As part of its efforts to spread authentic Arab heritage to current and future generations and encourage them to practice falconry as a sport regulated by legal and environmental controls in Abu Dhabi, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced that this year’s falconry season will extend from October 20th, 2023 until January 20th, 2024.
Abu Dhabi, 11 October 2023: As part of its efforts to spread authentic Arab heritage to current and future generations and encourage them to practice falconry as a sport regulated by legal and environmental controls in Abu Dhabi, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced that this year’s falconry season will extend from October 20th, 2023 until January 20th, 2024.
This traditional sport may be practiced after obtaining a traditional hunting license (falconry) through the Abu Dhabi unified government services system “Tamm”. Falconers must apply for the license via the Tamm smart application or website, using UAE Pass digital ID credentials to log in. The applicant may select Support Community and Environment, then opt for the “a falconry licence”. Upon accepting the terms and conditions, the applicant will immediately obtain the electronic license through the Tamm system. The licensee must adhere to the period specified for hunting in the license, which is valid for one season only, as defined by EAD for the 2023 – 2024 season.
Law No. 22 of 2005 regulates wild hunting in Abu Dhabi and establishes a legal framework for wild hunting activities within environmental controls and standards that are consistent with the ultimate goals and efforts to preserve wild animal species: i.e. without negatively affecting their numbers in their natural habitats. It stipulates that falconers need to obtain a license, and that the applicant must be a citizen of the UAE, be at least 18 years old, and have the falcon registered in the Falcon Registration System of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Hashemi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD said: “The Agency issues falconry licenses in accordance with the Executive Council Decision No. (5) of 2021 regarding amendments to the executive regulations of the Hunting Law in Abu Dhabi, which supports the sector and contributes to enhancing conservation efforts and consolidating the traditional hunting heritage of falconry.”
Al Hashemi pointed out that EAD limits the activity to licensed falconers who are only allowed to hunt the Houbara bird, which helps to ensure the practice of traditional hunting within specific legal and environmental controls. Traditional hunting is limited to open areas and hunters must stay away from protected areas , forests, residential, military and petroleum areas, as well as private and prohibited areas. Hunting must take place at least 2 kilometres away from all roads. Since the beginning of September, EAD has issued 880 falconry licenses.
According to the controls set by EAD, it is prohibited to hunt or disturb any type of wild animals. It is also prohibited to drive vehicles on vegetation or transfer a hunting license to another person. The license must be carried on the licensee's person during the activity to be presented to the competent authorities upon request.