Falconry is an ancient Arabic tradition, that is still practiced today. The art of falconry is celebrated each year at the international falconry festival in Abu Dhabi, where around 70 different nationalities each represent their raptors.
Despite the strong tradition that's still very much alive, hunting is no longer allowed in Abu Dhabi, as they no longer have the wildlife to hunt. Emirati falconers often travel with their birds and hunt in Morocco, Kazakhstan and other destinations where it's still possible.
Emirati falconers, who spend a great deal of money on their birds, do what they can to make sure their animals are in the best possible shape.
Volkskrant Magazine published a story about the Dutch participants in the falconry festival.
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The Saluki, also known as the Arabian Greyhound, is one of the world's oldest dog breeds. They have long been held in high esteem: they were considered the royal dog of Egypt, and have been found mummified alongside Pharaohs. Traditionally, they were used for hunting gazelles, hares, foxes and jackals, and today that tradition is mimicked in dog racing. They have been recorded to run as fast as 68 km/h, making them one of the world's fastest dogs on longer distances. With their status still intact today, they are one of the only dog breeds kept as pets in the UAE, where dogs are generally considered unclean, or even a pest.
This dog is a Borzoi, or Russian Wolf Hound. It's a sight hound, just like Greyhounds and Salukis, but it was not here to race. Here, only Salukis are considered worthy.
Saluki feet are dyed red with henna before the race.