x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirati culture and heritage high on the agenda for Abu Dhabi hunting show

Excitement is building for this year's Adihex, as more than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition this year.

Visitors to last year's Adihex examine falcons on sale. This year's event, which takes place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre next week, promises to be a showcase for Emirati traditions. Ravindranath K / The National
Visitors to last year's Adihex examine falcons on sale. This year's event, which takes place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre next week, promises to be a showcase for Emirati traditions. Ravindranath K / The National

Camel auctions, horse whispering and Saluki beauty competitions are among the highlights of next month’s Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected at the 11th annual Adihex, which showcases Emirati culture and heritage and brings together falconry, equestrian and marine-sport enthusiasts.

“Hunting here is not like in the West,” said Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the exhibition director.

“Hunting in Arabic means sustainable hunting – hunting with falcons and Saluki dogs, and fishing. It has a different meaning, it’s less aggressive.

“It has played a big role in our society, especially living by the sea and oases. But again, it’s sustainable – we try to live together.”

As well as hunting, the exhibition will promote other aspects of Emirati culture, including poetry, painting and coffee brewing.

Ali Al Ameri, the renowned Emirati horse whisperer, will take part, and there will also be falconry demonstrations.

“All of the events prepare the platform for people to really experience an appreciation of tradition and animals, and we’re showing it to people in a very interactive programme,” Mr Al Qubaisi said.

“You see the passing of traditions from fathers to sons. Most of the visitors are families – fathers, sons and grandfathers are all there.”

Adihex will also provide a platform for businesses to network and sign major deals.

Mr Al Qubaisi said there had been a “remarkable increase in the number of local and international companies participating, compared with earlier editions”.

Algharbiya Tents and Trekking is one of 20 first-time exhibitors.

Its owner, Rashid Al Mansouri, said he would add new flavour to the exhibition with a range of trekking equipment, hunting gear, tents, sleeping bags and wireless bird-tracking devices.

Eighty per cent of the firm’s goods are manufactured locally.

“This makes us one of the very few companies in our field that depend on the local industry,” he said.

Hunting and sports-gear company Tamreen specialises in knives and products combining traditional art and modern technology.

It has been present at Adihex since 2007.

Its manager, Mohammed Al Amiri, said this year it would “hold special workshops to teach visitors how to manufacture some hunting-trip essentials, such as knives”.

Adihex, organised by the Emirates Falconers’ Club and Informa Exhibitions, is the largest international hunting and equestrian event in the Middle East. Its organisers said falconry and equestrian activities were symbols of deep-rooted Arab traditions, combining sports, courage, masculinity, environmental conservation, compassion towards animals and other values.

Visitors will also be treated to a horse show, an art gallery and live shows on falcon hood-making.

Weapons, ammunition, surveillance devices, archery and fishing equipment, and safety goods will also be on show, many for sale.

Adihex will be held at Abu Dhabi's Adnec from September 4 to 7. Visit www.adihex.net or contact 02 493 5104 for more information.

halbustani@thenational.ae