While we lived in the desert, we had the chance to attend the International Falconry Festival right in our town.
Things you need to know: Falcons are the ultimate companion/hunter/pet in the United Arab Emirates. Etihad Airlines allows falcons in the cabin with their owners. These birds are carefully bred, expensive to buy, and treasured by their family.
The festival was a cultural explosion on all levels. 80 countries were represented with birds of prey, handlers, informational tents, photo opportunities, the works. If you ever have an opportunity to attend, make a day of it: pack a picnic, wear your walking shoes, and come prepared to meet people from the world over in traditional clothing from his or her homeland.
Read more about the International Festival of Falconry Here.