Saudi Arabia Reinforces its Position as a Global Hub of Falconry Excellence and Wildlife Protection
The 2nd King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival set a new Guinness World Record with 2,350 falcons participating in the festival’s Al Mallouah race and Mazayin beauty competition. The previous record was 1,723 falcons. The record was the highlight of the last day of the festival which has also positioned the Kingdom as a preferred destination for cultural tourism.
The event, held from the 1st to the 16th of December in the town of Malham, north of Riyadh, attracted thousands of enthusiasts and elite falconers from across Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region and internationally. The participation of Asian falconers at this year’s festival added significant momentum to the international category which featured 124 falconers, including 107 in the International Owners Group and 85 in the International Professionals Group.
Emirati falconers took the top positions in the international open categories for the second consecutive year after making outstanding achievements in the 1st edition of the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival held Feb 2019.
The annual festival reinforced Saudi Arabia’s position as a global hub for falconry excellence. The Kingdom is committed to upholding the highest standards of wildlife protection and conservation of the falcon species. Awareness campaigns to protect wildlife have been introduced along with new laws prohibiting uncontrolled hunting, the establishment of specialized falcon breeding farms and the leveraging of international expert knowledge and technologies. The Kingdom is also exploring innovative alternatives to the use of live game in falconry races. The overall approach is aligned with Saudi Arabia’s commitment to ensure the highest international standards of environmental conservation and protection are met.
With a total cash pot of US$5 million and a high level of technical and logistical readiness, the annual King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival is an eagerly anticipated event for professional international falconers. Saudi Falcons Club Executive Director and Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of the Falconry Festival, Hossam Al Hazimi, invited international falconers to take part in the 3rd edition of the festival to be held in 2020, including representatives from Russia, China, Japan, Germany, Spain and other countries, to compete alongside their Gulf region and American peers.
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