Prized salukis, best breed of falcons and horses, hunting weapons, paintings, poetry and more to enthral visitors in three-day event
Hunting and falconry enthusiasts from all over the world will descend on the U.A.E. capital next week as it hosts the 12th International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) from September 10 to 13.
Held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADIHEX is the only dedicated consumer and trade event in the Middle East for weaponry, equestrian, outdoor and marine sports, safaris, arts and antiques, and promotion and preservation of culture and heritage since its launch in 2003.
Over the three days, tradition and trade will meet as exhibitors and traders from all over the world showcase their products and inventions while a myriad of activities including traditional performances, equestrian shows, hunting and prey demonstrations, camel auctions and Nabati poetry will enthral visitors.
Competitions in Arabic coffee brewing, Nabati poetry, hunting journeys, painting and photography competitions about hunting, equestrian and heritage will also be big draws.
Over Dh500,000 will be given away to winners of various competitions.
The previous edition (ADIHEX 2013) attracted 118,994 visitors, a record that surpassed all figures over the last 11 years. And this year it hopes to beat that figure.
"ADIHEX seeks to attract a larger number of exhibitors and visitors as it aspires to transform the Emirate of Abu Dhabi into a regional hub for the preservation of cultural heritage,” said Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the ADIHEX Higher Organising Committee.
One of the biggest attractions of ADIHEX is the Arabian Saluki beauty contest that will showcase beautiful and skilled hounds vying for the beauty crown.
Hamad Al Ghanem, Head of the Committee for Arabian Saluki Beauty Contests and Traditional Races, Breeder and Registrar General Saluki of Arabia, said, "The show gives us the opportunity to highlight not only the incredible characteristics of the breed itself, but to also create public awareness about our cultural heritage.”
All participating salukis will be judged upon the characteristics of the breed plus their skills in hunting, chasing and guarding. The contest will be judged by international show judge Cathy Smith from The Saluki Club of Australia.
The single most important event not to be missed for the lovers of falconry is the contest for the best looking and largest falcons bred in captivity.
The falcons will be judged for their weight, measurements, feather colour and consistency, beauty and health.
According to the Emirates Falconers' Club, falconry does not just entail hunting of wild quarry, but instead represents a range of social and inherited traditions and values that date back thousands of years and which countries, groups and individuals share, cherish and are proud of.
In addition to the impressive list of international exhibitors, this year's event will also mark record participation by local companies.
Over 120 Emirati companies offering services including falconry, horses, equipment-making, hunting weapons, and marine and terrestrial trips have confirmed their participation.
Abdullah Batti Al Qubaisi, Director of the Exhibition and Member of the Higher Organising Committee, said the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition is witnessing a notable increase in Emirati exhibitors year after year, coinciding with the increase in regional and international exhibitors.
"The local companies have already cemented their place in the world market with products and innovations that are on par with international standards.
"The exhibition gives them greater opportunities to exchange expertise and strike deals with international companies,” Al Qubaisi said.
Focus on Houbara
During its sixth consecutive year at ADIHEX, The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) will line up a range of experiences for visitors of all ages. For the little ones, a local story teller with regale them with vivid tales of houbara and the bird's importance in local traditions. Children can also take part in educational workshops, interactive games and face painting.
Guests will get a rare chance to look at live houbara bustards and a gallery of artwork inspired by the bird. An ecologist will also be on hand to answer queries about houbara and the various centres of IFHC in and outside the U.A.E.. Established in 2006, the IFHC oversees the conservation and restoration of wild houbara population.