Over 3,000 falconry enthusiasts attend Katara exhibition
21 Sep 2017 - 8:14
By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
More than 3,000 falconry enthusiasts thronged the opening day of the inaugural edition of the Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition, S’hail, 2017 at Katara Building 12 yesterday.
More than 400 falcons from three local farms and nine other breeding farms from Spain, Germany, France and Russia in addition to a special section for hunting rifles by internationally well-known brands were among the crowd-drawers yesterday.
The S’hail Falcon auction, one of the main highlights at the exhibition, saw falcons offered for auction sale. A falcon was purchased for QR210,000 by Al-Azmi, a bidder Kuwait.
Over 90 local and international companies specializing in falconry and hunting-related tools and equipment are taking part at the five-day exhibition, making it a world class show for hunting and falconry.
Several falcon veterinary clinics are at the exhibition, including the Souq Waqif Falcon Hospital which conducts necessary tests for the falcons purchased from the exhibition.
The exhibition has also welcomed many international hunting-related brands of camping gear, hunting arms ant tools, and safaris offered at discounted prices. It also features cultural stands from several countries including Morocco, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, introducing the visitors to their rich hunting and falconry heritage.
One of the attractions at the exhibition is the ‘yurt’ – traditional tent of the Kyrgyz people – portable, round and covered with skin or felt has been used as a dwelling in central Asia for over 3,000 years. The colorful and very cozy tent also has the Kyrgyz people dressed in their traditional attire offering sweets to visitors in their true style and tradition.
A number of vintage hunting vehicles are also displayed giving the audience an idea of hunting in the past.
The Ministry of Interior is also present at the venue to ease the buying process which requires issuing a license by the authorities, as well as present its various services including Metrash2.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment is also present with informative posters highlighting its initiative. One office is dedicated to issuing falcon passports and health card, and another for displaying houbara bustards.
“By hosting Katara International Hunting & Falcons Exhibition, Katara aims to highlight the Qatari cultural identity in the falconry field in Qatar and abroad. Combining ancient traditions with modernity leads to building communication bridges between people from all walks of life. Such innovative initiatives would enrich the cultural process which will hopefully keep expanding and growing,” said Katara General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti.
Among the VIP guests at yesterday’s opening were Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani, Sheikh Ahmed bin Nasser Al Thani, Sheikh Faisal bin Qasim Al Thani, Ooredoo Group CEO Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani,and Sheikh Falah bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.
“I haven’t seen an exhibition like this before. This is truly amazing. There are, first of all, a lot of falcons but different species of falcons. Also, it’s everything around the falcons as well -- the camping equipment, the car accessories, the tools for hunting, the weaponry -- so you can tell that it’s a very popular activity,” said Australian Ambassador Dr. Axel Wabenhorst, one of the guests.
The exhibition is open to the public from 10am to 9pm until Sunday.