Capturing a glimpse of the UAE's striking natural beauty, cultural splendour and unique wildlife, a series of photographs displayed at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (Adihex) 2015 for the first time provided an artistic sidelight to the event.
Unveiling the best of their work before Adihex's multitude of local, regional and international visitors, budding Emirati photographers, Abdullah Al Sa'adi and Saud Al Zarouni, both 21 and hailing from Sharjah, said they aspired to ultimately set up their own photography gallery titled ‘Abdullah and Saud Gallery'.
"Our friends and family were the main motivation behind our decision to participate in Adihex this year. Both Saud and I have always had a passion for photography and our aim is to open our own gallery one day,” Al Sa'adi told Gulf News.
"Given the scale and the popularity of this exhibition, especially as it attracts visitors from all the over the world, we thought why not showcase our photographs to gain as much exposure as possible. Once we've participated at enough exhibitions, we can then opt for inaugurating our own gallery.”
A fascinating shot of a falcon highlighted the theme of the exhibition, which revolves around the art of falconry.
An iconic symbol of the UAE's traditions and one that finds pride of place on currency bills, falcons remain an integral part of the UAE's cultural lore, said Al Sa'adi, explaining why the bird had become the focal point of their exhibition.
Waseem Mohammad, the owner of Al-Ain based falconry shop ‘Al Sayyad Falcon', who has been a regular participant at Adihex, spoke about the significance of the art of falconry.
"I have been a part of this exhibition every single year. It definitely is paramount to drive awareness among all the visitors about the importance of falcons and how they are considered one of UAE's dominant cultural highlights.
"This year, I have decided to bring to the exhibition more falcons in comparison to previous editions due to visitors' increasing demand to buy them.”
Prices of the falcons range from Dh5,000 to Dh150,000 depending on their size, type and where they have been imported from, Mohammad said.
Known for their wild nature, falcons have to always be covered in masks to potentially keep them from clashing with bird enthusiasts.
"However; if a person decides to opt for one, experts train buyers on how to place the falcon on their hand for two days,” Mohammad said.
"These two days allow room for falcons to establish a relationship with the buyer, gradually eliminating chances of them violently flapping their wings at them.”
Source: Gulf News