The 19th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, ADIHEX, is all set to get underway on Monday. The capital of the United Arab Emirates will once again be the setting for seven days of live performances, conferences, workshops and shows organised by the sector's leading professionals.
The exhibition will run from Monday 26 September to 2 October. That it is being held in the United Arab Emirates is no coincidence. The ancient falconry, hunting and equestrian arts are disciplines that make up the cultural DNA of the Emirates, which considers the falcon to be its national animal. The Emiratis themselves participated in the 1960s in the reintroduction of the art of hunting with birds of prey in Spain, where the practice had been completely neglected until then.
For this reason, ADIHEX is considered to be the largest event for this sector in the Middle East and Africa, positioning itself as an important tourist attraction for all the citizens of the Gulf region. The first celebration of this important fair took place in 2003, and since then it has brought together up to 1,750,000 visitors and Arabian game enthusiasts. In 2021, despite pandemic restrictions, 105,000 visitors from 120 different countries passed through the ADIHEX pavilions.
ADIHEX plans to offer attendees more than 100 different shows and activities, according to H.E. Majid Ali al-Mansour, chairman of the Senior Organising Committee and secretary general of the Emirates Falconers Club.
Among the 100 or so shows, the activities organised by the Emirates Falconers Club stand out, due to the "sacred" role of falconry for Emiratis. The event organisers themselves say that ADIHEX is a must for all lovers of this art. The Emirates Falconers Club will mix this ancient Emirati heritage with new technologies, in a showcase of innovation for the sector.
ADIHEX is not only about hunting and exhibition, it is also an event with a high positive impact on the Emirati economy, the promotion of regional dynamism and even ecology. Within the fair there is the Falcon Release programme, which is considered one of the oldest traditions that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004) implemented in the Emirates. It involves releasing around 2,000 peregrine and saker falcons into their natural habitats with the aim of boosting their reproduction and increasing the number of species in the wild.
Craftwork will also have its place this coming Monday at ADIHEX. As well as all the items made for the sports that the fair promotes, there will also be workshops with visual artists from the UAE and abroad. From paintings to ceramics, sculpture, carpet weaving, photography or calligraphy. Young people and children will have a very important place in this exhibition. The transmission of knowledge and interest in all these intangible heritages of the Emirates is one of the objectives of the organisation. A large number of school visits are expected in order to offer pupils of all ages an unforgettable experience.
This edition of ADIHEX has a number of sponsors including the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, the Hubara International Conservation Fund and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where the event is held. The "Hunting Arms" sector sponsor is Caracal International LLC, the silver sponsor is Q Properties, and the visitor experience partners are Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, POLARIS-Specialized Sports Equipment, and Luxury Carts Group. While the feature sponsors are Smart Design and Royal Tent Company, the official automotive partner is ARB Emirates, and the supporting partner is the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.