Traditional Sports;*

Pearl diving;

The ancient pearling industry provided the only real income for the people of what is now the UAE. The land was too barren to allow any farming and the people were generally too concerned with finding water, food and other provisions to consider trying to make money. The barter system was their way of trading. A few families would leave the nomadic desert lifestyle and settle on the coast to fish. Some of the fishermen probably found the occasional pearl when wading in the shallows, and kept it until there was an opportunity to barter it. To gather enough oysters to make a living, however, required a huge communal effort, as well as people who were able to dive to depths of around 40 meters without equipment, in order to access the offshore oyster beds.



The Arabs have engaged in falconry for over 2,000 years and the skills involved in the sport have been passed down through the generations.
Falconry depends on patience and partnership between bird and handler. the bird demonstrates trust and obedience; the handler shows friendship and compassion.
Peregrine and Lanner falcons are the preferred breeds for training.
In his book Falconry: Our Arab Heritage, HH the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan describes the main methods of capturing the birds. In the first, the hunter conceals himself beneath branches in a pit in the ground. He releases a pigeon with a string attached to its leg from the pit, to act as a lure. When the falcon seizes its prey, the hunter carefully winds in the string until the bird is within his reach. An alternative means of capture is netting. Once again, a pigeon is used as bait, being released under a net when a falcon is nearby. In its rush to attack the pigeon, the falcon becomes entangled in the net. The hunter gently removes and tethers it. The bird is then handed over to a falconer to start its training.
UAE falconers have developed their own breeding techniques which enthusiasts of the sport rate as the best in the world. One of the largest global projects relating to the breeding and preservation of falcons was launched in Al Ain in 1996.




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