Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 8 December 2019

Dh36m in hunting weapons sold at Adihex this year

The increase in demand has been attributed to changes to the UAE’s gun laws

Thousands of hunting weapons worth more than Dh35.5 million were sold at Abu Dhabi’s annual hunting, equestrian and heritage exhibition last week.

Abu Dhabi Police said Emiratis bought 2,673 hunting and skeet shooting guns throughout the five-day exhibition that ended on Friday.

More than 100,000 visitors from 120 countries attended Adihex last year, when about Dh34m was made from the sale of 1,764 weapons.

The increase in demand was attributed to changes to the UAE’s gun laws that permitted Emiratis to buy three weapons instead of one for hunting this year.

The age limit was also changed and Emiratis over the age of 21 now able to own guns in the UAE, down from 25 last year.

Another change introduced this year allowed for people of all nationalities to purchase weapons. However, buyers must have a gun licence in their home country and supply a no objection certificate from police authorities there.

Brig Salem Al Baloushi, chairman of Adihex’s security organising committee, said the increase in sales reflected the growth of the exhibition and heightened interest from the public.

“The efforts of the security committee team and their role in providing the public with services has also played an important role in the exhibition success along with the collaboration with the Culture and Heritage Authority, Abu Dhabi Customs and other security authorities,” he said.

The team performed technical inspections of the weapons at the exhibition and would help potential buyers fill out paperwork and ensure they had the required documents to purchase a gun.

Emiratis must apply for a gun licence from the Ministry of Interior and Adihex is the only place where guns can be purchased in the UAE. Emiratis from outside Abu Dhabi must supply a no objection certificate from their emirate's police force.

The majority of people use the weapons — mainly shotguns, pistols and rifles — at local gun clubs for target contests and in competitions such as trap shooting — where people fire a shotgun to break a clay disk flung into the air.

The sport has a long history in the UAE. Sheikh Ahmad Al Maktoum won the UAE’s sole Olympic gold medal when he triumphed at the 2004 Athens games in the double trap.

The 17th exhibition was held under the theme of Sustainable Hunting, with a focus on tackling the illegal hunting and killing of birds in the region and the conservation of the houbara.

Updated: September 1, 2019 06:12 PM

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