Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat—The 11th Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) is being held in the United Arab Emirates this week, showcasing traditional Arab and Gulf culture and heritage including hunting, falconry, and horse riding. The event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club.
ADIHEX is organized by the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee of Abu Dhabi and sees 600 exhibitors from 40 countries promoting a variety of products, services, and competitions relating to hunting and equestrianism.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, the Chairman of the ADIHEX Higher Organizing Committee, noted that the “overwhelming response to the exhibition during the previous editions, both in terms of participation and daily public visits, clearly demonstrates people’s desire and need for things reminiscent of the past, of authenticity and inherited traditions.”
The exhibition seeks to present a combination of the authenticity of ancient heritage and today’s latest technological innovations. It is featuring several cultural and traditional activities, such as equestrian shows, falcon and Saluki dog contents, and a camel auction. In addition to this, ADIHEX includes an Arabic Coffee Competition and demonstrations of Emirati Folklore dances.
A brilliant falconer, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has been quoted as saying that the perfect harmony between heritage and modernity lies at the heart of the sport of falconry.
Under his patronage, the first international conference on the preservation of falconry was held in Abu Dhabi in 1976, a milestone in the modern history of the sport.
A falconry archive has been set up at ADIHEX in cooperation with UNESCO to document the history of the sport in the Middle East. The archive aims to collect, digitize, and produce copies of all Arabic manuscripts about the sport from the 18th century onwards.
The sport of falconry has flourished in the Middle East since the start of the Islamic era. From the beginning of the 7th century, the sport evolved into a form of elite hunting symbolizing a distinguished lineage.
The 11th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) is being held from September 4 to 7.