Friday , December 15 2017

Al Marzoum: a nature reserve for traditional falconry

**  Unique cultural and tourist experience of traditional hunting in the UAE at a privileged area using primitive means of transport

** The hunting team consists of a maximum of five members accompanied by a professional hunter; the reserve affords beds in special tents and camels for mobility

Opening Al Marzoum Reserve is part of the efforts to promote the role of heritage in the life of the community and to open up a broad window into the heritage of forefathers and ancestors so that the coming generations would benefit from such an ancient treasure. This treasure warmly registers entrenched valued and traditions of the past.

Al Marzoum hunting reserve, in the western region, works on receiving leading falconers, falconry fans and visitors, as the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee (CPHFC) has announced Al Marzoum reserve a special area dedicated to the practice of traditional falconry. This project reflects the importance of attracting tourist delegations to the State within the campaign of propagating its pristine heritage, customs and traditions.

Al Marzoum Reserve differs from other wildlife reserves in the world through focusing on falconry, desert culture and the givens of the ancient Emirati heritage. It also aims to provide a special traditional hunting experience to its visitors, maintaining constant availability of game and promoting awareness about falconry and its arts. Due to the increasing demand for a project that lawfully allows falconry,given the limited supply locally and internationally, Al Marzound was established. The local market lacks similar experiments that allow falconry and the teaching of it to fans and tourists in a systematic and legal manner.


Hunting season

What is remarkable about Al Marzoum is that it is available for Emirati national, visitors and tourist throughout the annual hunting season, which runs from November until February every year. They can enjoy nature and the picturesque environment, for which the reserve is marked, along with the practice of falconry at a symbolic fee. The reserve is also marked for being a unique project that conforms to the hunting law issued by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The law dictates that specific seasons, areas and hunting tools identified for legal use inside the Emirate. The reserve is itself an embodiment of the initiative based on the directives of the wise leadership to promote such type of traditional and heritage sports for the Emirati nationals. This springs from the considerable interest imparted to falconry by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (May Allah have mercy upon him), as it is an integral traditional practice, a major value and an essential component of the Emirati national and heritage identity. Hence, the reserve allows falconers room to practice such traditional hobby inside the State and within the framework of sustainable hunting in accordance with the hunting law in Abu Dhabi, sparing them the trouble of having to travel abroad to practice it.

          Riding camels

The reserve constitutes a unique cultural and tourist experience of traditional hunting in the State at distinctive area through the use of primitive means of transport. It reflects car for sustainability of biodiversity, promotion of falconry awareness and preservation of environment and of heritage. This makes Abu Dhabi a major destination for falconry enthusiasts and in the meantime stresses the role played by Abu Dhabi emirate in entrenching the principles of sustainable hunting, development of falcons and houbara bustards breeding, and enforcing international recognition of falconry as a cultural,human heritage.

Al Marzoum Reserve receives visitors during the hunting season that lasts for seven days in both November and February of every year, in two day and night hunting periods. Besides, visitors are received within hunting teams, each of which consists of a maximum of five members along with a professional hunter. The reserve also provides beds in a special camp, knowing that camels are used for movement inside the reserve.

          Means of comfort

To provide the optimum means of comfort and security for all visitors of Al Marzoum, the reserve management urges all visitors to abide by the hunting law of Abu Dhabi within the framework of sustainable hunting, and to adhere to certain accredited prerequisites that ensure success of the hunting experience for all. It prevents any harm for the reserve and its natural treasures, and maintains that no disturbance or harm befalls wildlife, trees or plants. Here, it is worth noting that the reserve professional hunters exert every possible effort to provide the best possible services to visitors.

          Traditional tents

Al Marzoum relies on falconry in the first instance, as it does not offer any other form of wildlife tourism at the present time. Besides, residence is limited to conventional tents with the purpose maintaining the main objective behind the project, namely the return to and conservation of nature. This project offers no more than hunting in traditional manner without the use of any weapons whatsoever. It also offers houbara bustards (brought from known breeding centers and not from the wild), and allows falconry opportunities within a legal and monitored framework. It is expected that the demand for the reserve shall witness large turnout since hunting houbara bustards in the wilderness is illegal. Therefore, it is legally provided from the breeding centers within an acknowledged and regulated framework that guarantees turnout by falconers and that spares the obstacles of hunting outside the State.

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