x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Beauty contests for animals are among exhibition highlights

The sixth Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition next month includes beauty contests for salukis and Arabian horses.

Beauty contests for salukis and Arabian horses will be among the highlights of the sixth Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition next month, organisers said yesterday. The show, at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre, will also mark the Middle East debut of Britain's Household Cavalry Musical Ride. The exhibition, which provides a venue for the buying and selling of hunting weapons, runs from September 30 to October 3. Poetry, painting, Arabic coffee-making and photography will also be featured.

Organised by the Emirates Falconers Club (EFC) and supported by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, the event is seen as a vehicle to strengthen cultural ties between the UAE and abroad, and to promote time-honoured Emirati traditions such as hunting, fishing and falconry. "This is a high-profile event that mirrors the core values and tradition of the region," said Abdullah al Qubaisi, the director of the exhibition. "It encourages, protects and safeguards many traditional values of the Emirates."

Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, in his capacity as chairman of the EFC, the event - with its slogan, "A deep-rooted tradition and sustainable hunting' - will highlight ways in which endangered falcons are being protected." Arabian horse societies from France, Holland and Germany and representatives from Newmarket, Ascot, La Teste and Frankfurt racecourses will attend, supported by the international Arabian race series patron Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.

The event is being promoted in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar to encourage visitors from the Gulf. "The exhibition promotes the emirate of Abu Dhabi as a unique and attractive point for visitors and exhibitors as the number of participants in 2008 reached 526 from 37 countries," said Mr al Qubaisi, who added that more than 95,000 people attended that year. stregoning@thenational.ae