ADIHEX: A destination for falconers from all over the world
The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) affirms the global leadership of the United Arab Emirates in the sport of falconry, and its role in maintaining its presence and passing it from generation to another. It also aims to reinforce the efforts in preserving falconry as a human heritage, while confirming that natural balance and preservation of species are achieved by implementing sustainable hunting.
The Falconry Sector, including manufacturing and designing falconry equipment, adds great value to the upcoming edition of ADIHEX. It is the most prominent feature that the visitors await every year since the first edition in 2003. It became one of the main attractions and a key factor in the exhibition’s success throughout the years.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, the 18th edition of the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition will be organized by the Emirates Falconers’ Club from the 27th of September to the 3rd of October 2021, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Exhibitors in the falconry sector achieved significant increase in their sales by meeting with VIPS interested in the sport of falconry, as well as industry leaders and marketing experts.
They have also made successful deals and corporations with the most reputable local agents and distributors. This allows them to market their falconry farms as well as various traditional and modern falconry tools and equipment.
His Excellency Majid Ali Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee and Secretary-General of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, has stated that the main factor of the success of Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition at both regional and international levels, is the endless support provided by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as the substantial efforts in preserving heritage made by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Further, continued oversight has been provided by the exhibition’s patron, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club. Throughout its history, the exhibition has proved strong success in attracting global attention to the UAE capital, bolstering its aim to promote sustainable hunting and preserve heritage.
His Excellency added that the ADIHEX has a special standing as a distinctive exhibition in the world. This is reflected in its aims to preserve the heritage of falconry as well as the environment, and to promote sustainable and balanced hunting under international regulations and agreements. As a result of these admirable ambitions, the exhibition attains international participation from organisations and institutions that are concerned with the promotion of hunting sports and species conservation.
Abu Dhabi: An attractive destination for falconers from all over the world
Many falcon breeders, and specialists in falcon training and breeding, as well as manufacturers and innovators of falconry tools and equipment from the Middle East and all over the world have been keen to partake in the activities of the exhibition. It has become a exclusive destination for the world’s falconers, an attractive hub for falcon breeders, and a forum for consultation and exchange of experiences regarding the world of falconry and sustainable hunting.
The exhibition is frequented annually by people of different nationalities and age groups, both individuals and families. Attendees have the opportunity to enjoy traditional falconry displays, the platforms dedicated to captive breeding falcons and riveting heritage contests.
Regional and global companies participate in ADIHEX and showcase the newest technologies related to falconry as well as its ancient and modern equipment. Other participants in the exhibition include companies interested in aviculture, which provide treatment and pharmaceuticals to birds, as well as associations and clubs specialized in breeding, training and hunting with falcons. These clubs and associations are affiliated with the International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey, which has 75,000 members representing 110 clubs and institutions from 87 countries.
The sport of falconry is practised all over the world. The international efforts led by the UAE have succeeded in inscribing falconry as a living human heritage on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2010. Accordingly, falconry has received high levels of global recognition for its inherited traditions and societal values that go back thousands of years. The Emirates Falconers’ Club, the organizers of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, played a fundamental and important role in the inscription process, and 22 countries have joined to date.
Visitors of the annual exhibition can also learn about the Falcon Release Programme, which is a deep-rooted tradition in the field of conservation that was founded and established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The programme commenced in 1995 and still operates successfully to this day. Last year, the programme managed to release 76 falcons of the endangered Hurr (saker falcon) and Shaheen (peregrine falcon) breeds in the Republic of Uzbekistan, bringing the total number to 2002 since the programme was first launched. This has allowed Hurr and Shaheen falcons to reproduce in their original habitats and multiply in numbers.
The Falcon Auction: An international platform in Abu Dhabi
The exhibition’s Falcon Auction, which was launched last edition by the Higher Organising Committee to encourage the practice of falconry and sustainable hunting, is considered one of the most thrilling events which attracts the audience. The auction aims to attract falcon farms from around the world to compete with one another by presenting their finest falcons at ADIHEX.
This unique auction features falcon owners, falcon farms, falconers from the UAE and all over the world, businesspeople interested in the falconry sector, as well as VIPs.
The Abu Dhabi Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition has become an international platform that recognises and presents the finest captive-bred falcon in Abu Dhabi. In the past, falconers in the UAE and the region would have to travel abroad to acquire falcons from private farms in Europe. ADIHEX provided an ideal international platform to buy and sell falcons bred from the best falcon breeding farms around the world.
The Exhibition allows people of all nationalities to purchase falcons of high quality and excellent hunting capabilities. As such, entrepreneurs have been enthusiastic about investing in the captive-bred falcon industry around the world.
The world’s first falcon beauty contest
Since its second edition in 2004, there have been numerous innovative contests that have been launched at the exhibition, which have gained widespread international fame. These contests have made the Emirate of Abu Dhabi an influential leader in running events that seek to preserve cultural heritage while preserving species and protecting the environment.
The contest for the most beautiful and largest captive-bred falcons comes at the forefront of these contests. The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition was the first to establish an event of this nature globally. The idea behind this contest has now been replicated in many other countries.
The contest aims to encourage falconers to use hybrid falcons in the practice of their favourite sport, and to incentivise falcon breeding experts and their farms to produce larger and more beautiful falcons in terms of feathers and colour. By doing so, they eliminate the need to utilise untamed falcons from the wild, thereby allowing them to reproduce more in nature.
The beauty contest became very popular around the world. It also attracted many participants to the exhibition, who are keen to display their finest falcons, bred in farms located in the region and from many countries in Europe and elsewhere. The contest has received the recognition of various regional and international entities that are concerned with heritage preservation and environmental protection which has incentivised falconers to conserve wild falcons.
A jury made up of Emirati and international experts in the field of falcons and their breeding evaluates carefully the participating falcons based on several criteria, which include the weight and body measurements of the birds, the symmetry and colour of the feathers, the details of the birds’ head, body and legs, the birds’ general aesthetic appearance, as well as their health and the absence of any diseases.
It is worth noting that "Sustainability and Heritage ... A Reborn Aspiration" has been chosen as the theme for ADIHEX 2021. This is in recognition of the efforts exerted by Abu Dhabi and the world to enhance the environmental sustainability of hunting, heritage sports and related businesses. It also aligns with the comprehensive strategy that has been formulated to continue to develop the event and allow the hosting of more activities and features, in a manner that builds on the successes of past years with a renewed creative spirit.
The exhibition, which was commissioned by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi in 2003, represents an ongoing success in preserving the environment and sustainable hunting, showcasing heritage, and raising the awareness of youth and all generations about authentic Emirati traditions and culture. It has also served as an example for other major events that have been organised by the UAE over the years.
The richness and comprehensiveness of the exhibition are evident in the 11 diverse sections it includes, namely: Arts and Crafts, Equestrian, Falconry, Hunting Tourism and Safari, Hunting and Camping Equipment, Hunting Guns, Promotion and Preservation of Environmental and Cultural Heritage projects, Outdoor Leisure Vehicles and Equipment, Veterinary Products and Services, Fishing Equipment and Marine Sports, and Media