By Mariett Ramm

“The red rose whispers of passion, And the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, And the white rose is a dove.” John Boyle OReilly A White Rose, lines 1-4, in In Bohemia (1886), p. 24.

Falcons have played a crucial part in the traditional culture of the United Arab Emirates. Falconry in Arabia goes back more than 2,000 years, and of course, the Peregrine Falcon is a symbol of the Bedouin culture of UAE. The government has also called on Unesco to grant the sports world heritage status to preserve it.

Falconry is a popular sport in the UAE and enjoyed by the highest-ranking members of society as well as ordinary citizens. It is usually practiced in desert and semi-deserts around the region. Both HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and his son HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai share passion for the birds and their welfare.

The falcon was traditionally used for hunting, and it was a source of survival in the desert. The falcon is also a bird that is sometimes used to find water in areas where water was very scarce…..

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