x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Falcon 'beauty contest' highlights annual hunting and equestrian show

The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition opens on Wednesday.

ABU DHABI //The ninth annual Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition opens tomorrow with the return of past exhibition favourites.

The popular shooting and archery challenge competitions, hosted by Abu Dhabi-based Al Forsan International Sports Resort, will allow visitors to try their hand at reaching a high score on the range at Adihex. Those with the best aim will qualify to participate in the final at the end of the month.

Adihex will also welcome back the falcon beauty contest after a two-year hiatus.

The competition, which recognises the biggest and most beautiful falcons raised in captivity, is part of an effort to raise awareness about the importance of protecting falcons in the wild.

"Adihex is a comprehensive cultural heritage forum that records a system of values, customs and traditions that is cherished by the sons and daughters of the UAE," said Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the chairman of the organising committee of Adihex.

Nearly 600 exhibitors from 28 countries are expected to participate in the event, which is aimed at exposing the UAE's traditions to new audiences.

Last year, more than 100,000 visitors attended Adihex and Mr Al Mazrouei said the committee expects 10 per cent growth in attendance this year.

The event features camel auctions, saluki beauty contests, art competitions and traditional hunting and equestrian activities. Visitors to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre will also be able to purchase more than 500 brands of the latest camping, hunting, equestrian and weaponry equipment.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) will host a traditional games corner and three hospitality areas.

A handicrafts area and a painting and photography competition will also take place at the Adach stand. The Emirates Falconers' Club will feature electronic games and activity areas for children.

"The theme and concept of this exhibition is unfathomable; it cannot be compared to any other exhibition," Mr Al Mazrouei said. "This exhibition is unique."

jthomas@thenational.ae