Abu Dhabi intends to make a bold statement next month at the second International Festival of Falconry in Reading, England. With 45 countries exhibiting, the festival is one of the world's largest celebrations of falconry, and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) will be there with a heritage village highlighting falconry and other aspects of Arab culture.
Adach had a small stall at the first falconry festival in 2007, but according to Saaed al Kaabi, a senior production manager with the authority, the stand will be much bigger this year. "Last time was the first year for everyone, so we were not aware of the size of the festival or of how many people would be interested. We had a small stall and took some brochures. "But this year we will make it a celebration of our culture, not just the birds," he said.
The festival is intended to raise awareness of the threats to the sport as well as to strengthen international ties. It will also be an opportunity to demonstrate the sport to Unesco delegates for as part of the Emirates-led international effort to have the sport recognised as a form of cultural heritage. The authority's village will include displays of paintings on falconry, a variety of falconry tools, specialised publications and documentary films.
There will also be a number of traditional United Arab Emirates products such as textiles and traditional costume, incense, Arab sweets, coffee and dates, along with a chance for visitors receive henna tattoos. Arabic calligraphy will also be displayed, with some drawn live in front of visitors. Mr al Kaabi said last time the Adach stall had around 5,000 visitors but that this year he expected many more.
The Emirates Falconers' Club is one of the sponsors of the festival, which is run by UK Hawk Board at the Englefield Estate, near Reading, from July 10-12. email@example.com