Destinations

A Date with a Falcon, I’ll wait for you in the desert

By Monica Camozzi
4 min read

You have to be brave to date a falcon. It can be proven by the nomads who live in the desert. In the Emirates they usually put the animal directly on your skin.

Leave the smartphone at home, please! Carrying a Pelegrin Falcon on your arm requires dexterity and no distraction! Desert nomads used it to hunt hares and ubara. But its charm is still tangible in the Emirates, where falconry is a national sport. There, airplanes often dedicate an entire cabin to birds transport and there is a special hospital that hosts and treats 4,000 of them every year. Falconry has been an integral part of life in places like Abu Dhabi and Dubai from the 12th century onwards. The date with the falcon is an experience not to be missed.

Will it be a Pilgrim, a Cherrug, a Lanner or a Gray Falcon? It doesn’t matter, you just need to be guided and keep the classic hood on the Falcon’s head (it seems to have been inspired by medieval pilgrims). This splendid animal is incredible, it is the fastest animal on the planet, swooping at 320 km per hour. Furthermore, it is faithful too. It starts looking for another partner only after the previous one had died.

Where can we date a Falcon? In Nad Al Sheba

In Nad Al Sheba, the Al Hurr Falconry gives you the opportunity to live an incredible experience in the desert. Here you can find out everything about falconry, but we’ll tell you a secret: if you want to live a highly emotional experience you should book a desert safari with the falconry show included. Your date with the falcon will be truly unique, but won’t be the only one! You will also meet desert eagles and Barn owls, which are very nice.

date falcon

January is the best month to watch falcons in action in Dubai. Usually the Ruwayyah region hosts the Fazza Championship. Some of the most popular sports in the Emirates are also practiced at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center. In addition to this, we suggest a visit to the Arabian Saluki center: the Saluki is a very fast greyhound, adapted to life in the desert, used by the Bedouins. If you go to Abu Dhabi you can’t miss the magnificent Abu Dhabi Falcon Center, you have to visit it! Moreover, Al organizes tours with falcons too. Tours usually take place at sunset, to avoid the heat of the desert.

The falcon is a legend. It used to be called The God of the Sky.

It is faster than a sports car. On the one hand, in Egyptian mythology it was named Horus, the god of the sun. It was bcause, according to the ancient Egyptians, falcons can fly really close to the sun. On the other hand, for the Greeks it was the messenger of Apollo.

date falcon

According to Norse mythology, the goddess Freya had a falcon feather cloak that carried her everywhere. It seems that in Mesopotamia the subjugation of these birds of prey for hunting purposes dates back to 2,000 BC. Inside the nostrils of the falcon there are caps that allow it to breathe even while flying at supersonic speed! What’s more, a membrane cleans his eyeballs: his eyes have two zones for each retina and sensor! This is why it boasts incredible triangulation power and detects prey within 3km! The hard feathers allow it to penetrate the air currents and arrive tapered in a swoop. From that height and that speed, in a fraction of a second, a human being would lose consciousness. That’s why a date with a falcon is something that can really change your life.

After the date, the dhow trip

Before the wealth brought by oil, Dubai traders sailed the seas in boats called dhows, made of wood, with traditional triangular sails. This type of hull was used for pearl fishing, but also for trade in the Gulf, as far as Africa and India. Dhows were also essential for the distribution of water supplies. At the Dubai Offshore Sailing you will find many of these boats. But the largest and most spectacular one, stands in front of the Radisson hotel in Kuwait and it is worth more than $30 million.

date falcon

Its construction began in 1985 and ended in 2000 because in the meantime there had been the invasion of Kuwait and the First Gulf War. It is beautiful to start the trip from Jumeirah Beach sailing on a dhow on the blue waters of the Persian Gulf. Then you can dive into the seabed and dine on fresh fish. In Dubai you can even take a cruise on the largest dhow in the world.

Written by
Monica Camozzi
Journalist since 25 years, copywriter, storyteller, passionate of made in Italy, business adventures and new challenges.
4 min read

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