ADIHEX contributed to promoting captive-bred falcons

The UAE’s leading role in falcon breeding research.


ADIHEX contributed to promoting captive-bred falcons.


ADIHEX promotes falcon husbandry around the world and provides a great opportunity to meet the growing needs of falconers to participate in falconry competitions.


Abu Dhabi, April 03rd, 2021:

The breeding of falcons in captivity had a big impact on the sport of falconry and played a major role in the sustainability and revival of this authentic heritage, with the use of captive-bred falcons growing exponentially in countries of the Arab Gulf.

In 1995, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may he rest in peace, worked to replace the use of wild falcons with captive-bred, years later the UAE became the first country in the Middle East to only use captive-bred falcons in the sport of falconry.

In parallel, and in the same year, the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Program was announced with the aim of preserving populations of wild falcons by providing them with sufficient opportunities to breed in their natural habitats, which resulted in a remarkable increase in the number of falcons breeding facilities in the world and the expansion and development of the industry.

Emirati and international experts attribute the success of efforts to use captive-bred falcons in the sport of falconry, the remarkable increase in the number of falcon farms in the world and the expansion and development of their industry, to Emirati efforts primarily represented in the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, which was launched in 2003 by the Emirates Falconers’ Club, and the announcement of the UNESCO In 2010 of the registration of falconry in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage through international efforts led by the UAE.

His Excellency Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Secretary General of the Emirates Falconers’ Club and President of the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF), said that Abu Dhabi worked early on developing an effective strategy for the sustainability of this heritage sport, based on expanding captive breeding to produce enough high-quality birds for sale at reasonable prices. This was done in conjunction with awareness campaigns targeting falconry enthusiasts to preserve wild falcons and limit their hunting.

He emphasized that such efforts reflect the concern of the wise leadership to preserve heritage and sustainable hunting. This ongoing and intense effort to strike a balance between the UAE’s aspirations for comprehensive development and progress and preserving its cultural and social legacies is a unique experiment that has won the admiration and appreciation of the world.

The use of captive-bred falcons in falconry has lessened the pressure on wild falcons and increased their numbers. Abu Dhabi’s research and scientific efforts has helped in improving the breeds of falcons to become stronger and more immune to fungi and diseases. It also worked on producing selected species with distinctive hunting qualities and aesthetics.