Al Maha Falconry Demonstrations
Duration: Half Day
Witness one of the desert’s oldest sports during your holiday in Dubai as you enjoy a falconry demonstration at the Al Maha Desert Resort. Learn the history of falconry and marvel at these magnificent birds of prey as they fly high above the desert. This is a unique opportunity not to be missed.
The luxurious Al Maha Desert Resort is set in 225 square kilometres of unspoilt desert landscape, which encompasses an award-winning nature reserve. This is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting areas in Dubai and the ideal setting in which to embark on a range of exciting tours. In addition to archery, dune bashing and mountain safaris, one of the most popular activities here is the Falconry Demonstration, believed to be the desert’s oldest sport. It is not known exactly when man first trained a bird of prey for hunting, but the art of falconry was already well established in the Middle and Far East by 2000 BC. The desert-dwelling Bedouin tribes used falcons as a way of life, enabling them to catch game without the need for guns. The vast open space of the desert was the ideal hunting ground.
Falconry continues to play a large role in Middle Eastern culture today, mainly following the old tradition of trapping wild young hawks or falcons in the autumn, hunting with them during the winter and then releasing them back into the wild in the spring. Falconry demonstrations at Al Maha aim to inform and educate visitors about the history and finer points of this ancient sport. Learn about the role of falconry in Dubai and throughout the UAE, followed by a demonstration of the style of training used to prepare a falcon for its journey. The birds are taught to fly when released, and to leave the prey untouched after killing it. They also learn to sit quietly on the falconer's wrist when hooded, associating the darkness with safety. The results are certainly admirable.
The highlight of the day is admiring and photographing these magnificent hunting birds in flight during the cooler parts of the day. Watch closely as they fly gracefully into the sky, soaring high above the vast golden sands of the surrounding desert. This is a breathtaking experience to capture. You will also be able to get up close to the falcons afterwards, and even handle different species under the careful supervision of a specialist Field Guide. This is an educational and eye-opening experience for both adults and children.
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