The love for falcons in Qatar is enormous as the locals passionately try to keep their tradition of raising the handsome bird and using it for hunting while continuously exposing the younger generations to the art of falconry.
One of the illustrations of people’s love for falconry is evident from the degree of interest shown by enthusiasts, falconers, and people associated with the tradition during the recently concluded third edition of ‘S’hail - Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition.’
The five-day long exhibition was organised with the aim of promoting Qatar’s rich Arab heritage by supporting falcon enthusiasts and the hobby of hunting. It showed the commitment of the country to the aspirations of Qatari falconers and hunters so that they can enjoy their hobby at the highest level of luxury. Dedicated to transforming the enriched Qatari culture of hunting into a global message, the exhibition actively engaged in attracting foreign participation from countries around the world.
Started in 2017, the international exhibition attracted as many as 140 different exhibitors from 20 countries, who benefited from the large footfall of the visitors by meeting the needs of hunting and falcon enthusiasts. The exhibition spoke volumes about a comprehensive marketing plan prepared by the organising committee of S’hail 2019 to reach the largest number of entities and companies specialising in falcons and hunting equipment as well.
A visit to the exhibition disclosed that the event was all inclusive. It not only had different breeds of falcons from across the world but also all ancillary tools, equipment and primary details about hunting with falcons.
There were different stalls set up offering camping gadget for those who love going out in the desert to hunt with falcons. Some stalls offered necessary tools like gloves to carry the bird, falcon hoods of different kinds to keep the bird hoodwinked. There were some shops where people were preparing hoods as ordered by the falconers on the spot. There were also some stalls selling decorated hunting knives. An artist was also busy in marking live paintings of the falcons as demanded by the falcon keepers. The artists had also put some paintings on sale for the falcon enthusiasts.
There was a stall with the name of Qatar Falcon having displayed a beautiful collection of falcons from different countries. The stall was set up by the company of Sheikh Mubarak bin Abdullah al-Thani.
Talking to Community, a representative of the company said: ‘We have brought a large variety of falcons to the exhibition. Some of the most beautiful falcons are from Spain and Germany. We have bought the falcons from different breeding companies from these two countries. In Qatar, we have a store and not a farm for the birds.
“We sell falcons in Qatar and we have a very good response as we have unique collection of birds. The love for the bird is overwhelming in Qatar as you see all Qataris visiting the exhibition. Different people have different choices. Some people like to breed the birds and other like to have wild falcons and then train them for hunting,” the company’s representative said.
He added: “The exhibition offers a good opportunity both for the breeders and falcon enthusiasts to see each other and to trade. It shows the love Qataris have for the bird. It is an event both for trading and exhibiting love for falcons. Only three year old, the exhibition has already established itself as an international event with people from different countries visiting the event every year.”
Zeeshan Razik has set up a stall to sell classic hunting knives that he has brought from Pakistan. “Though I have been taking part in different exhibitions in Doha, this is my first time to be a part of Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition. The response is amazing. I am content to see the love for hunting in Qatar.
“The exhibition is all inclusive about falcons. I am glad see many Pakistanis setting up stalls to provide auxiliary equipment such as falcon hoods and hunting knives. Since our people have long been in the business of falconry, especially when it comes to ties with the Gulf countries, the Qataris have shown deep interest in our products.”
He added: “I think if efforts are made, there is huge potential for bilateral trade between Pakistan and Qatar in the field of falconry.”
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