Abu Dhabi, EAD, will be taking visitors on a journey through the environmental legacy of the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, ADIHEX 2018, which begins tomorrow at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about how Sheikh Zayed's efforts to protect ecosystems and conserve species have paved the way for a more sustainable future.
The stand will feature Protected Areas, Endangered Species, Regulations, the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital and Inspired Citizens.
In the interactive Protected Areas zone, visitors will be engaged in a fun way and throughout learn about the different protected areas and the species that inhabit them and learn about how the late Sheikh Zayed established Al Wathba Wetland Reserve as a protected area in 1998 after he observed the successful breeding of the flamingo for the first time on that site. Today, Al Wathba is the only site in the Arabian Peninsula where flamingos continue to breed regularly. It is an internationally recognised sustainable tourism destination and is one of the 19 protected areas under the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network.
In the Endangered Species zone, visitors will be inspired by his passion for species conservation, which bore fruit both locally and internationally. The late Sheikh Zayed was the first to encourage action on the threats posed to birds and animals species. He set in motion a wide variety of programmes designed to protect various species. For example, he set up a captive-breeding programme capturing two breeding pairs of Arabian Oryx, which were nearing extinction, to become the heart of a conservation initiative. Today, almost 50 years later, thanks to the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Arabian Oryx Release Programme, implemented by EAD, the numbers of Arabian Oryx in the UAE have increased to over 10,000, of which 5,000 are in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Moreover, efforts have led to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, downlisting the status of the Arabian Oryx from "Endangered" to "Vulnerable" in 2011.
In the Regulations zone, visitors can learn more about Sheikh Zayed’s efforts began in 1966 to protect the environment and biodiversity through the issuance of environmental regulations and laws and the adoption of procedures, controls and standards for many environmental issues, including the regulation of hunting.
In the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme zone, visitors will learn about one of the most impactful wildlife release programmes in the world, which he set up in 1995. Since then, 1,857 falcons have been returned to the wild.
In the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital zone, visitors will learn about how the late Sheikh Zayed established, in the early 1980s, a small falcon hospital outside of Abu Dhabi. They will also have the opportunity to adopt cats and dogs on-site from the Hospital’s Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter. Today, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, managed by EAD, has become the world’s largest falcon hospital in the world and an award-winning sustainable tourism destination.
Finally, the Inspired Citizens zone will highlight Sheikh Zayed’s role in inspiring a new generation of young Emirati environmentalists that are carrying his environmental legacy forward.
The highlight of the stand will be a holographic theatre-style experience in the form of a captivating story summarising the late Sheikh Zayed’s environmental legacy. It is an experience that promises to inspire and move every visitor to participate in protecting their environment.