ABU DHABI –
A strong female presence marks the 19th Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Riding Exhibition (ADIHEX 2022), which runs from September 26 to October 2.
Organized by the Emirates Falconers’ Club, this year’s event saw a large turnout of visitors and participants, journalists told The Arab Weekly.
ADIHEX 2022, the reporters said, is actually turning into a family festival, attracting all ages and community members.
In recent years, the UAE has seen an increase in demand from women to purchase captive bred falcons. Additionally, at past ADIHEX shows, there has been a strong demand among girls and women to purchase licensed hunting guns.
This follows the government’s efforts to ease the licensing procedures for hunting weapons, in accordance with the legislation in force in the country.
During this year’s ADIHEX, the role of women is highlighted by multiple participants, including the Emirates Falconers’ Club, the Mohammed bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School and the European Foundation for Falconry and Conservation, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and the European Federation for Game and Conservation (FACE).
The women also take part in the presentation of the birds of prey at the Al Ain zoo, as well as in the seminars and workshops organized on the sidelines of the exhibition.
The Japanese pavilion also celebrates the role of women in falconry, with the participation of expert Japanese falconers.
When it comes to equestrian sports, ADIHEX is expected to boast a strong presence of female riders from the UAE and various other countries.
A seminar on “Sustainability Platform: Mechanism of Horse Registration Services at the Emirates Arabian Horse Association (EAHA) will be presented by Ms. Lola al-Mansouri.
Meanwhile, researcher Sariya al-Marzouq will lecture on horse genetics and the most important qualities of Arabian horses from an economic perspective, including endurance, performance and appearance standards, which are related to the characteristics and qualities of equine beauty.
Tina Al Qubaisi, a member of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy (FBMA) and the Dhabian Equestrian Club, will lead a workshop on the “Connect with Nature, Connect with Animals” platform titled “Equestrian Sports Training”. She will also participate in special events in the live performance arena that showcase the skills needed to train horses, including their jumping.
Amna al-Jasmi, the Emirati rider is another prominent participant in the field of live performances.
Being an impressive role model for the young Emirati woman, especially with her pioneering role in spreading the sport to younger generations, Jasmi will also present archery performances with the traditional bow and arrow on horseback and demonstrate some types of historical martial arts (fencing with the traditional Arab sword) at this year’s exhibition.
On the “Outdoor Adventure” platform, Emirati athlete and mountaineer Nayla Nasser al-Balushi will share her experience with ADIHEX visitors, as well as her athlete husband, Saeed Khamis al-Maamari. They are the first Emirati couple to climb Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world.
During this time, Dr. Fatima Sajwani will lead a major workshop entitled “Motivation of Arab women to engage in exciting outdoor sports activities”.
The Abu Dhabi Hunting and Riding Exhibition will also see the participation of so-called ‘Female Heritage Keepers’. These Emirati women will introduce the audience to traditional crafts, such as Sadu, Khous and other crafts that have been passed down by Emirati women from one generation to the next.
In the arts, women are also expected to register a significant presence. From the Fujairah Fine Arts Academy (FFAA), Fatima Alamiri will lead a unique workshop on “Thread Drawing”.
Fatima al-Dhanhani, another female artist, will present a workshop on Arabic calligraphy, while Sally al-Azzawi will present on the “Basics of decoration and illumination” and Ms. Shurooq Azzam on the “Training of the pottery”.
Women-led projects are also expected to dominate the current fair, offering various items including traditional handicrafts, accessories, cosmetics, perfumes, incense among many other products.
Renowned Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi will lead a special workshop titled “Make Your Own Jewelry”.
Additionally, many companies seem eager to offer women-specific products to attract female visitors to ADIHEX. This comes as falconry activities, organized by the UAE throughout the year, have encouraged girls and young women to learn the arts, skills and science of falconry, fishing and hunting, thus opening the way for them to participate in falconry competitions, as with equestrian sports and other traditional sports.