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Posted On: 9 February 2023 04:36 pm

What you need to know about falconry in Qatar

Tracy Quirino
Tracy Quirino
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Falconry guide Qatar

Falcons have great value to the locals and their community in Qatar. Aside from being Qatar's National bird, these mighty birds also hold historical importance to the Qataris and the Arab world.

Falcons are celebrated in the country, from dedicated facilities to exciting competitions. But why exactly is that so? In this guide, the (ILQ) team gives you a quick read on what you need to know about falconry and falcons in Qatar!

History of Falconry

what you need to know about falconry in qatar
Image credit: Shutterstock

It was said that over 5,000 years ago in Iran, falcons were used as tools for many desert nomads to obtain fresh meat. Thanks to the animal's sharp eyesight and great intelligence, getting food became easy for these people.

Falconry is a historical tradition in the Arab world, with several works of literature recording the appearance of the art as early as the first millennium B.C. Historians have also implored that the first falconer was a king of Persia. Falconry is also present in multiple verses in the Holy Quran.

Falconry in Qatar

Falconry in Qatar
Image credit: Visit Qatar

The tradition and art of training falcons to hunt for food were brought to Qatar by the Bedouins. Falconry is a mastered historical art form that relies on the involvement of the falcon and its trainer. A harmonious relationship between these two major players results in an incredible hunting partnership.

Many falconry hobbyists in Qatar take extra care of their falcons as the animals hold great meaning to the country and its people. Not only are these birds the national bird of the country, but they also symbolize courage and pride to many locals. This is why those who own falcons intend to sharpen the birds' skills through several pieces of training and competitions within the country.

Falcons in Qatar

There are 6 variant species of falcon in Qatar: Amur Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Saker Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Barbary Falcon, and Sooty Falcon. Among these falcons, the Saker and Peregrine falcons are more popular.

These falcons are often prepared to be sold at the falcon markets, with prices ranging from QR 30,000 to even over a million Qatari Riyals!

When transporting these winged beauties, they can be in the plane cabin with their owners!

Falcon facilities in Qatar

Falconry in Qatar
Image credit: Visit Qatar

As Qatar gives great importance to falcons, it is no wonder that there are dedicated facilities for the mighty birds. In Souq Waqif, there is a Falcon Souq where people can find falcons and even take photos with them! Falcon Souq also sells falcon accessories, from training accessories to medical needs.

Speaking of medical needs, in the same souq lies the well-known Falcon Hospital, where falconers bring their falcons for medical concerns. They also have a surgery unit in this hospital.

Falcon events in Qatar

Falconry in Qatar
Image credit: Qatar News Agency (QNA)

Many falcon events are held regularly in Qatar. From falcon exhibitions, such as Katara's International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition, to falcon competitions, like the Marmi Festival, these events are frequented by many people in Qatar. These events are much-awaited in Qatar as falconers meet to display their falcons and more!

Falcon groups in Qatar

Falconry in Qatar
Image credit: Qatar News Agency (QNA)

One of the most well-known falcon groups in Qatar is Al Gannas Association, founded in 2008. This falcon group dedicates itself to promoting traditional Arabic hunting. Al Gannas Association also represents Arab hunters in international and regional contests. They also hold falcon events such as the Marmi Festival.


Sources: Visit Qatar, Katara, Al Gannas Association, Souq Waqif Falcon Hospital

Have you tried holding a falcon? If not, would you like to take a photo with one? Let us know in the comments below! Do share this article too - it keeps us going!