Britain’s best countryside brands have found a new outlet in the Middle East, thanks to a joint initiative between The Game Fair and Qatar’s hunting and falconry exhibition.
Five carefully-selected UK firms will be showcasing what they have to offer in the British Pavilion at the second Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition (S’hail) from Tuesday 4 September to Saturday 8 September next week. It follows a five-year cultural partnership agreed in July between the Gulf country’s annual show and The Game Fair, Britain’s biggest countryside event organiser.
Gunmakers Longthorne, William Powell and Holland and Holland join country vehicle outfitter Thewlis Gregson, and rocking horse manufacturer Stevenson Brothers under The Game Fair’s British banner at the five-day event, which aims to promote Qatar’s rich Arab falconry and hunting heritage to an international audience.
Named after ‘Sohail’ – a star closely related to hunting in Qatar – it will feature exhibitors from across the globe retailing falcons, guns and hunting accessories while also showcasing ancient hunting-related products and traditions from around the world.
Elaine Stewart, Longthorne Gunmakers’ marketing manager, said: “We view our attendance at The Katara International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition as an exciting opportunity to showcase our brand and products to a new international marketplace and look forward to discovering more about the local business culture.”
John Stevenson, director of private clients at Holland and Holland, commented: “The Middle East has always been an important market for Holland and Holland and we are delighted to be exhibiting at S’hail through its partnership with The Game Fair. We look forward to welcoming existing clients and also forging new relationships during the exhibition in Doha.”
Mark Osborne, managing director at William Powell, added: “William Powell is a brand with a global following and a proud heritage as a major innovator amongst gunmakers. We are excited at the prospect of introducing our businesses to potential new clients and showcasing the very best of British sporting opportunities.”
Thewlis Gregson director Richard Johnson said: “We are growing and growing, so this is a fantastic opportunity to extend our brand into a market we have not tapped into before.”
First held in 2017, the inaugural S’hail was a triumph, attracting around 100,000 visitors, more than 90 exhibitors – both local and international – and more than 500 birds of prey and other related exhibits.
The event is held at Katara Cultural Village, which was established by Qatar’s former leader Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to position the state as a beacon for multi-culturalism by radiating the Middle East through theatre, literature, music, visual art, conventions and exhibitions.
S’hail exhibition manager Abdulaziz Al Sayed said: “S’hail is one of the largest international exhibitions specialising in falcons and, in terms of size, diversity, and quality, is the first of its kind in Qatar and the Gulf region. We hope this partnership with The Game Fair helps to promote the importance of international cooperation and cultural exchange in the field of hunting and falconry.”
James Gower, The Game Fair managing director, added: “Building on the format tried and tested by The Game Fair at IWA Outdoor Classics in Germany in 2017, this a fantastic opportunity for British firms. S’Hail is a new event so presents a unique opportunity for UK brands to reach a previously untapped market. We look forward to hosting the British Pavilion at S’hail and building on the relationship we formalised at The Game Fair in July.”