Dubai: Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing, congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the signing of an agreement to host the permanent headquarters of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing in Dubai.
The new federation is a pioneering initiative by the UAE to develop the sport of falconry, globally.
In a ceremony held in the presence of Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the General Authority of Sports, the agreement was signed by Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, Secretary General of the General Authority of Sports and Rashid Mubarak Saeed bin Markhan Al Ketbi, Secretary General of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing.
In September 2022, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, issued directives to establish the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing as an independent international sports entity permanently headquartered in the UAE.
Promoting traditional sport
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the efforts of various stakeholders and institutions to promote the traditional sport of falconry and raise its global profile. The signing of the agreement to host the headquarters of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing is part of the UAE’s strategic plan to reinforce its status as a hub for global sports governance bodies. It also reflects the leadership’s commitment to revive and promote heritage sports like falconry by introducing supportive initiatives and legislation, he said. “This traditional sport would not have grown in the UAE without the remarkable support extended by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” he added.
On the sidelines of the signing ceremony, the dignitaries and officials discussed the transformative impact the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing is set to have on the global development of the sport. A meeting held in December last year to announce the establishment of the new federation was attended by representatives of 11 entities hailing from 10 countries from 4 continents.
Dr Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education and Chairman of the General Authority of Sports, said: “The establishment of the headquarters of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing in the UAE represents a major step in enhancing the country’s stature in the global sporting sector. The initiative reinforces the UAE’s emergence as a preferred global destination for sports and a focal point for international sporting institutions and events. The country’s exceptional assets, integrated infrastructure and institutional environment are driving the rapid growth of the sporting sector. Supported by the country’s leadership, the UAE’s pioneering initiatives and achievements continue to enhance its regional and global position in the sports sector.”
He further said the establishment of the headquarters of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing provides an ideal opportunity for the General Authority of Sports to promote cooperation with sports entities, which will help attract more international tournaments, raising the country’s profile on the global sports map.
“The new federation will promote the sport of falconry which has been passed down through generations. Our leadership is keen to preserve the ancient sporting heritage of the UAE and promote it globally. We look forward to reviving the unique accomplishments of our nation’s past as part of our efforts to shape a glorious new future for the country,” he added.
Development of sports
Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussein said that the General Authority of Sports welcomes the agreement as part of its commitment to foster the development of sports in the country and create a global hub for diverse sporting disciplines in the UAE, in line with the vision of the leadership embodied in the Principles of the 50.
Rashid Mubarak bin Markhan extended his gratitude to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed for proposing the initiative to establish an independent international sporting body that can promote the sport of falconry across the world. He also thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the General Authority of Sports for the support they have extended to the agreement for hosting the permanent headquarters of the International Federation for Falconry Sports and Racing in the UAE.
He further said that as part of its mandate, the new federation is working to foster close coordination between various national and international partners to streamline the global governance of the sport, develop rules and regulations for falconry sports and create the strong base needed for the sport to thrive internationally.