One of the unifying symbols of the nation is falconry. The majesty of the birds, the connection to traditional ways of life, the ritual and poetry of falconry – these are things close to the heart of all Emiratis and were deeply felt by Sheikh Zayed.
Falconry has been practised for thousands of years, not just in the Middle East but across the world. Arising as a way of hunting in the desert, it eventually evolved into an activity enjoyed by many. The gallery will explore the practices of falconry – trapping, training and hunting. Mixed media from film to falconry equipment will explain the hunt, the thrill of the chase, and the celebrations that follow.
The hunt brought an increasing awareness of the need to manage the natural environment. Sheikh Zayed understood the importance of conservation of wildlife and the land, which became a central tenet of his philosophy; one that visitors will be invited to share. Prizes and funds set up by Sheikh Zayed continue to promote environmentalism worldwide, and the many awards Sheikh Zayed received will show visitors the word recognition of his outstanding efforts.
The Falconry and Conservation Gallery is not just a display. In a linked outdoor arena, visitors will be able at certain times to experience live falconry – as spectators, as participants, as enthusiasts.
It is an outstanding feature of the new museum and will draw many visitors to absorb the important messages of this gallery.