United Arab Emirates

The ancient art of falconry kept alive at Anantara’s Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

When visiting Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara in the famed Empty Quarter of the Liwa Desert in Abu Dhabi, the area is not only rich in natural beauty but also an interesting cultural history.

One of the traditions kept alive at the resort is the ancient art of falconry.

Awe-inspiring...Anantara Connoisseur Falconer
Awe-inspiring…Anantara Connoisseur Falconer

The falcon has long been part of the United Arab Emirates cultural heritage and was an integral part of desert life.

Today falconry is practiced purely as a sport and the skill of a falconer remains highly recognised and the power of the falcon greatly treasured.

Anantara’s expert falconer, Naseer Muhammad Abdul Latif at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is proud to take guests on an extraordinary, historic journey of falconry that originates two millenniums ago.

Naseer has had a passion for birds from a very young age when he used to care for his brother’s pigeons and parrots at home.

Rich cultural heritage…Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

While working on a farm, Naseer helped feed the local falcons and started training them during his free time.

When the farm owner saw his interest and enthusiasm around the birds, he offered him the opportunity to go through proper training to become a connoisseur falconer.

The training of a falcon has not changed for centuries – a leather hood is used to cover the falcon’s eyes and the bird is fed only small portions.

The falconer names his new bird in the first few weeks and remains with the bird constantly so he gets comfortable with his owner.

“Falcons are wild, fast and aggressive birds so finding the right balance between patience, time and effort can sometimes be complex during training,” Naseer explains.

“For example, during the initial few weeks if I release the bird and push him to fly while he is not hungry, chances are he might not come back to me, so training requires a great level of expertise and understanding to master the bird.”

As Naseer’s falcons soars 320 kilometers per hour at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, viewers are guaranteed to be left in awe.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, visit www.anantara.com.

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