The Emirates Falconers’ Club, Abu Dhabi has kindly agreed to host
The 2014 International Festival of Falconry.
The 2014 International Festival of Falconry
The Festival Organisers are delighted to announce that the next International Festival of Falconry will be held in Abu Dhabi on 7-14th December 2014!
Hosted once again by the Emirates Falconers’ Club, the event promises to be a dream trip for falconers from all over the world. Put it in your diary – you will kick yourself if you miss it!
The public Festival will be held in the spacious grounds of the Al Forsan International Sports Resort at the southern end of Abu Dhabi city. The nearest airport is Abu Dhabi International Airport, about 20 minutes away. Al Forsan has world class facilities for the event and is close to many hotels and to road links. It has the biggest grass area available in the city, so we will have more space than before. Bringing the Festival to town will enable many more local people to attend.
We are moving the Desert Camp too. This time we are taking you deeper into the desert, about an hour south of Abu Dhabi. The new hunting ground is about seven times larger than the old one – 21 km across. This should enable three or four groups to hunt at the same time so that even more people can experience genuine hunting in the desert, tracking houbara and hares in the traditional manner on camels and horses. For less hardy types there will be shorter camel excursions nearer camp. Whatever your skill level, cheerful Khalid will make sure you have a mount to suit you. Hunting in the desert with local Emirati falconers is an unforgettable experience and will be available only to invited guests and registered visitors, so if you want to come, register as soon as you can! But be warned, this hunting ground is more severe than the old one. Although the dunes are not so high, there is less vegetation and the sand is soft. So it will not be easy to rescue you with a vehicle! (We got stuck in 500 metres and so did our rescue vehicle!)
We also have some planted forest areas next to the Desert Camp, consisting of low trees and bushes. We are investigating the possibility of hunting hares in them, using Goshawks and Harris Hawks.
There will not be an Art Competition or a Photo Competition this time. Instead we are asking each country to contribute a painting, a three dimensional art or craft work, and a photograph for a special Exhibition. Each piece will represent the unique aspects of falconry in each country. Details will be announced in due course. We will also be inviting people who are contributing to the Festival, helping with running it, training the birds, organising the stands and exhibits. If you wish to participate, please contact us and let us know what you are able to contribute. Remember, there are no ‘free’ tickets, everyone who is sponsored will have a task to do to help make the Festival work. We will also invite representatives from 77 falconry countries, with a special emphasis on fresh faces. We are aiming for about 75% of the sponsored guests to be people who have never been funded before. So if you had your ticket paid for you last time, please make way for someone else to have the opportunity. Of course we hope that you will want to come again, this time paying your own flight.
We will be changing the format of the conference to a workshop/panel format to allow for lively debate and question and answer sessions. We also plan a strong educational programme for local school parties.
We are planning a varied programme of arena events and activities. If you are a group with an idea for an arena event, please contact the International Office. We are also looking for falconers able to entertain at the Falconers’ Feast, with music, song, poetry or dance, related to falconry.
In order to keep costs down we hope to have tented accommodation for most of the falconers during the Desert Camp period, rather than hotels. From there we will have bus trips for day excursions to places of interest such as the Falcon Hospital and to Falcon competitions. The Desert Camp will be only for falconers, not for the general public.
The International Office at IWC in UK is managing the international visitors and exhibits. Keep an eye on the website www.falconryfestival.com for further information. The team at the Abu Dhabi Office will be handling all the local arrangements as well as flight bookings and visas. Watch out for www.falconryfestival.ae .
Looking forward to seeing you in Abu Dhabi!