sport
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, directed to establish the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing as an independent international sports entity. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In line with the vision and directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate the UAE’s status in all fields globally, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, directed to establish the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing as an independent international sports entity. The entity, which will support all sports related to falcon racing, will be permanently headquartered in the UAE.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE Falcons Federation and President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, lauded the move, which he said forms part of the wise leadership’s vision toward sustaining falcon sports and racing. Sheikh Ahmed noted that this pioneering step would be critical to promoting these games to be listed as international sports.

Cultural heritage

He said that the continued support of our wise leadership for falconry and everything related to its cultural heritage means we’d continue to hit new milestones in promoting the sport. The Federation will help showcase the sport to the world, consolidating its role in bonding between nations and upholding honour and pride among those practising it.

He added that the establishment of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing aims to support the practice of this sport globally in an organised manner, observing sporting values and rules and regulations of the game. The Federation, He said, would be the first reference for these races, contributing to the preservation and sustainability of the traditional sport of falconry.

Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the UAE Falcons Federation, noted that this step was aimed at laying new foundations to elevate the status of this sport to a global level, reflecting its increasing popularity, and the leadership’s interest in enhancing its presence in national and international sports forums. He noted that the move emanated from the values of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a tremendous proponent of the sport, a trait inherited by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

First championship

He added that the UAE government gives great importance to this sport through material, organisational and logistical support. The Vice President of the UAE Falcons Federation said that, since the launch of the first championship under the sponsorship of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2003, falcon sports and racing had enjoyed wide popularity and great public turnout. More than ten official tournaments are organised annually in the country, in which more than 2,000 falconers of different nationalities and more than 5,000 falcons participate.

Rashid Mubarak bin Markhan, Secretary General of the UAE Falcons Federation, affirmed that several bodies and entities associated with falconry from different countries have confirmed their support for the establishment of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing in the UAE. He noted that official invitations by the UAE Falcons Federation would be sent to entities associated with falcon sports for attending the founding meeting of the International Federation in Dubai, in conjunction with the start of the UAE Falcons Federation Cup in December 2022.