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The day has come for the 650 exhibitors at the 14th Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) to pack and get ready for the return journey home. They came here from 40 different countries, some for the very first time, and for most the business was great!

Around 100,000 people are thought to visit ADIHEX by its final closing evening, which for the first time extended to five days to accommodate more visitors. Some were falconers getting ready for the hunting season, others were after camping and off-roading equipment. Some were on the hunt for big game safaris, others were searching for the latest news from the equestrian world. Some were simply here for the cultural and heritage aspect of ADIHEX.

"For this edition, ADIHEX Organising Committee made a lot of changes to the show, which were the outcome of a survey we did last year, as well as a new vision the Committee has for the show, to develop it based on visitors' profile and experience," said Abdullah Butti Al Qubaisi, Director of ADIHEX.

"We have divided the show into different themed sections, making it easier for visitors to access the type of companies they are looking for and to create a better flow of the exhibition. The result was a better environment for business," continued Al Qubaisi.

"We've also added a fifth day to the show, something new for ADIHEX, based on demand from visitors, which helped to improve trading. The extra day also made it possible for more school children to visit the event, which increases the cultural and environmental awareness goals."

"The Arabian horse auction is back this year, which attracted bigger participation and more profiling of the equestrian sports".

"Environment and culture have always been the objectives of ADIHEX, and sustainable hunting has been its main concern just as much this year as it has been in for the past 14 editions. The exhibition promotes falcons bred in captivity and it aims to prevent abusive hunting, which should be practice as heritage preservation, not as an excessive sport. This topic of sustainable hunting will continue to be discussed right after ADIHEX, during the falconry conference organised by the Emirates Falconers Club and the International Association of Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey," concluded Al Qubaisi.

ADIHEX 2016 will end at 10 pm on Saturday, October 8th.



There are a few firearms that really feel "yours”, firearms you develop a special connection with at first sight, firearms with a spirit that make you feel alive, give you energy. At least, that's what Fausti gun makers believe.

The three sister - Giovanna, Barbara and Elena - who continue their father's work, have been coming to ADIHEX for the past eight years, each time bringing something unique to the show.

The "gun sisters", as they are known, took over the company management after their father retired in the early 1990s. Fausti created the company just after World War II ended, by simply 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 metres, Fausti’s facilities in Italy still produce many of Stefano Fausti’s premium models, including the Hammer Gun and the Senator. New types of steel and aluminium machinery combined with modern machinery allow Fausti to produce interchangeable metal components, while sophisticated quality control systems guarantee the reliability of their final products.

"We keep coming to ADIHEX every year because we like the place and the people here. Everyone appreciate our work; they recognise we put a lot of passion into creating unique pieces especially for the exhibition, and they appreciate our service, our seriousness," said Barbara Fausti.

As in the past years, this time too Fausti showcases at ADIHEX firearms particularly designed for the show. They are all entirely custom-built, engraved and signed by the best Italian master engravers.

The sisters believe that it is only by hand that true work of art can be created, so all their firearms are hand made using high quality Italian walnut wood. To make a Fausti rifle there are 90 stages of different machine work involved and around 500 hours of engraving.

"We produced two different types of shotguns for ADIHEX 2016, side-by-side and the over-and-under. We have three masterpieces with unique engravings on Arabian themes - falcons and horses," explained Barbara.

"We started with research, going to the library and searching the Internet to find the right horse, as the Arabian horse is quite different from European horses".

One of the three unique rifles is engraved with images of falcons on all three sides, another has images of Arabian horses and the third, an over-and-under type, has a combination of falcons and horses. The engravings of all three shotguns are also ornate with 24 karat gold.



Since his childhood years, Bader Mohammed Saab used to travel with his family on long camping trips across the UAE deserts, from Liwa in Abu Dhabi to Awaji in Ras Al Khaimah and Al Faya in Sharjah. Later on, he started going hunting oversees. Sometimes he would miss something, like a shower or a comfortable Arabic style seat and this is how his company began to take shape.

Bader Al Emarat is one of the first Emirati companies to specialise in hunting and camping equipment and tools, established by Bader in 2008, with shops in both Dubai and Sharjah. And, right from its beginnings, it has been present at ADIHEX.

Portable showers, car-plugged coffee machines or water boilers, barbeque gear, camping seat that extends into a sleeping bag, LED lights and specialised camping and hunting knives are some of the objects available at Bader's market at the exhibition.

"About 40 percent of our products are made in the UAE; the rest is imported from all over the world," he said.

"One of our most popular products that is made in the UAE and it was actually launched at ADIHEX last year, is the caravan," he also pointed out.

The heat proof caravan, fitted with a sink and a water tank at the back, was especially made for use in the Gulf countries. Inside, the caravan has two rooms, one kitchen and one bathroom, being ideal for families during camping.

It weighs one ton, so it can't really travel through sand dunes, but it is very popular with Emiratis having winter camps on the edge of the desert. The caravan only costs Dh 28,000 and Bader Al Emarat also provides the required paperwork to be driven on roads.

"This year we are promoting one particular product at ADIHEX, the AVH, which is already popular with Emiratis, but we want to make it famous worldwide," said Bader.

The AVH, standing for "adventure house" is, in fact, a portable a bathroom cleaning hose, used for personal hygiene. On one end it connects to the bathroom sink or tab and on the other it has a removable showerhead. As Bader explained, bidets or toilet houses are available in any bathroom in the UAE and the Gulf, but rarely, if ever found in the West.

