and sharing rather than subsistence. Falconry is mainly found along migration flyways and corridors, and is practised by amateurs and professionals of all ages and genders.