Meet the Emiratis who are earning a reputation as one of the best knife makers in the UAE

Meet the Emiratis who are earning a reputation as one of the best knife makers in the UAE

When Abdullah Al Ahmed is in his Ras Al Khaimah workshop, time stands nonetheless.

The younger Emirati is misplaced in a quiet world of carving, sanding and submitting, with the skin world of limitless distractions within the distance.

As one of many few Emirati knife makers, Mr. Al Ahmed, 26, is carving out a spot for himself among the many United Arab Emiratesthe perfect craftsmen.

And its line of knives has been a star attraction this yr. Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Riding Show (Adihex)to be held on the Abu Dhabi Nationwide Exhibition Centre.

Barely two years in the past, it was nonetheless only a dream. After graduating from college however dealing with a world in lockdown on account of Covid-19, Mr. Al Ahmed returned to an earlier ardour for knife making impressed by his father’s assortment of tenting knives.

“He gave me a multi-tool as a present once I was older and from that day my ardour grew,” he stated.

“Daily I began to be taught extra about knife making. I watched movies and realized in regards to the course of, the totally different supplies and the totally different types. The primary knife I made dates again to 2011 – and it wasn’t like what you see right this moment,” he stated with amusing.

When the pandemic led to lockdowns and border closures, Mr. Al Ahmed turned a room in his home in Al Rufa right into a workshop.

“I went right into a small room in the back of our home and began making a knife,” he stated.

“My pals had been taking part in video video games they usually had been having enjoyable, however for me it’s very totally different. I do not like losing time.

Metal – corresponding to stainless-steel, carbon metal and Damascus metal – involves his workshop in slabs, which he then cuts and grinds to any design he needs.

Then it undergoes a posh means of heating and cooling to make sure the proper hardness.

“It is known as the quench cycle,” he stated. “The knife shouldn’t be too gentle or too arduous, so it retains its sharpness for a very long time.”

The fabric for the handles, corresponding to desert ironwood, can also be accessible in blocks and is carved by hand.

Some grips have totally different colours and design patterns, corresponding to shredded carbon fiber particles embedded within the grip.

“Each knife is totally different,” Mr. Al Ahmed stated, taking a chat at his Adihex sales space as an instance this.

“All of the blades are totally different and the shapes and colours of the handles are totally different. It’s unimaginable for them to be the identical.

When he’s within the workshop, Mr. Al Ahmed is misplaced in his personal world. It will probably take at the very least two weeks to make a knife, working 5 hours a day.

Time stands nonetheless and the stress of recent life appears distant. It’s a meticulous means of chopping, grinding, heating, submitting, honing and buffering.

“The cellphone is off and I am away from all of it,” he stated.

“I do not even know the time. Instantly it is midnight and the hours handed like a snap of the fingers as I used to be completely centered and could not really feel the time.

Abdullah Al Ahmed explains how he makes his knives.  Khushnum Bhandari / The National

The dream that began two years in the past with only a few thousand dirhams of funding has now grown right into a full-fledged enterprise known as Oryx Customized Knives.

It’s impressed by the Arabian Oryx and he personally designed the emblem which is a modernist model of the well-known species of antelope native to Arabian Peninsula.

“I needed one thing that had a connection to our nation,” he stated.

It markets a number of ranges of knives, from small utensils appropriate for tenting to kitchen blades impressed by Japanese chef’s knives. Every is proudly stamped “Made within the UAE”.

Costs begin at a number of hundred dirhams, and Mr Al Ahmed’s favourite is the Al Solai vary. These value round Dh900 ($245) and are named after the native phrase for a younger oryx.

One among his costliest knives on show was product of Damascus metal – famend for its swirling patterns – and value a number of thousand dirhams.

There was a gentle stream of holiday makers to Mr. Al Ahmed’s stand at Adihex, folks wanting previous the mass-produced knives.

His ardour for his job is clear and he spends lots of time with each potential buyer on his stand. It had bought at the very least half of its inventory on Wednesday. The knives can solely be bought straight and an Instagram web page permits the merchandise to be introduced.

Mr. Al Ahmed has invested in equipment together with a drill press, oven and abrasive belt to complement the hand instruments he makes use of, however Oryx Customized Knives remains to be a part-time job.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the ruler’s consultant in Al Dhafra, stopped by his sales space on Monday and urged him to proceed his efforts.

“You’ll be able to think about the state of affairs,” Mr Al Ahmed stated of Sheikh Hamdan’s go to.

“He requested lots of questions and pushed me ahead. He advised me that I needed to proceed. And that we wanted cutlers.

“I used to be proud. I felt honoured. Now I’ve a giant duty.

Adihex continues at Adnec Abu Dhabi till October 2. For extra info, go to

Abu Dhabi Worldwide Looking and Driving Present – in footage

Up to date: October 01, 2022, 09:14

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