Abu Dhabi's hunting exhibition looks to the world in 2021

Adihex has been deferred to next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition – or Adihex - is going global.

The annual fair that showcases the riches of Emirati heritage has been deferred this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But plans are already well under way for next year's iteration of a festival that in 2019 drew more than 100,000 people.

The plan includes increasing the size of the event, attracting more exhibitors and a longer run of seven days.

Adihex showcases the rich hunting and sporting traditions in the region.

ABU DHABI ,  UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , AUGUST 27 – 2019 :- Houbara bird at the International Fund For Houbara Conservation stand during the ADIHEX 2019 held at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News/Online/Instagram/Big Picture. Story by Daniel
Houbara bustards are a vulnerable species. Pawan Singh / The National 

Visitors can learn about efforts to safeguard the Houbara bustard, get close to prized falcons and try out the latest camping gear. At its heart, it is a celebration of traditional life but the event also hears about conservation efforts. Many species across the world are declining because of over-hunting, pollution and loss of habitat.

Last year, experts called for tougher enforcement of laws and licensing programmes to protect the region's birds from over-hunting.

Protection of the region's wildlife has become a much more prominent part of the festival over the past few years. And the next edition will have the theme - "sustainability and heritage … a reborn aspiration" - which organisers said reflects the efforts of Abu Dhabi and the world to promote environmental and sustainable hunting.

Majed Al Mansouri, secretary general of the Emirates Falconers’ Club and chairman of Adihex's organising committee, said the event's longer run will be good for business and improve the visitor experience. It also comes as the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.

"While preparing for the next 50 years, the UAE has made unique achievements in various fields over the past decades," he said. "And [it has also] managed to occupy leading positions regionally and globally in the field of government efficiency and economic competitiveness while preserving its heritage at the same time."