Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival to start today

Cairo: The King Abdulaziz Falconry, the world’s biggest of its kind, will start today for two weeks near Riyadh, the Saudi Falcon Club has said.

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Cash prizes of SR22.7 million are allocated for the festival that brings local and international falcon owners, the club added.

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This year’s event, the third edition of the festival running until December 12, features a falcon beauty pageant and a falcon-flying competition for 400 metres.

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Health precautions

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Some SR4.2 million is earmarked for the seven-round beauty pageant known as Mazayen, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

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The festival is organised by the Saudi Falcon Club upon directives from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the club’s supervisor-general. It will be held amid stringent health precautions against the novel coronavirus.

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A record total of 4,073 falcons participated in the first two editions of the event. The festival usually draws falcon owners and fans in the kingdom and other Gulf countries.

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Falconry is a popular hobby and an essential part of cultural heritage in the Arabian Peninsula.

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