On Sunday Saudi Arabia’s Falconry festival got certified as the world’s largest falcon racing tournament by the Guinness Book of World Records (GBR). The executive director Hossam bin Abdulmohsen Al-Hazimi of Saudi Falcons Club (SFC) confirmed the certification reports and received the same from GBR official representative, Shida Subasi Jamissi, in Malham, north of Riyadh. The title added an international laurel to the name of the Kingdom, which hosts the competition that offers a total cash pot of prizes valued at SR 17,630,000.
The highlight of the festival is the falcon racing tournament, but it also includes several recreational programs, traditional markets, exhibitions, cultural competitions, poetry evenings, and many other sports. The festival is one of the biggest tourist attraction in the Arab world and attracts a lot foreign exchange and investment.
Jamesi said, “It is an honor to attend SFC competitions, in which 1,723 falcons have participated, a new category that was recorded according to the international standards.”
She added, “The recognized standards state that there should be no threat to life and all participating falcons must be in good shape. After getting the accurate number from Statistics Dept., I can confirm that SFC was officially registered in GBR with 1723 falcons, as the world’s largest falcons’ tournament here in Riyadh on February 3, 2019.”
The falconry tournament which lasts for about 10 days ended on 3 Feb and saw the record participation of 1,723 falcons, from all over the world. The Al-Melwah 400 meters competition included rounds for Saudi falconers and international rounds, while 13 cup rounds were run on Sunday to pick 39 winners. The cash prize for winning the round was SR500,000, while second and third runners up got SR200,000 and SR100,000 respectively.
The falcon racing event was followed by Falcon hunting exhibition which was held from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3, with international and GCC participation. The two events were organized by the SFC, by royal decree of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. They also come under the direct supervision of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defence.