It might not be as famous as many of Abu Dhabi’s flashier landmarks, but the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a cultural highlight that should not be missed by any visitor wishing to understand the interactions between the people of the UAE and their environment.
Falconry has been practised for more than 4000 years across the Arabian Peninsula. The Bedouins used their falcons for hunting for food in a dry and resource-scarce land.
Whilst people no longer need to use falcons to hunt for food, training falcons is deeply embedded in Emirati culture and tradition, and many people continue to own falcons and practise falconry.
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the first public institution in the UAE to provide specialist veterinary care and boarding of falcons and other birds of prey. The aim of the Falcon Hospital is to protect, conserve, research, and promote captive-bred and wild falcon health and the falconry tradition.
Where is Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, and how do I get there?
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is on Sweihan Road, close to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Given its remote location, the easiest way to get to the Falcon Hospital is to drive if you have your own car or rental, or to take a taxi.
What can I expect to find at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital?
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the world’s leading falcon welfare institute. The hospital provides general veterinary services to the owners of falcons, including the implantation of microchips and routine health examinations, as well as treatment in the event of disease.
It is also responsible for issuing falcon passports and other legal documents to falcon owners.
The hospital boasts a state-of-the-art ophthalmology unit as well as a one-of-a-kind intensive care unit and laboratory. There are also boarding facilities for falcons and other domestic pets on site.
The site also incorporates an animal shelter, a veterinary clinic and a dog agility park.
Guided Tours of Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Guided tours take place at 10.00 am and 2.00 pm from Monday to Thursday and at 10:00 am on Fridays and Sundays. Note that tours will only be available from Sunday to Thursday at 10:00 am during Ramadan.
The tour includes a visit to the falconry museum, which documents the history of falconry as well as displays of special tools and equipment, in addition to a tour of the hospital facilities.
In the examination room, you will hear about falcon registration and passports and see vets tending to their patients – this may include watching a falcon pedicure or feather repair procedure, as can be seen in the picture below.
Visitors can also experience the free-flight aviary, where falcons are kept and fly free inside, as well as see some smaller enclosures with various species of owl and other birds of prey.
Guides are knowledgeable, friendly and full of enthusiasm, making a tour of the facility an enjoyable and memorable experience. The tour is suitable for all ages and is wheelchair accessible.
How much does it cost to visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital?
All tours of Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Hospital must be booked at least two days in advance.
- An adult ticket for the 2-hour tour costs AED 170
- Children aged 5-9 pay AED 50
- Children under five enter for free.
VAT is added to the ticket price. Tours are conducted in English, but other languages can be arranged upon request.
Other Facilities At The Falcon Hospital
There is one small cafe open to visitors and clean toilets. There is also a conference centre and large banqueting suite available for private hire and large tour groups.
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is certainly not one of the first places that come to mind when thinking about things to do in Abu Dhabi, but we’d certainly say it’s one of the most interesting cultural experiences you could enjoy and well worth the price of the guided tour.
Those interested in learning more about the country’s culture and history may also want to read next:
- Planning a visit to Qasr al Hosn – The birthplace of Abu Dhabi
- Qasr Al Watan – The Presidential Palace
- What to expect at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- How to fit in the cultural highlights of Abu Dhabi in one day
- A taste of Bedouin culture, these are the best Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Check the most up-to-date COVID entry rules for Abu Dhabi.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner