Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8th April 2012 – Housing the region’s most diverse and active display of falcons, hawks, kestrels, owls and eagles, Banyan Tree Al Wadi offers an opportunity for guests to partake in the two-thousand year old tradition of falconry – the challenging artform of hunting with a trained bird of prey. Falconry was added to UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2010, an award that speaks to the diligence, subtlety and skill required to master this activity.
“This ancient art is a very demanding endeavor, requiring dedication of time and energy from the falconer,” says Banyan Tree Al Wadi’s professional falconer, Mitchell Olivier, who has been practising falconry for ten years.
Banyan Tree Al Wadi currently houses a professionally-trained falcon team of two Harris Hawks, four Peregrine Falcons, two Desert Eagle Owls and a Steppe Eagle at its in-house falconry mews. To learn more about these majestic birds, guests may take a walk through the resort’s nature reserve accompanied by a Harris Hawk (AED 180 per adult, AED 130 per child) or Steppe Eagle (AED 200 per adult), or witness a breathtaking display of various falcons and birds of prey during a demonstration (AED 230 per adult, AED 130 per child) conducted on the Falconry Deck, a tented platform amongst tall Ghaf trees on the crest of a sand dune.
To get up close and personal with these regal birds, a two-hour interactive experience can be witnessed at the falconry mews, including a live demonstration of falcon training with detailed explanations (AED 900 per adult, AED 750 per child). Guests who consider taking up falconry as a sport can sign up for an intensive two-day (16 hours) introductory falconry course – the first and only in the Middle East (AED 3,400 for in-house guests). Learn falconry theory on housing, husbandry, diseases and equipment, and gain practical skills on basic handling and training.
About Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts
The leading international operator in the boutique resort, residences and spa industry, Banyan Tree offers a signature blend of romance and travel with a green conscience. The philosophy behind the hotels, resorts, residences, spas, retail galleries and destination club is based on rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul – a Sanctuary for the Senses. Angsana Hotels and Resorts is the ideal complement to Banyan Tree, comprising contemporary, chic and ecologically sensitive retreats. Based in areas of outstanding natural beauty and exciting city hubs, Angsana hotels, resorts, residences, spas and retail galleries reflect the spirit and communities of its environment.
To date, the Banyan Tree Group manages and/or has ownership interests close to 30 resorts and hotels, over 60 spas and over 80 retail galleries; as well as two golf courses.