By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula
Doha: With COVID-19 safety precautions in place, the fourth edition of Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition (S’hail 2020) opened its doors yesterday to an enthusiastic response from falconers and hunting aficionados alike.
Katara General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti led the opening of the five-day event considered the biggest of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Some 112 leading companies dealing in falconry and hunting supplies and equipment from Qatar, Kuwait, Spain, Lebanon, the United States, the UK, Turkey, Pakistan, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, France, and Hungary have gathered at the exhibition.
President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani visited S’hail on its opening day yesterday. Dr. Al Sulaiti accompanied him as he toured around the exhibition learning about its different sections, features and activities.
The first day of the exhibition witnessed the visits of a number of ministers and high-ranking officials, namely Minister of State for Foreign Affairs H E Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi and British Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa H E James Cleverly, and several ambassadors including Ambassador of Moldova H E Victor Tvircun, Ambassador of India H E Dr. Deepak Mittal, and Ambassador of Switzerland H E Edgar Doerig.
Dr. Al Sulaiti expressed happiness at the opening of the event underlining that it is the most important international heritage exhibition hosted by Katara as it has become a global destination attracting falconers and hunting enthusiasts from Qatar and around the world.
Inside the massive white tent erected specially for the event at Katara’s Wisdom Square are stalls offering customised off-road vehicles, hunting and camping equipment and supplies, and tracking and training devices and other supplies for falcons, among others.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment ‘s pavilion and the main stage where the events and activities are held are also located in the tent.
At Building 12, many visitors thronged the stalls selling a wide collection of hunting weapons, guns and ammunitions from some of the best international brands as well as stalls offering the best breeds of falcons. Al Gannas Association is participating with a pavilion which displays its various projects, festivals and scientific activities.
Safety measures such as checking of Ehteraz and body temperature at the entrance and social distancing are being implemented at the venue where hand sanitizers are available at all entrances and at strategic places around the area.
This year’s S’hail is distinguished by the electronic falcon auction in which each participant receives a gold card that allows him to visit the exhibition anytime. The participant can view pictures and data of all kinds of participating falcons including the rarest “Hur” falcons, and follow the auction electronically.
A main feature of the event is the best pavilion competition and the best burqa (falcon hood) contest which both carry big cash prizes.
S’hai is sponsored by a number of companies and entities such as the Sports and Social Activities Support Fund (Da’am), Qatar Insurance Group, Qatar Airways, Ooredoo, Qatar Navigation Company, and Tanzifco.
The exhibition is open today, tomorrow and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm and from 4pm to 11pm. There is a break from 2pm to 4pm for disinfection. On Friday, the exhibition will be open from 2pm to 11pm.