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Tradition and technology in focus at exhibition.

Abu Dhabi Falconers checked out the latest GPS innovations for the hunting season while horsemen inspected the latest stable equipment as the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex), started in the capital yesterday.

And for the first time, children queued up to adopt cats and dogs looking for homes at the Pets for Adoption stall set up by the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, which is looking to rehabilitate stray animals at this year's event.

"Within four hours, we had already found homes for nine animals that were until now living in our shelter. Given the response, we are hoping to find homes for many more lovable cats and dogs by the end of Adihex on Saturday," Dr. Margit Muller, director of the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, told Gulf News.

Pet adoption

The pet adoption initiative was a welcome addition to the ninth edition of the popular exhibition, which saw its usual array of hunting and equestrian equipment on sale, and seamlessly fused heritage and hunting with technology and conservation.

The four-day exhibition, which spans 31,000 square metres this year, was inaugurated yesterday. It is held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconer's Club. "This event is important in Abu Dhabi's social landscape, especially as it allows Emiratis and other people to transmit their knowledge about wild species and the traditional arts to future generations," Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, secretary general of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), told Gulf News.

"In this way, the event conserves important Emirati traditions, and spurs on various conservation efforts," she added.

This year's Adihex hosts 596 exhibitors from 28 countries, and is bigger than before, following Unesco's registration of falconry within its world heritage list.

Saud Al Mishal, a 32-year-old falconer from Saudi Arabia, said the exhibition had helped him find a range of new hunting equipment.

New GPS equipment in falcon tracking has also found its way into the exhibition.

"These GPS trackers show the exact location of the falcons, which have a transmitter attached to their tails. This way, the hunter can pinpoint the exact coordinates of the bird and its possible prey up to nearly 150km," Juliette Pont, owner of Horizon Development in Radio Frequency, said.

The exhibition also saw the Middle Eastern launch of the RX Helix hunting rifle, which was inspired by Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and developed by German gun manufacturer Merkel.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 15, 2011
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