The annual Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), which began on Saturday and runs until September 8th, is a celebration of Emirati culture’s profound connection with nature and animals, according to a local newspaper.
In an editorial on Monday, The National emphasized the event’s theme, which highlights both sustainability and heritage, echoing the enduring relationship between hunting and wildlife conservation. The editorial highlighted last year’s ADIHEX, where organizers, in partnership with UNESCO, dedicated a full day to the protection of vulnerable species.
The editorial also shed light on the vital role of ethical hunting practices in global conservation efforts. It highlighted how hunters, through the fees they pay and their active involvement in controlling animal populations, contribute significantly to funding and ecosystem management, stating, “In many cases, regulated hunting is one of the most effective tools governments have in ecosystem management.”
Furthermore, the editorial stressed that hunting and activities involving animals serve as a means of fostering a deep awareness of humanity’s relationship with the natural world. It noted that this awareness has been a fundamental part of Middle Eastern culture for centuries, instilling in children a sense of responsibility as custodians of nature, the food chain, and the life cycle.
The late Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s Founding Father, was cited as a visionary leader who emphasized the importance of preserving society’s connection to the natural world. In his foreword to the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s Global Strategy Plan in 1999, Sheikh Zayed underscored that falconry, a traditional practice in the UAE, served as a constant reminder of the interdependence between living beings and the land they inhabit.
The editorial concluded by highlighting the UAE’s ongoing conservation efforts, with a commitment to protecting and rescuing animal and plant species such as the houbara bustard, Arabian oryxes, mangroves, and sea corals. It also emphasized the importance of strong collaboration between national authorities, international organizations, private businesses, and ordinary citizens in ensuring the flourishing relationship between society and wildlife.
The Abu Dhabi-based daily stated, “This week, in Abu Dhabi, that conversation continues at ADIHEX,” emphasizing the event’s role in furthering discussions on the significance of wildlife and conservation efforts, especially in the context of the UAE hosting the Cop28 global climate summit in November.