The National Sport of Bahrain - A Closer Look

August 25, 2023

As an island country situated in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain has a rich cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in traditional sports and activities. One of the most popular and cherished sports in Bahrain is falconry, a centuries-old practice that holds immense significance in the local community.

The History of Falconry in Bahrain

Falconry, the art of training and hunting with falcons, has long been considered the national sport of Bahrain. This noble tradition dates back to ancient times when falcons were not only used for hunting but also symbolized power and nobility.

Historically, falconry was primarily practiced by the ruling elites of Bahrain, such as the kings and noblemen. It served as a means of demonstrating prestige and social standing within society. Over time, however, falconry became more accessible to the general population as a beloved pastime and a symbol of Bahraini identity.

The Falconry Tradition in Bahrain

Today, falconry is deeply embedded in the culture of Bahrain and holds a special place in the hearts of its people. It is not merely a sport or a hobby but a way of life for many Bahrainis.

In Bahrain, falconry is practiced both recreationally and competitively. Falconers spend countless hours training their birds of prey, nurturing a special bond based on trust and respect. The relationship between the falconer and their falcon is truly remarkable and serves as a testament to the dedication and commitment of Bahraini falconers.

Falconry Competitions and Festivals

Throughout the year, Bahrain hosts numerous falconry competitions and festivals that attract enthusiasts from across the globe. These events provide an opportunity for falconers to showcase their skills and expertise while celebrating the heritage of their beloved sport.

One of the most prestigious competitions is the Royal Bahraini Falconry Championship, which brings together talented falconers from Bahrain and beyond. This event, held annually, features various competitive categories and challenges, including speed tests and accuracy trials. It is a celebration of the strong bond between humans and these magnificent birds.

Preserving the Tradition

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and promote the tradition of falconry in Bahrain. The government has established specialized training centers where aspiring falconers can learn the art from experienced professionals. These centers not only provide education but also work towards conservation efforts and the protection of falcon species.

Bahrain's commitment to preserving their national sport is evident in the increasing popularity of falconry among the younger generation. The passing down of knowledge and skills from one generation to the next ensures that this cherished tradition continues to thrive and evolve.

The Symbolism of Falconry

Beyond being a sport, falconry carries deep symbolism within Bahraini culture. The falcon is seen as a symbol of strength, speed, and freedom. It represents a connection with nature and a respect for the wildlife that inhabits the country.

In addition to its cultural significance, falconry also plays a role in promoting tourism within Bahrain. Many visitors are captivated by the art of falconry and are drawn to the country to witness its beauty firsthand.


Falconry remains a treasured part of Bahrain's heritage and national identity. It reflects the country's deep-rooted respect for tradition, nature, and the strong bond between humans and animals. Through its continued popularity and preservation efforts, Bahrain ensures that falconry remains a source of pride and enjoyment well into the future.

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