Gunning for dirhams and dollars
The somewhat worn-looking gentleman gripping the gun in this photograph, taken at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi in 1999, is actually A-list arms royalty.
Victor Kalashnikov, who designed the Bizon submachine gun that he’s showing here, is the son of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian lieutenant general who famously invented the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle.
Kalashnikov senior died at the age of 94 in 2013, but the Kalashnikov brand is still going strong and exhibiting at a much slicker stand at this week’s arms fair. The National reported that the UAE is being considered as a potential new home for manufacturing the famous rifle that was first made in Moscow in 1947.
Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres away, gun-lovers are looking forward to the opening of a Kalashnikov USA factory in Florida. American collectors are keen to get their hands on the prized brand; a US ban on imports imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea has only increased its draw.
Time Frame is a series that opens a window into the nation’s past. Readers are invited to make contributions to email@example.com