The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) officially announced the immediate issue of traditional hunting licenses (falconry) through the “TAMM” platform, as part of the framework of government trends to enhance the digital transformation process in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

“TAMM” is an Abu Dhabi government portal and one-stop-shop digital platform, and will allow falconers to obtain the license immediately with ease and efficiency, via digital channels, avoiding the need to visit to a service centre.

The announcement coincided with EAD’s participation at Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), which is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre between 26th September-2nd October 2022.

The new service is another value-added addition to the package of public digital services already provided by EAD across this single platform, with simplified procedures providing easier access to services. The move is also part of EAD’s endeavour to digitise its entire public services portfolio across all categories in line with the vision and strategy of the wise leadership of the UAE.

HE Ahmed Al Hashemi, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD, said: “Law No. 22 of 2005 regulating wild hunting in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi established a legal framework for wild hunting activities. The law establishes environmental controls and standards that comply with the higher objectives of efforts to preserve wild animal species in a manner that does not conflict with the sustainability of their numbers in their natural habitats. The law contributes to protecting the heritage of falconry, wild animals, preserves hunting areas, and optimally develops wildlife resources in accordance with an integrated vision that meets environmental sustainability standards.”

Al Hashemi stated: “The Executive Council Decision No. (5) of 2021 regarding amendments to the executive regulations of the Hunting Law in Abu Dhabi was issued last year to support the hunting sector in its efforts to preserve the heritage of traditional hunting in Abu Dhabi. It stipulated that EAD shall issue permission for hunting using traditional methods, outside designated hunting areas determined by EAD. Hunting is prohibited in specific areas, which includes hunting within the boundaries of pastoral reserves and nature reserves or near prohibited areas.”

Al Hashemi added: “The resolution stipulates that the license shall include the terms and conditions of the permission to hunt, including the licensed hunters, the seasons and areas of hunting, the licensed species hunted by traditional methods, and other conditions necessary. The terms are designed to implement the provisions of the laws in the matter of preserving species and to establish and promote sustainable hunting by traditional methods.”

Al Hashemi indicated that EAD, being the competent authority, has determined the species allowed to be hunted by licensed falconers, which includes Houbara birds only. Hunting is permitted using licensed falcons registered with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and proof of their registration should be submitted if requested, which ensures the practices of hunting fall within specific legal and environmental controls.

Traditional hunting is restricted to open areas, away from main and secondary roads, and is to avoid prohibited places such as nature reserves, forests, residential, military, and petroleum production areas, by a distance of no fewer than 2 km. The Agency stressed the need for the licensee to abide by the period specified for hunting, with permits issued for one season only. Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi will also start licensing wild hunting for the 2022-2023 season from 20th October to 20th  January 2023.

Her Excellency Aisha Ibrahim Al Marzooqi Executive Director of Government Services Sector at Abu Dhabi Digital Authority (ADDA) said: “This step enhances the efforts aimed at enabling the various government agencies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to rely on the integrated “TAMM” system equipped with the latest technologies, capabilities and digital solutions. “TAMM”  provides digital services to customers easily and smoothly and in line with the vision of the digital transformation of the Abu Dhabi government. This is in addition to providing customers and all members of society in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi a smooth and easy digital services experience in accordance with international best practices.”

Al Marzouki pointed to the recently announced achievement, which represented the transfer of all government services in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to the unified Abu Dhabi government services platform "TAMM." She added: “Government services have become 100 percent available through the unified “TAMM” channels, so that customers can benefit from more than 700 integrated digital services from anywhere through the “TAMM” system as the main and unified channel for customers to complete all government services in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

In accordance with the terms and conditions set by EAD, it is prohibited to hunt any kind of wild animal and cause its disturbance. It is also forbidden to drive vehicles over and cause damage to vegetation. Furthermore, it is prohibited to transfer a hunting permit to another person. The permit must be carried while hunting and presented upon request.

The Law No. (22) of 2005, on regulating hunting in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and its executive regulations, states that in order to obtain a license to hunt falcons, it is required that the applicant be a citizen of the United Arab Emirates and be at least 18 years old. The falcon should registered in The Falcon Registration System of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

With the activation of the instant service, falconers will be able to apply for a wild hunting license through the “TAMM” smart application or the “TAMM” website, which is accessed through Emirates digital ID using the UAE Pass. After  approval of the terms and conditions, the applicant falconer will obtain a wild hunting license electronically through ecosystem “TAMM.”