It has now become easier for falcon owners in Qatar to transport their animals across Gulf borders, following a regional agreement to grant special passports to the hunting birds.
Similar paperwork was issued in Qatar in 2004, but the service was soon stopped.
Around 5,000 passports were produced before issuances were suddenly terminated due to complications and disagreements between GCC countries, a Qatari falcon owner told Doha News.
Since then, the process to travel with falcons has been difficult and long-winded, requiring owners to obtain ministry approvals and import papers each time they took a flight.
But now, the Gulf states minus Oman have come to a mutual agreement on the travel of falcons across the region’s borders.
In order to apply for a passport in Qatar, falcons must be registered under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), meaning the falcon must have been born on a local farm that is CITES-accredited.
Birds born in places that are not CITES-certified ineligible for a passport, even if they were born locally, falcon owners told Doha News.
CITES is an international agreement between governments that works to prevent any trade of wild animals and plants that threatens their survival. Some 180 parties currently serve under the agreement that Qatar joined in 2001.
Although CITES is a legally binding agreement, its power come from the enforcement of its member states.
For falcon owners whose birds were not born here, but purchased abroad, there are additional requirements that need to be met in order to obtain a Qatar passport for the animals.
Firstly, the bird must still come from a CITES- accredited habitat, and original CITES certificates from the bird’s place of export must be presented.
A CITES application permit must also be filled out, and owners must then wait for a Qatari CITES certification to be issued.
Finally, a passport application form is to be completed by owners. Falcons without identification rings placed around their legs will not be granted a passport, according to the Ministry of Environment.
Passport issuances take up to four working days, a representative at the ministry said.
Speaking of the steps required to attain the passport, a Qatari falcon owner told Doha News:
“It’s just unnecessary. Why is Qatar making it so difficult? It is far easier to get paperwork done for falcons in places like the UAE. It is great news that we can get passports again but Qatar really needs to start making legal processes easier as a whole.”
However, a number of falcon owners said they are pleased that the process has become easier. A Qatari owner of three falcons told Doha News:
“I’m happy. This now means that we can have bigger, regional competitions. Competitions are a big thing for us. Also, a lot of people used to come to Qatar to treat their falcons. We are known to have the best doctors. Now owners can seek better medical service and have a choice of where they would like to go. Falcons are more than just an animal. They’re like our brothers. We spend a lot of time with our falcons and love to travel with them.”
The Qatari Society of Al-Gannas, a local association dedicated to traditional Arabic hunting, holds some of Qatar’s largest falconry annual competitions.
The international festival kicks off in January and will host competitions such as hunting, speed and agility as well a beauty pageant. Contenders could win up to QR100,000.
Falcons sell for various prices, depending on breed and point of sale. In Souq Waqif’s bird market, falcons range from QR25,000 to QR70,000, but can sell for as much as QR100,000 at auction.
All competitions, except for the beauty pageant, will take place at Sealine.
Free transportation is provided from Katara to Sealine sand dunes and back. The beauty pageant will be held at Katara Hall, building 12. Competitors must register in order to compete.
Registration for the month-long festival will open on Dec. 25 for five days.
About time really, I’ve got the perfect falcon costume tucked away in waiting for this day
lol! look at these kids how happy they look. “I have a bird that costs more than what it would have cost me to obtain a degree in a great school abroad” lmao
Well, based on your posts, I can imagine that a shawarma meal would cost more than any qualification you have.
I’m really glad this issue has been resolved amongst various government departments across the GCC. Now these powerful people will have time to look at scrapping exit permits for human beings.
Oh my Lord lmao!
I just decided to take my Qatar working experience off my CV. What an embarrasment lol…
I’ll just tell employers, I took a few years off work to enjoy life lololol
Unless you’re applying to the UK.
Hmmm, are your parents family-related ? 🙂
Doha News, this is the kind of people you feed with your BS. These AH work for agencies of enemy states, thanks to your BS twisted facts, opinion articles. He’s certainly not the only one here. Learn from this lesson Shabina, there’s a big eye on you.
Are you threatening Shabina? What is wrong with you? Get a life
LoveitorLeaveit – consider yourself blacklisted for making unnecessary threats.
You should be more embarrassed by how thick you are for moving to a place without having done your research, but then again what sort of research would you have needed to do when Qatar was the only place offering you a job, and that more for your skin color than your qualifications. You don’t have to tell your employers anything because out of Qatar you won’t be receiving any real offers, that is reality my friend.
Aren’t beauty pageants Haram?
only the swim suit portion
Ok….I laughed out loud at this…. 😉 Falcons in bathing suits…..
Spitting out my coffee. ROFL.
LOL, good one.
MOI will be investigating each and everyone in here. Get ready people. This will NOT be tolerated any longer!
الله .. الوطن .. الأمير
Click on my profile name and this hater’s name, see the number of posts and know the difference. It’s “James Aberdeen” who’s posting this after I caught him with his posts.
الله .. الوطن .. الأمير
Yes, you don’t like the conversation so lets call the cops. Typical.
Actually it is one of your fellow expats impersonating that user, the trashy behavior of doing such a thing is typical of them.
She’s been fooled, someone explain to this b.
Damn. I missed all the fun. What happened?
Does my falcon need an exit permit, and if it wants to fly for someone else do I need to sign a NOC?
Such beautiful creatures
oh boy ! its hot here for the first time
As long as they travel in the first class cabin with their owners because I certainly don’t want them in economy.