A look at majestic art of falconry in UAE

Angel Tesorero/Dubai
Filed on January 14, 2017 | Last updated on January 14, 2017 at 05.18 am
A look at majestic art of falconry in UAE

(Photos by Neeraj Murali)

(Photos by Neeraj Murali)

Falconry has also been one of the country's oldest and more enduring traditions.

Fierce, fast and majestic - the falcon has played a significant part in the rich Arab history and culture. It is the UAE's national bird, symbolising courage, strong will and determination, as well as grace and pride.

Falconry has also been one of the country's oldest and more enduring traditions. With the passing of time and despite the fast economic evolution the nation has gone through, the sport still has not lost its appeal. It is in fact thriving and gaining popularity not just among the older generation but is also a fascinating sport for youngsters.

"We have every intention of safeguarding our historical pastimes and pursuits by passing them down from generation to generation," said Souad Ibrahim Darwish, the director of championships at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC).

The largest and most popular among the series of falconry championships, the Fazza Championship for Falconry, organised by the HHC, concluded its 17th edition on Thursday at a dedicated site in Dubai's Ruwayyah area, off Emirates Road.

Children as young as four-years-old could be seen bucking up the participants as elite contenders from across the region competed in various categories and groups. The competition did not just showcase the immense talents of Emiratis in falconry but also promoted Emirati culture, values and traditions both at regional and international levels.

"(The competition) was aimed at preserving the art of hunting live prey due to its cultural significance as one of the most important means of sustaining a livelihood throughout the Arabian Gulf in ancient times in Arab heritage," Darwish explained.

Although falconry today is practised mostly as a sport, it is one of the most treasured traditions that the UAE aims at preserving for future generations.

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