ADIHEX celebrates Saluki dogs, Arabs' companions since ancient times

The contest aims to promote the authentic breed of hunting dogs


ABU DHABI– ADIHEX, considered the first and most prominent heritage event in the Arab region will hold a "Saluki Beauty Contest" to celebrate the Saluki dogs, man's loyal companion for thousands of years.

The contest aims to promote the authentic breed of hunting dogs, strengthen the relationship of the new generation with the pillars of their ancestors' heritage and traditions, and provide the owners of the Saluki with the opportunity to showcase the skills and characteristics of their dogs.

ADIHEX has organised the annual contest to choose the most beautiful hunting dog. Participation is limited to the "Arabian Saluki", one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.

The Higher Organising Committee of ADIHEX announced the launch of a new version of the contest this year, considered one of the most famous events in the region. The contest is exclusive to the Arabian Saluki, and owners must ensure that the dogs are healthy, vaccinated, and microchipped.

The new ADIHEX edition is organised under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Emirates Falconers’ Club, from 27th September to 3rd October, 2021, under the theme "Sustainability and Heritage A Reborn Aspiration", with the official sponsorship of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, the International Fund For Houbara Conservation and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, in addition to the sector sponsor "BYNUNA Military & Hunting Equipment Trading LLC" and the feature sponsors "Smart Design LLC", "Al Fares International Tents" and "Dhabian Equestrian Club", as well as "ARB- Emirates" as the automotive branding partner.

The contest is organised by the Arabian Saluki Centre in Abu Dhabi, the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East, which aims to revive the sport of hunting with Saluki dogs and preserve its tradition, their use in falconry and authentic breeds. The centre also provides the necessary information about raising, training, and breeding them, healthcare, microchipping, birth registration, passports and pedigree issuance, and travel arrangements under the adopted laws.

The contest has attracted Saluki lovers and enthusiasts from the UAE, the Arabian Gulf, and tens of thousands of visitors and tourists of all ages.

The judging criteria include the breed from which the participating dog comes, the behaviour (for example, walking and running), the overall appearance (for example, head, eye, nose, mouth, ear, teeth and jaw), the structure and shape (size, neck, shoulders, chest, back and tail), and the appearance (skin, colour, movement, and legs), as well as hunting and chasing skills, overall impression and psychological traits.

The contest includes four categories: Al Hoss (smooth) males, Aryash (feathery) males, Al Hoss (smooth) females and Aryash (feathery) females.

There are two main types of Saluki dogs: the long-haired Aryash (Al Hadba) and the short-haired Al Hoss (Al Amlas). The Arabian Saluki’s native habitats are the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan. It has many breeds, the most important of which in the region and at the Arabian Saluki Centre in Abu Dhabi are (the Shadeed, Thiban, Tarrah, and Gannas) from the Al Hoss (smooth) family and (the Lahaq, Dhabyan, and Khattaf) from the Aryash (feathery) family.

The Arabian Saluki is used as a guard dog along with falcons in falconry. It has a lifespan of 16 to 18 years and can run at speeds of up to 75 km per hour. Saluki is loyal, guards his owner, protects his home and only hunts in his company.

The Saluki has always played an important role in hunting trips due to its ability to find prey struck by the falcon, hiding in bushes, tall grass, or other hideouts. Thus, both falcons and Saluki work together to catch the hidden prey.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.

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