Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH) is a unique place for tourism – nothing similar exists worldwide. Opened to tourists on July 1, 2007, the global institution has received a large number of visitors eager to experience the exciting world of falconry.
The falcon plays a pivotal role in Abu Dhabi’s history. The aim of the hospital’s tourism programme is to let guests experience the rich tradition of falconry and gain a better cultural understanding of this heritage. An annual rise in visitor numbers of 20 percent – bringing the total to several tens of thousands of visitors – shows the great interest of tourists from all over the world.
During the tour, guests are encouraged to…see the falcons, touch the falcons, play with the falcons and even feed the falcons
ADFH is not just the world’s largest falcon medical institution, it gives visitors the opportunity to connect with these magnificent birds of prey. It also displays all of the tools and equipment that Bedouin falconers use for training their beloved creatures. During the tour, guests are encouraged to embrace the Bedouin life: they see the falcons, touch the falcons, play with the falcons and even feed the falcons. Normal falcon shows in zoos or rehabilitation centres are of no comparison to the hospital’s combination of falcon history, museum displays, and active visitor participation during procedures like feather repair or the ‘manicure’ and ‘pedicure’ sessions – which cannot be seen at any other institution.
Due to the overwhelming success and increased demand from businesses and travellers, the Shaheen Conference Centre was established to provide a second unique venue for MICE visitors. With the opening of the centre in 2009, ADFH complemented its successful leisure tourism programme and embarked on a journey into event and business tourism. Apart from conferences, workshops and training, the centre can be booked for corporate events, gala dinners and recreational activities like birthday parties. Many international companies and event management companies have already used the excellent facilities for meetings in uniquely fascinating surroundings.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
- Launching on October 3 1999, ADFH became the first public falcon hospital to open in the UAE.
- With more than 8,600 falcons, it is the largest hospital of its kind worldwide. It is also the leading centre for falcon medicine internationally.
- ADFH contains multiple other departments, including its Pet Care Centre, with its veterinary hospital and extensive boarding facilities.
Built to the highest international standards, the Shaheen Conference Centre includes a large hall fitting up to 200 people, with beautiful traditional surroundings. It has a museum for Arab falconry with a view looking out onto live free-flying falcons. The combination of a wildlife programme with the cultural background of falconry and the traditional heritage of Bedouins complement each other and provide business guests with a deep insight into the world of falcons and the passion of Emiratis. The bond between the falcon and the Emiratis is very strong, a message that the hospital has helped broadcast to a wider audience by providing a completely different outlook on meetings and events.
MICE events are not purely about work – the venue’s staff dive into the cultural identity of Abu Dhabi, which is an experience beyond compare for any business traveller. The combination of modern conference facilities and traditional falconry is an entirely new and exceptional experience. That is the hospital’s competitive advantage and exclusive selling point, distinguishing ADFH from its competitors.
Corporate guests can choose to maximise their business meetings with an additional tour through the hospital. This award-winning tour is unrivalled, exploring the fascinating world of falconry and the deep-rooted knowledge and experience of treating such impressive birds. The tour shows how the UAE people love their falcons and how the government cares for the birds and preserves Bedouin heritage.
Passion and prestige
In recent years, the hospital has received 17 international awards, including Business Destinations’ Best Cultural Venue for Corporate Events, Middle East, 2014. Dr Margit Gabriele Muller, Director of ADFH said: “At Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, we celebrate the majestic falcon species and are delighted about adding the prestigious accolade of the Business Destinations 2014 Travel Award.
“Since opening our doors to global visitors in 2007, Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital has provided visitors with the unique opportunity to get close to an important element of UAE culture and heritage – falconry. With our Shaheen Conference Centre we extend our love and passion to falcons to business travellers and provide truly outstanding and fabulous MICE events in an unique and innovative atmosphere.”
In May 2013, ADFH was awarded the Middle East’s Responsible Tourism Award by the World Travel Awards. In the same year the hospital received the Winner Certificate by the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor, for its tourism programme, which recognised ADFH for earning exceptional traveller ratings over 12 months. TripAdvisor currently ranks ADFH number two out of 66 must-see attractions in Abu Dhabi – accolades which highlight the lasting feeling of visitor satisfaction.
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