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UAE man's aviary houses over 150 birds worth Dh200,000

 UAE Resident's Remarkable Journey as an Exotic Bird Breeder
UAE Resident Transforms Lockdown Hobby into Thriving Aviary

In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, a UAE resident decided to bring four birds into his life for companionship. Today, that simple decision has blossomed into an aviary housing over 150 birds, including some of the rarest in the world, each valued at over Dh70,000.

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Meet Akbar Khan Qureshi, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and avid animal lover who spends approximately Dh3,000 per month on his feathery friends, with expenses rising to Dh5,000 during the breeding season. However, Akbar's journey into the world of exotic bird breeding wasn't without its challenges.

In the early days, he faced disappointment when the first four birds he acquired didn't survive beyond ten days. Determined, Akbar sought guidance from reputable breeders, and a chance meeting with Dubai-based Mohammad Mustafa Khan Hamdam transformed his perspective on bird breeding.

Akbar's aviary now boasts a diverse collection, including White Bellied Caquies, Sunconure, Monks, and the highly prized Blue Alexandrine birds, which command a staggering Dh70,000 each. What makes these Blue Alexandrines even more exceptional is their rarity, with only two bird breeders in the country housing these unique blue-colored specimens. Due to import bans this year, the demand for these birds is soaring, with prospective buyers already reserving chicks at Dh35,000 each.

Ensuring the well-being of his birds is paramount to Akbar. His aviary, spanning 1000 sq ft in Sharjah's industrial area, is equipped with 24/7 air purifiers and ample space for the birds to thrive. Akbar goes the extra mile by removing breeding boxes for four months after each breeding season and maintaining meticulous cleanliness without resorting to chemicals.

A wholesome diet is crucial for his feathered companions, which includes fresh fruits like watermelon, apples, guavas, and berries, as well as pulses, corn, coriander leaves, and mint, supplemented with pellets for nutrition.

Beyond the joy of bird breeding, Akbar attests to the positive impact on his health, especially in managing his hypertension. His family is equally involved and supportive of his hobby, with his wife sharing a keen interest, and his children forming bonds with their avian friends.

Exotic bird breeding is a long-term commitment, requiring planning spanning up to 12 years due to the birds' maturation cycle. Akbar notes a growing interest in this hobby in the UAE, especially for Alexandrines, and anticipates increasing demand.

Born and raised in the UAE, Akbar's involvement with animals extends beyond bird breeding. He previously established a goat farm in his hometown of Rajasthan, India, to support local farmers and the preservation of cattle rearing traditions.

Akbar Khan Qureshi's remarkable journey from four birds to a thriving aviary showcases his dedication, passion, and the growing fascination for exotic bird breeding in the UAE.

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By: Vibha Kapoor