From Cute To Spectacular, Animals Put Up The Best Tricks At Adihex' Arena

It is said that a falcon can reach a speed of 300 kilometers per hour when sky diving for prey. Dog trainers claim they can teach the average canine hundreds of tricks as many as your imagination can come up with, really. Some of the falcons amazing speed, some classical and surprising dog tricks and plenty more birds and animals in action are daily presented at Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) arena, in the Hall 9 of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where ADIHEX takes place till September 13.

The four days exhibition has four days packed with shows involving birds and domestic animals. The most beautiful Saluki dogs are on parade here hoping to win a medal for best looking and the Al Ain Zoos parrots will engage in conversation and show off their royally coloured plumage in the cutest imaginable tricks. Horses, and particularly the Arabian ones, are pretty majestic just standing still, but when the show off their skills in technical running and jumping, they are a wonder to watch and that is exactly what ADIHEX visitors think after seeing the 20 minutes daily horse jumping show that UAE Armed Forces brought to the exhibition for the very first time!
Abu Dhabi Polices K9 section has hundreds of dogs of most species, from German Shepherd to Chihuahua. Some are trained for Police work, others for entertaining shows and some for both. At the ADIHEX arena, a few of these dogs jump, roll, run, fetch daily, entertaining the public with tricks that go from cute to spectacular.
Today watch out for the unique camel auction, where offspring of famous racing camels may be bought for hundreds of thousands of Dirhams.

It is not down to the mirror, but to an expert panel of judges to decide the best looking falcon at ADIHEX, as the competition for most beautiful and largest falcons returns to the exhibition once again.

Organised by the Emirates Falconers Club (EFC), the competition is opened for all falcons bred in captivity and will see winning beauties in several categories: the best Gyr-Peregrine bred in captivity, the best 3/4 "three quarter" pure bred Gyr, the best Gyr male and the best pure Gyr. In addition, the EFC will award the Best Stand of Falconry and Falconry Equipment at the exhibition.

EFC has formed a judging committee consisting of UAE and international experts in the field of falconry and their breeding. Participating falcons are carefully evaluated according to various qualifications. The birds weight, the length and width of its body, feathers consistency, alignment and colour, as well as details of the falcons' head, body and legs are all taken into consideration. Alongside technicalities, the birds are also judged for appearance, their general look and their health. No matter how beautiful, a falcon found with a disease cannot pass the judges evaluation.
This internationally unique contest of The Best Falcons Bred in Captivity (hybrid), which is now part of the annual competitions of ADIHEX, succeeded in motivating falconers to use hybrid falcons as suitable alternatives in falconry, and consequently allow the wild falcon population to grow, as it was becoming an endangered species due to loss of habitat and over capture.
In fact, wild falcons have been protected in UAE since 1995, when the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, established the Falcon Release Programme, run by the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital every year since 1999. Donated and illegally captured wild falcons arrive at the Falcon Hospital throughout the year, where they are health checked, then enrolled into a rehabilitation programme to make them fit for the wild. Every springtime, the ready falcons are taken to their natural summer habitats, in the plateaus of Kazakhstan, Pakistan or Iran, where they are set free.

As autumn approaches, they start their migration south, often returning to the Arabian Gulf for the winter. So far, 1671 falcons have been released back into the wild. Earlier this spring, to mark the 20th anniversary of the programme, which is supervised by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, the greatest ever number of falcons released in a single year took place: 117 falcons, 77 of which were donated by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

In the early 2000s, hybrid, farm-bred falcons began to replace the wild ones. To start with, falconers were skeptic and that was one of the main roles of Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, from the time it was launched in 2003: promoting captive bred falcons.

The plan worked, and with the added incentive of the Best Falcons Bred in Captivity competition, falconers have come to prefer hybrid falcons to wild ones. Not only they are strong, agile, fast birds, just as the wild ones, but they can be trained, from the start, to hunt for prey that falconers prefer houbara bustards and rabbits, as opposed to rats, snakes and pretty much everything that moves that the wild falcons usually go for.

Over the past few years, the Best Falcons Bred in Captivity beauty contest became world-renowned and it is attracting various participants from all over the region and worldwide, who are committed to bring to ADIHEX the best of their farm bred falcons. Thus, the competition gained the appreciation of the regional and international bodies interested in preserving the heritage and conserving the environment.

No longer a hunting for food necessity, falconry is today a sport practiced in more than 80 countries around the world. An Emirati deep rooted tradition, the authorities in Abu Dhabi pushed for falconry to be recognized and protected at global level, and in November 2010 the international efforts led by the UAE succeeded in including falconry in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a living heritage of humanity among the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, since falconry is one of the main pivots of UAE and Arab heritage.
Thus, falconry has become far more than just a sport, it is now part of the world heritage. As EFC explained, this beautiful hobby does not mean practicing hunting only, but it rather represents a range of social and inherited traditions and values, and a repertoire rich of cultural heritage that dates back to thousands of years that countries, groups and individuals share, cherish and are proud of.

