Programs and Events 2010
U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson visited the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
July 18, 2010
U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson visited the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH), the largest such facility in the world.
The Ambassador was met by Dr. Margit Muller, Director and Chief Veterinarian, who led him on a tour of the facility. After giving a brief overview of the hospital and falconry in the Middle East, Dr. Margit escorted the Ambassador to the treatment center, where he watched a falcon being treated for a broken wing feather. Later, Ambassador Olson had the opportunity to hold “Farhan”, a female falcon recovering from her treatment at the hospital.
Ambassador Olson thanked Dr. Muller for the chance to tour the Hospital, saying “The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is playing a vital role in preserving the cultural heritage of the UAE, as well as ensuring the health of these magnificent birds.”
ADFH is the largest falcon hospital in the world, and operates under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The center, affiliated with the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, treats all varieties of falcon and receives patients from many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain.
Falconry is a very important part of Emirati heritage and culture and has been practiced for generations. Its historical importance stemmed from necessity, as Bedouins used falcons for hunting to supplement their diets with meat. Today, it has evolved into a major sport in the UAE.