UAE: Take a closer look at houbara bustards at Adihex

International Fund for Houbara Conservation showcases live birds to create awareness about their role in Arab heritage


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Children look at a houbara bustard at the IFHC stand in Adihex. — Supplied photo
Children look at a houbara bustard at the IFHC stand in Adihex. — Supplied photo

Published: Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:40 PM

Live houbara bustards at the International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC) stand are the attraction for children and many adults visiting the Adihex this year. The hunting exhibition in Abu Dhabi gives an opportunity for the visitors to get to know the unique species.

The 19th edition of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex) kicked off at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on Monday and will run until October 2.

The event serves as a platform for the IFHC to create awareness of the critical role the houbara plays in Arab culture and heritage.

“On participation at Adihex, we demonstrate our commitment to the houbara population regeneration and conservation to preserve our heritage,” Mohammed Saleh Hasan Al Baidani, director-general of the IFHC told Khaleej Times on Monday.

“We showcase our holistic, global pre-emptive species conservation programme, guided by the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE. He recognised the need for action to increase the number of houbara birds in the wild.”

He added: “Through our proactive intervention, we envision having sustainable numbers of the symbolical species, classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Conserving the houbara is crucial in safeguarding the traditional art of falconry, recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”

In line with the event's theme, "Sustainability and Heritage...A Reborn Aspiration," the IFHC’s stand in Hall 8, A02 at Adnec guides visitors through a series of stations where they can gain a deeper understanding of the UAE's conservation efforts and its positive impact on the planet's sustainable future.

Aiming to attract existing and new audiences such as falconers, conservationists, educational institutions, as well as general public, the stand showcases new and exciting innovative developments in the breeding and conservation efforts and updates on scientific advances.

The stations function as an interactive library to showcase the organisation's ecology work through published manuscripts, the display of technological equipment, and the opportunity for visitors to engage with an Emirati ecologist.

Throughout the seven-day event, visitors to the IFHC stand can enjoy edutainment activities.

Families are encouraged to take their children along and take part in amusing educational games that will raise the curiosity of the little ones about the houbara habitat and food preferences. Kids of all ages can participate in learning more about the birds through storytelling sessions, and bring their own learning into the process by creating paper animals at the Origami workshops. Experts and student ambassadors will conduct workshops and other learning activities.

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