About the Festival

Four decades have passed since the organisation of the first International Conference on Falconry and Conservation in 1976, which was held in line with the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul).

Sheikh Zayed was an internationally recognised falconer, who was concerned with the protection of an Arab heritage that embodies our values, traditions, and national identity.

The United Arab Emirates has spared no effort in maintaining this heritage, out of a conviction that the protection of traditions and customs amounts to a preservation of the collective memory of communities and nations.

As we press ahead with our endeavour, we remember the words of Sheikh Zayed: “He who has no past has no present.”This international gathering, in the Emirati capital, attracting hundreds of falconers young and old, researchers, and experts from every continent, is a unique model of cultural coexistence between the people of the world.

For these reasons and more, we invite you to join us at this special and unique Festival.


Falconry in Arabia

Falconry is an integral part of desert life, which has been practised in this region for centuries.

Zayed: the first falconer-conservationist

The Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a pioneer in preserving sustainable falconry with a vision that was many years ahead of his time.

UNESCO and Youth

The 2017 Festival celebrates the passing on of falconry’s intangible heritage to the Youth.

Proceedings from the 1976 International Conference on Falconry & Conservation, Abu Dhabi

Read full proceedings of the First International Festival of Falconry from the Falconry Heritage Trust archives.

Sheikh Zayed Booklet

Read more about Sheikh Zayed from the Falconry Heritage Trust archives.