From knives of Dh100,000 to rifles priced €575,000

Bigger in space and participants this year, the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) felt a lot quieter during its first full day.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Fri 24 Sep 2010, 12:55 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

After the royal opening and tour on September 22, Wednesday was the first day for ‘events’, but the numbers seemed much smaller than last year.

“We are missing the horse beauty show and that is because the show is organised earlier this autumn and it is still too hot for the horses to be outdoors,” said a representative of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), co-organiser of ADIHEX.

Stretching over 1,250 square metres, the ADACH pavilion is one of the most popular, showcasing samples and exhibits of Emirati customs and traditions, from pearl diving and desert living to ‘live’ weaving and sewing. The traditional Arabic coffee competition takes place here in the evenings, from 5pm.

“This year we have 40 participants, all from the UAE,” said Saeed Al Kaabi, who is in charge of the competition.

The camel auction, one of the biggest attractions at ADIHEX, happened only on one evening, on Wednesday, instead of two or more during previous years.

Still, visitors have plenty to enjoy at the various pavilions. The knives stand is an example. Various companies from around the world, all dealing with knives, have gathered here thanks to Mohamed Amiri, who recently set up the Tamreen Sports in Abu Dhabi and is all set to launch Batic Metal Crafts.

“At Batic Metal Crafts we will have custom made pieces, both hunting and tactical knives, used in army combat,” Amiri said.

As he showed off some beautiful pieces and some modern looking daggers with dual ‘teeth’ and smooth blades, an artisan silently worked on a rather large blade beside him.

“He started working on this blade on Wednesday, and hopefully he will finish by the last day, which is Saturday,” explained Amiri.

Usually, it takes about three months to make a knife, including the handle.

Next to Batic Metal Crafts are the M62 knives, which are Italian made and have been launched at ADIHEX.

“They have specifications for the UAE; they are small, light and easy to sharpen, qualities that falconers require,” pointed out Amiri.

“And these are the Rolls Royce of knives,” he said, moving over to the William Henry knives, now available in Abu Dhabi through the Tamreen shop.

Hand crafted and engraved, each knife takes eight months and 800 steps to be completed. Every blade is made by a Samurai in Japan using Damascus steel which is considered the best since it uses three different types of metal. This makes the blade really hard.

The US William Henry Knives hires 25 engravers from across the world to create unique pieces. One model was created specifically for Abu Dhabi out of 600 layers of steel. The Dh100,000 knife features a stainless steel handle engraved with falcons and desert patterns.

Other stars among the 150 knives presented at ADIHEX are the mammoth tooth knives. William Henry managed to buy some very rare pieces of mammoth molars from Siberia (one piece just enough to make one knife handle costs US$ 400) and used them as knife handles, for their stunning natural patterns.

Unique Rifles

For several years now, VO, the Swedish guns and rifle makers have been participating at ADIHEX, but this time around they have brought something truly unique.

“To celebrate our fifth anniversary in the Gulf region, we will create five special edition rifles,” said Jonas Althen, marketing director of VO.

“We started the first one right after ADIHEX 2009 ended. The first is always the most difficult to make, so it took one year to complete,” he said, pointing to the unique rifle.

The other four will only be made to order. The weapon, created by Viggo and Ulf Olsson, father and son master gunsmiths, has two calibres, which can be changed with a key — a small 6.555 calibre one and a 30.06 one, used for medium safari hunting of deer and big cats, and stopping at buffalo shooting.

“For the first time the rifle has been made using Damascus steel. We’ve seen Damascus steel in knives and swords and it is much appreciated in this region, and we wanted to complement it by adding a rifle, as well,” said Althen.

As for the rifle’s stalk (handle) the team travelled through Romania, Turkey and Hungary to collect roots of walnut trees, which have been air-dried for five years. Only the central part of the root was used as it is the strongest, lightest and most beautiful. The cost of this weapon is Euro 575,000.

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