Keeping history and heritage alive, a returning annual event is bringing the Bedouin lifestyle back into the spotlight
As you look out over the glittering skyscrapers and vast metropolis that is modern day Abu Dhabi, you’d be forgiven for forgetting just how far the city, and country, has come in just a few decades.
What was once sand, stretching as far as the eye can see, is now the bedrock for a modern, international hub for culture, business and tourism.
And while the future of the UAE is bright, paying homage to the traditions, practices and pastimes of the generations who worked to create the Abu Dhabi we know and love, is an essential part of Emirati culture.
As the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan once said: “He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn.”
It’s with this in mind that the UAE takes pride in celebrating its roots and the lessons that can be learned from the past, which can enrich our present and future.
Here to celebrate the old while showcasing the new, the annual Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) is taking place from 12th to 16th September at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Here’s what you can expect from this year’s exhibition.
ADIHEX is one of the most important cultural heritage events in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, as well as being a comprehensive and revered GCC-wide gathering of people who have an interest in sustainable fishing, equestrian, hunting and the preservation of Bedouin traditions.
Last year, the event attracted more than 100,000 visitors and this year an expanded edition is expected to attract even more people to the capital to explore the dynamic culture of the emirates.
Spanning more than 43,000 square metres, the event will welcome over 600 companies from more than 40 countries that will be exhibiting and selling goods, and hosting exhibitions, demonstrations, live performances and competitions throughout the event.
Visitors can learn how the relationships between the Bedouin tribes and their falcons, salukis, horses and camels helped them to survive in the harsh desert climate, why these practices were essential skills and how they are being preserved today so that future generations don’t lose touch with their roots.
And despite advances in technology bringing many of these skills into the modern age, keeping the traditional practices alive remains important and is the key area of focus for the event.
Helping to engage, inspire and capture the imagination of people of all ages, you can expect to see archery performances from international exhibitors, including Archery Attack and Archery Logistics, camel and horse auctions, a beauty contest for Arabian salukis, performances from K9 police dogs and horses from Dhabian Equestrian Club, falconry demonstrations and much more.
With live demonstrations and performances you can learn about sustainable hunting and fishing practices, see the latest equipment and immerse yourself in exhibitions to learn about the essence of the UAE and its rich history.
Exhibitors will also be on hand to show you the latest gadgets, gear and devices on the market from off-roading and camping to Arabic jewellery and everything in-between.
Also on site, an art exhibition will be held with life graffiti demonstrations to showcase the role art and creativity play in highlighting, preserving and promoting cultural heritage
to a new generation.
For more information on the event, visit: adihex.com
WORDS Colin Armstrong