Hunting, equestrian show in UAE capital: The skill of foresight, the power of success

No one can make her less than a hunter because she is a woman (Picture courtesy of ADIHEX)

No one can make her less than a hunter because she is a woman (Picture courtesy of ADIHEX)

By Habib Toumi
ABU Dhabi:
When the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan initiated the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) in Abu Dhabi in 2003, very few thought that it would achieve huge success locally, regionally and internationally, turning into a landmark event for enthusiasts, fans, and companies across the world.

The late Shaikh Zayed did have that foresight, realizing the significance of such an exhibition and recognizing its merit in highlighting local and regional hunting and equestrian traditions.

He ordered that the exhibition be held annually to help preserve the rich heritage, diverse traditions and authentic values that characterize the United Arab Emirates.

The next exhibition in 2004 was a tremendous success at all levels, attracting large crowds and generating great enthusiasm, which prompted the organizing committees, under the directives of the event patron Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, to call for further achievements and greater successes.

When the beauty of the horse and the skills of the hunter combine ... (ADIHEX)

When the beauty of the horse and the skills of the hunter combine … (ADIHEX)

And the success has been enormous, steadily increasing over the years. In 2019, the last edition to be held, more than 115,000 people from 124 countries across the globe visited the exhibition held over an area of 45,000 square meters with 670 exhibitors and brands.

More than 70 speakers shared ideas, narratives and expertise and more than 80 events were organized, which gave the more than 600 media representatives numerous opportunities for special reports and coverage in print, online, audio, visual and social media.

Lucrative deals, with a total value of more than 70 million dirhams were awarded while the equivalent public relations and advertising value was worth more than 224 million dirhams.

Beyond the impressive figures that quantify the remarkable success of the exhibition in 2019 and highlight how much of an impact it now has for the UAE, the region and the world, the annual event has become a popular, educational, inspiring and engaging occasion for families, communities and companies. It is also a meeting place for environment conservationists, hunting and equestrian enthusiasts, poets, artists, and photographers of nature and heritage.

This year, the eighteenth edition of ADIHEX, the largest event of its kind in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, will be organized by the Emirates Falconers’ Club on September 27 – October 3 under the theme “Sustainability and Heritage… A Reborn Aspiration”.

The theme is in line with the UAE’s plans to mark its Golden Jubilee celebrations that will glorify the first five decades in the history of UAE and lay the ground for an even brighter future, where continuous successes go hand in hand with creativity in every field.

The richness and comprehensiveness of ADIHEX 2021 is represented through setting new records: the exhibition will run for seven days, instead of the customary five days; there will be 680 exhibitors and brands, up from 40 in 2003, and the area will 50,000 square meters, up from 6,000 square meters in 2003.

An Arab woman hunter displaying outstanding confidence, remarkable skills (ADIHEX)

An Arab woman hunter displaying outstanding confidence, remarkable skills (ADIHEX)

The exhibition features 11 different sectors, including arts and crafts, equestrian, falconry, hunting and safari trips, hunting and camping equipment, hunting weapons, projects to enhance and preserve cultural heritage, outdoor recreational vehicles and equipment, veterinary products and services, fishing and marine sports equipment, and professional media.

“ADIHEX isn’t confined to being an international forum for the manufacturers of hunting equipment and hunting guns, the fans of Safari and marine trips, and the lovers of falconry and equestrian,” Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Chairman of the ADIHEX Higher Organizing Committee and Secretary General of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, said.

“ADIHEX is home to many international participations, and as such, its halls, corners and lobbies are embellished with paintings, sculptures, photographs and crafts that vibe with the event and its goals thanks to their representation of heritage, culture and ancient environment depicting and drawing from the customs and traditions of the region in general and the UAE in particular.”

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