The 12th edition of the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers Club, and supported by The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee in Abu Dhabi, brought back this year all the favourite competitions, Nabati poetry, Arabic coffee brewing, Saluki Best in Show painting and photography included. In total, over AED 500,000 are awarded to competition winners at ADIHEX this year.

These competitions achieved a great Arab and international fame throughout the previous editions of the exhibition. They aim to maintain the heritage and authentic traditions of UAE, but they are also greatly committed to preserving the environment and sustainable hunting, said Abdullah Al Qubaisi, director of ADIHEX.

Painting and Photography, two different competitions, have always been among the favourites at ADIHEX, as they allowed endless artistic expressions, as long as they revolve around Emirati culture and traditions, hunting or equestrian themes.

Both painting and photography competitions are opened to amateur and professional artists from all over the world and the best three in each category will be offered monetary awards, while all participants will receive honorary certificates.

Over the years, art has become increasingly popular at ADIHEX, with ever more artists and galleries setting up stands displaying visual artworks of horses, desert scenery, wildlife, customs and traditions and even portraits. This year is no different.

Among the several art stands, the Swiss Art Gate UAE one is a first, as the cultural, non-profit organisation is participating at ADIHEX for the first time in the exhibitions 12 years history. Swiss Art Gate UAE is presenting 18 artworks, all by just one artist, Nurlan Bazhirov from Kazakhstan.
"He is very well known for his horse paintings and we think ADIHEX is an ideal venue for his artworks," said Kurt Blum, general manager of Swiss Art Gate UAE.

In the visual art scene of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Bazhirov is a well-known and established wildlife artist. His compositions depict some very dramatic and aesthetically fine detailed scenes of horses. The main theme of the work is the artist's imagination of the horse and Bazhirov has demonstrated mastery skills in a variety of ways. His work shows a particular vision of history, a comprehension of tradition and the reality of life.

Each work of Bazhirov embodies a certain subject and it weaves a specific story on the canvas. For him the world is doomed to be in constant agony, powerful natural forces and supernatural suspense overcome all its elements, and the most striking expression of this endless process, according to the artist, is the horse in its beauty and grace that fascinates mankind and inspires him to capture the image of the animal in its most varied forms.
Bazhirov's horses, although arriving for the first time to Abu Dhabi, are not new to UAE.

"We had an exhibition of his works for the first time last winter, at Armani Hotel in Dubai, meant to promote him here; it was followed by a second exhibition at the International Horse Fair in Dubai, where his paintings were quite well received and we got very good feedback," explained Blum.

Bazhirov and his unmistakable traditional Kazakh giant woolen hat travelled all the way from Kazakhstan to join his artworks at ADIHEX. Each day he spends 50 minutes drawing sketches of horses on paper and visitors are welcomed to watch him work and ask any questions about his sketches, as well as about his exhibited paintings.

"When I read that 120,000 visitors came to ADIHEX last year and knowing many Emiratis who love horses are visiting the event, I thought Nurlan Bazhirov's artworks will not go unnoticed," pointed out Blum.

Proudly displayed at the stand of Tawazun, the UAE weapon and ammunition company, RX Hilux is unique. It is the only rifle in the world to be engraved with the image of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The German hunting rifle manufacturer Merkel, owned and managed by Tawazun as one of its four subsidiaries, has developed a new set of rifles combining handcraftet decorative elements in metal and timber and the probably most advanced bolt action system in the world, the linear bolt action Helix system. Made especially for the ADIHEX trade-show, the new rifles were created by the best engravers, stock makers and engineers of the old German gun-town Suhl.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque engraved rifle is one of them.
We choose designs for the engraved rifles that reflect our culture and heritage. Apart from the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, we also have falcon and Oryx designs. These being custom made rifles, they have individual specifications, so the price differ, but they start from AED 20,000 and can go up to AED 160,000, said Saif Al Marzooqi, head of corporate communications at Tawazun.

A lot of discerning hunters demand not only accuracy and technical perfection but a high level of craftsmanship invested in their guns and outstanding aesthetics. For this elite the new set off rifles are made. The Helix line was present at ADIHEX 2013 as well, but Merkel has now optimised its Helix linear bolt-action rifle for different hunting challenges with three custom-made, engraved high-class models featuring befitting artistic engravings, as well as an assortment of barrels and scopes for different hunting situations. There is a new aesthetic for completely different challenges on driven hunts, hunting in Africa and long-range shooting.

