Over 700 falconers and experts from more than 90 countries across the world will descend on Abu Dhabi on December 4 for the 4th edition of the International Festival of Falconry (IFF2017).
Held under the patronage of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the festival is by far the largest of its kind worldwide in the field of falconry and its heritage.
The first International Festival of Falconry was inaugurated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in December 1976 in order to conserve falconry heritage and to highlight the UAE's efforts in protection of the environment.
Majed Ali Al Mansouri, chairman of the Higher Organising Committee and Executive Director of the Emirates Falconers Club, said: "This year's festival is distinguished from others through the great importance given to young falconers, as it has attracted more than 250 youth falconers.
Also attending are 27 falconers and researchers who witnessed the festival since its first edition, 40 years ago, providing a chance to reflect from the past and present to plan for the future."
The festival will begin with events at the Sahrawi camp for falconers at Telal Resort in Remah, where the falconers will spend time with their birds in an ideal environment for falconry from December 4 to 6.
They will also attend organised sessions at the International Falconry Conference during the camp and participate in discussions and workshops on falconry heritage. On December 8 and 9, the festival events will take place at Khalifa Park, with activities open to the general public and families.
Visitors will get a chance to tour the exhibition, which includes more than 100 photos taken from the first edition of the festival, hunting birds and houbara birds, and to identify the different breeds of the Arab Saluki dogs that have been accompanying the falconers in hunting for centuries.
The festival will also include many pavilions of the participating countries that will draw crowds, market and heritage arena displays, in addition to a series of educational events and a variety of activities for children.
The festival, organised by the Emirates Falconers Club, highlights the UAE's efforts in promoting the Intangible Cultural Heritage of falconry of the UAE and worldwide as well as the successful inscription in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Unesco in 2010.