Heritage on show.
Horse whisperer Tariq Al Muhairi, the skilful camel and horse riders of Emirates Heritage Club, flying eagles and the best looking falcons and salukis were part of the opening show of the 10th Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex).
On Wednesday evening, hundreds of people witnessed the inauguration of the exhibition by Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers Club (EFC), the main organiser of Adihex.
This year, about 600 exhibitors from 40 countries are participating in the exhibition and 100 of them are from the UAE. Taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre until Saturday, the Adihex has something for all; hunters, campers, outdoor fans, artists, wildlife and environment devotees, Emirati customs and traditions lovers, archers and even games for children. Above all, celebrating a decade of preserving Emirati heritage, the Adihex runs under the slogan "A deep-rooted tradition", reflected in most of its activities.
"Adihex leads Emirati heritage when it comes to its preservation and promotion," Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of Higher Organiser Committee of Adihex, board member of EFC and adviser for culture and heritage at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, told Khaleej Times.
Established to preserve Arab falconry not just by bringing it into international limelight, but also by saving the endangered wild falcons and its main prey, the houbara bustard, from disappearing, one of the grandest achievements of Adihex was to convince Emirati falconers to give up their wild birds in favour of captive bred falcons.
Now there are 10 falcon breeders from UAE and abroad exhibiting at Adihex. "We have 45 falcons here, all farm-bred, which are available for sale from Dh15,000 to Dh100,000," said Khalifa Baheeri Al Amimi, the owner of Falcon Centre. Altogether, Al Amimi has around 600 falcons, bred in farms in Spain and Germany. Anytime he has them shipped to his centre in Dubai, he needs to get a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) approval, which guarantees the falcons were not caught in the wild.
Adihex visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about falcons and what has been done for falconry through a special "museum" set up by EFC at its pavilion. Adihex is opened daily for the public from 11am till 10pm. Full programme is available on www.adihex.com.
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