Horse aficionados, youngsters and families will enjoy a range of attractions from the petting zoo to trick riding, heritage village, art gallery, horse auction and more
The one-of-a-kind Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship is the region’s most anticipated competition that judges the beauty and majesty of Arabian thoroughbreds
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
While Dubai International Horse Fair (DIHF) gathers a host of global and regional equine industry players across the globe this week, aspirant horse riders of all ages, and families, are set to enjoy a range of entertainment and educational activities. Taking place from 15 – 17 March 2018 at Dubai World Trade Centre, the event, now in its 14th edition, is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance. Co-located with the event is the 15th Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship.
Pony rides, show jumping and grooming
Included in the equestrian performance line-up is pony show jumping that involves obstacle jumping usually with many turns and changes of direction. Youngsters eager to know what it’s like to ride a horse, will have ample opportunity to do so at the show. This activity will be conducted by UAE Educational Equestrian & Poetry Club. Those who already own a horse will also have the chance to gain knowledge about horse care and therapies and the Club will teach horse riders how to clean, comb and prepare a horse for riding together with overall stable management. Younger children can look forward to story time sessions conducted by the club.
Al Aayan Stables will also host a “Fun Farm” petting zoo where children will have the opportunity to touch, feed and learn about various domesticated animals. The activity is a firm favourite each year and is set to delight children of all ages.
In an effort to raise awareness around animal welfare and the dire need for public support in animal rescue, the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre will be participating. Cats, dogs and rabbits that have been rescued by the non-profit organisation will be available for adoption during the event. The organisation, which currently homes 66 rescued animals, will also provide information on how to volunteer, adopt, sponsor and donate funds to help all the animals that have been abandoned over the years.
Paws on patrol
Dubai Police will bring in members of their highly trained canine unit to demonstrate their ability to detect a range of substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics.
Spanish trick riding
A firm favourite at DIHF are the Spanish equestrian performances, which includes 30 minutes of heart pounding entertainment, which keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Lead rider Diego Lopez brings his team of skilled, crowd-pleasing performers for a thrilling dressage routine.
A beauty contest like no other
Arabian yearlings, fillies, foals, colts, mares, stallions will compete in a unique beauty contest during DIAHC. The competition presents some of the most magnificent Arabian breeds in the world – valued between AED 3.5 million to over AED 7 million – with AED 15 million in prize money. The DIAHC is the most prestigious competition of its kind in the world and draws together passionate breeders who are deeply devoted to their horses.
Arabian purebreds from local studs will be available for viewing, bidding and buying during the DIHF Auction. Held on Saturday, 17 March at 11am onwards, the auction will have over 100 pureblood Arabian horse breeds on sale. Prospective buyers and members of the public can feel the thrill of a live auction with prices and stock to suit every budget.
International and local artists are presenting their finest equestrian masterpieces at the dedicated Art Gallery, which returns this year. Painters, sculptors and sketch artists from the UAE, India, Finland, Thailand, France and Italy will unveil their horse-themed masterpieces. These include intricate oil paintings, life-sized sculptures, mixed media pieces and bespoke items.
First-hand experience of Emirati culture
With horse-riding firmly rooted in Middle Eastern culture, the DIHF Heritage Village will promote the rich history and culture of the UAE. The Heritage Village is a distinct feature enjoyed by all exhibitors and visitors alike. Adorned with colourful and rustic displays, the Heritage Village is an inspirational space featuring traditional Bedouin houses, henna tattoos, falconry, local dishes and handicrafts.
Global dance traditions
Traditional dance clubs based in the UAE will showcase their dancing prowess throughout the event. The clubs will demonstrate ballet solos, traditional Russian dance routines, Italian dance solos, the Argentinian tango, Arabic dances as well as Indian performances that originate from Kerala and Karnataka.
Dubai International Equestrian Conference returns
The Dubai International Equestrian Conference, now in its second year, returns to DIHF and continues to highlight pressing issues in the equine sector as well as cutting-edge research. The event, Organised by the Royal Equestrian Club Dubai, in partnership with Dubai International Horse Fair, is geared towards those who are interested in experts’ insights and predictions on the region’s equine industry and takes place from 15 to 17 March.
The Dubai International Horse Fair 2018 will be held in Za’abeel Halls 5 and 6 at Dubai World Trade Centre. Opening hours are 10am – 8pm on 15 March, 2pm – 8pm on 16 March and 11 am – 8 pm on 17 March. Admission is free of charge and open to trade visitors and the general public. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Pre-registration is now open at the show’s official website www.dihf.ae.