The accurate rifle technology from the high-tech manufacturer in Suhl, Germany meets three sets of custom, master-crafted engravings. The Helix is yet again able to demonstrate its superiority as a diverse, universal hunting rifle. The advantages of the built-in take-down system leads to the idea of the complete and universal hunting rifle: each of these sets consists of an assortment of three different barrel, calibers and optic solutions. Also, each of them give tribute to narrative themes of noble attitude: the White Mosque in the desert, the Falconry and the Oryx.

The much admired spirit of falcon hunting has influenced the Helix Falconry another rifle set with two additional exchangeable barrels. The engraved sophisticated decoration shows the head of a falcon surrounded by Arabian ornaments, while the engraved claw of the falcon decorates the bolt handle. The stock with a German cheek and red butt plate is made of fine class 10 timber, the pistol grip has a hand-cut checkering and the fore-end an ebony tip at the front. The barrel set consists of the calibers .308 Win, 300 Win. Mag. and .223 Rem. all in semi-weight with golden decoration, engravings on the barrel base and driven hunt sights. The rifle system is completed by two scopes from Zeiss and a carrying case.

The dream of hunting in Africa is screened on the Helix Oryx, a fine and richly engraved set of Merkels linear bolt action, delivered with two additional exchangeable barrels (assembled calibers .308 Win, 300 Win. Mag. and .223 Rem). Impala, springbok and Oryx are dominating the engraved African landscape shown on system, magazine, bolt handle and pistol grip cap. The stock, made from best quality wood, is from German style cheek with a red butt plate. The pistol grip has a hand-cut checkering and the trigger is golden. This African rifle-system is completed by two scopes from Zeiss and a carrying case.

Like with most Italian made products, be it ice-cream, cars or scarves, attention to detail and high quality are the attributes to a variety of firearms, displayed at the Fausti stand, in the weaponry section of ADIHEX. Rather unusually, the Italian family owned Fausti company is run by three sisters, Elena, Giovanna and Barbara. They took over the management after their father retired in the early 1990s and since then have become known as gun sisters.

However, the companys roots date back to 1948, just after World War II ended, when the sisters father, Stefano Fausti, began assembling guns with the help of just a chisel and fine papers. Soon, his state-of-the-art creations won the first customers and Italian fans, before drawing the attention of admirers in Europe and finally reaching the Americas and the Middle East.
Stretching over 4,000 square meters, Faustis facilities in Italy still produce many of Stefano Faustis premium models, including the Hammer Gun and the Senator. New types of steel and aluminium machinery and modern CNC machinery allow Fausti to produce interchangeable metal components, while sophisticated quality-control systems guarantee the reliability of their final products.

In every model that we produce, there is always a particular sign, a detail that is testimony of our philosophy. To do this, we work with the most advance CNC machines and the best craftsmen in our field, engravers included. The beauty of a bespoke gun is expressed by the symmetry of the lines, attention to detail, and precision machining, said Barbara.
A patented ejectors system sets our guns apart from others, while on the top and bottom, there is a patented locking system called Four Locks that features four retaining points to increase the quality and life of the gun. What were trying to do is link tradition and innovation to our passion and love for the world of guns, as theyre not just products that we sell, but a part of our lifestyle, she went on explaining.

In the case of a bespoke gun, a superb engraving by itself cannot add value to a missing piece of specific structural requirement. As Barbara pointed out, to get a fine gun, the tolerances are reduced and the most critical tests are applied; these are the bases for achieving a bespoke gun. For the aesthetic part, it is very important to privilege harmony in the forms, balance in the proportions and an obsessive attention to every detail. A bespoke gun is a union of wood and steel and high technology. A fine gun in addition to these elements incorporates the passion and the ability of the people who are working to make it an artwork.

This concept is certainly reflected in Faustis new side-lock 12-guage model, the Senator. It comes with a hand-detachable side-lock mechanism, made with integral pins, by turning the two special keys that appear on the surface of the side plates. The bright blue barrels are chromed, anti-corrosive, with the manufacturers name in 24-carat gold. The Senator also employs the traditional system with two triggers, a must for such a fine gun. This double safety increases the reliability of the weapon.
Being a custom gun, the type of engraving can be chosen according to personal taste from the classic Rose and Scroll, to floral ornaments and hunting scenes. Monograms, portraits, and special dates can also be engraved on the Senator.

Many people are involved in these handmade works, among them stock fitters, assemblers, and engravers. To illustrate in numbers, Faustis manufacturing process involves about 90 stages of machinery, which require at least 13 phases for the extremely detailed controls and manual intervention for a total of around 350 hours of processing stages, excluding the engraving, which on its own requires 300 to 500 hours for classical engraving, but can exceed 700 hours in the case of special requests.

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