The majestic art of falconry, updated for 21st century
Humans have been hunting with falcons for centuries, and nowhere is the practice more popular than in the Middle East, where it is sport for some and for others, like the Bedouin tribes, a way to hunt meat for their diet.
These days however, there is far more technology involved, with drones being used to teach the birds of prey how to hunt and it becoming more and more common to fit the winged creatures with tracking devices should they fly off.
It is also a big money business, with black market falcons fetching up to $1million, and the United Arab Emirates spending $27million annually to protect and conserve wild falcons.
The International Business Times recently followed a group of Emirati men as they trained their falcons, a rite of passage for many in the culture.
The men load the birds and their equipment into SUVs, driving out into the dessert where they attach lures to drones, flying them into the air and releasing them before releasing their falcons to go chase them down.
This in place of the former training tool used for these aggressive birds - pigeons.
All the equipment used, from the drones and tracking devices to the lures, leather falcon hoods, leg restraints and gloves are sold in markets and shops throughout the region.
As for the birds, they go for thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of pounds, in the Middle East.
The most revered of these majestic creatures, the Icelandic Jer falcon, can fetch more than a million dollars at auction, and is the ultimate status symbol.
These is also a vast underground market for the animals, some of which are even smuggled into the country.
In Abu Dhabi there is even a falcon beauty contest every year, and the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the largest falcon hospital in the world.
It should be no surprise then that the bird appears on the emblem of the United Arab Emirates.