"Many people are buying this product because it is small, light, easy to use, and very useful when travelling abroad. It also comes in a small travelling bag," mentioned Bader.

This summer alone, he sold 3,000 units. The price is AED 180 for the two meters hose, AED 190 for the three meters one and AED 200 for the four meters hose.



Al Masaood Automobiles has launched two vehicles at ADIHEX 2016. One, in fact, is not quite new: the V8 Nissan Patrol, which was modified with off road capabilities and re-named Nissan Patrol Gannas.

"The Nissan distributor in Dubai has launched their own modified Patrol and now we did one too in Abu Dhabi, with our own modifications" said Alaadin Srour, in charge of Marketing at Al Masaood.

Gannas, which means "hunting" in Arabic, has been equipped with six millimetres aluminium skid plate - five pieces that protect the underneath of the car from bumper to bumper. It has also got some of the best off road suspensions available on the market, the new Old Man Emu BP 51 shocks and springs for both front and rear.

Another big expense modification is the rims, which were replaced with dual 18 inch Beadlock rims (five of them, including the spare), which means tyres can be nearly flat deflated to as low as five psi to allow for more grip during driving in very soft sand, without the tyre coming off the rim.

Gannas has also got an air compressor fitted on the trunk that allows tyre pressure inflation anywhere, anytime, and a flagpole fitted on the original rails on the roof of the car.

Other useful off road features include ABS disconnect switch, adding more power while driving over dunes, a GPS navigation system with updated, 2016 maps and a snatch strap to pull the vehicle out when stuck in the sand.

All these have "boosted" the Patrol's price by AED 30,000, from AED 230,000 to AED 260,000.

"In 1994-1995 we have launched Gannas as the fifth generation of Nissan Patrol, equipped with sand tyres. Today we have revived the concept and developed an exclusive vehicle fully equipped for off road passion," stressed Houmayum Alam, General Manager of Al Masaood.

Upon request, the company would also modify its recently launched V6 Nissan Patrol.

At ADIHEX 2016, Al Masaood also launched its new pick-up Navara, which replaces its previous pick-ups. The 2017 model is more aerodynamic, more comfortable to drive and it has got more options, such as camera park sensor or Bluetooth.

In the GCC, the engines are carried over from the previous generation but with new transmissions. It is offered with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine or a 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine, both of which come with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission.

Just as the new Nissan Patrol V6, the Navara was tested by the UAE Army in Liwa's Empty Quarter desert, the toughest off road terrain in this part of the world, and then driven off road for two to three days, all the way to Fujairah.

According to Al Masaood, the Navara did well and it got the seal of approval from the Army drivers.



Not that they couldn't do it in the past, but women are about to get their own special falconry training programme. During ADIHEX 2016, the Abu Dhabi Falconers' Club's (ADFC) pavilion sports a "Ladies Section", where news - and registration - of the new programme are offered.

Starting from this November, girls and women of any age and nationality are welcomed to try their hand at falconry. The training will last for 15 days and spread across till January 2017.

"The Club will supply all the materials for both the theoretical and practical classes, even the falcons, if the ladies don't have one. No experience with falcons is needed. Even ladies who never held a falcon may apply, as well as the more experienced ones, as we offer different level training," said Angelique Engels, a trainer with ADFC.

If participants want to bring their own falcons, they may do so, but the birds need a health certificate (disease -free certificate) issued by the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

The classes include handling a falcon, how to care for it, how to feed it and how to train it. All courses, both practical and theoretical, take place at the ADFC's premises and they are run by female trainers.

"Following the training we will organise falconry competitions for our participating ladies, but we also hope this will encourage them to take part in the bigger annual competitions of falconry, such as the one in Al Dhafra festival," mentioned Angelique.

To keep the good news flowing, ADFC is offering the ladies training programme for free during the first year, which means that as soon as they sign up, the get one year free membership with the club, making use not only of the training, but also the services and facilities of the club for an entire year.

ADFC will also set up a special majlis for female falconers only at its headquarters in Al Falah, Abu Dhabi, a place where can exchange experiences, ideas and stories of their falconry adventures, just as the men do in their own majlis at the club.



If the UAE Armed Forces were to say farewell to ADIHEX 2016, it would do so by firing 21 cannon balls. Without a doubt, the cannon gun at its pavilion this year raised most curiosity among visitors.

Known locally as "madfa", the 25 pounder cannon dates from 1943. This Howitzer type of cannons were once the major field guns in the British Army, but in the Emirates they were -and still are - used as ceremonial guns.

"In the old days we used to fire it to announce the iftar time during Ramadan or the first day of Eid. We also used it to announce when a sheikh was visiting," said a representative of the UAE Armed Forces pavilion.

Nowadays the "madfa" is still fired for official visits - 20 times when someone arrives in the country and 21 one times when they leave. The cannon is also on UAE Martyrs' Day, 21 times, in honour and respect for the departed soldiers who gave their lives for the country.

Throughout ADIHEX, the Armed Forces pavilion also promotes its Shooting Festival, organised annually for the past four years by the Support Units Command of the UAE Armed forces. The festival aims to elevate military efficiency and also strengthen ties between the military and the community.

Only Emirati nationals - men, women and even children - are allowed to participate in the shooting competitions, which have been proving hugely popular not just with ordinary folk, but sheikhs too.

The festival's competitions are split into various categories, using different firearms, from pistols to M16 rifles, which can be fired for as far as 200 meters from the target