Falconry in Saudi Arabia is a longstanding tradition that reflects a passion for this hobby; which accompanied the ancestors during their travels across deserts and it also continues to be a traditional hobby for Saudis — inherited generation after generation.
Last October; the Saudi Falcons Club (SFC) organized an auction; the first of its kind; for locally offered falcons; and witnessed an exceptional excitement and competition for the acquisition of falcons; where a world record was also set when a Shaheen chick with rare and unique characteristics was for SR650;000; in an unprecedented deal; becoming the most expensive falcon in the world.
The auction also witnessed a number of records including the sale of a large number of falcons under one roof in a short period of time; where 102 falcons were sold in 20 auction nights that saw a wide turnout from falconers who flocked to the club’s headquarters; north of Riyadh. The total auction deals markedly exceeded SR10 million.
Home to falcons
The Kingdom is one of 11 countries that included in the UNESCO list of countries that also keep falcons and is home to different species; and a corridor for other migratory ones. Estimates indicate that about 20;000 falcons overfly the sky of the Kingdom; and their sales on the ground amount to millions of riyals; markedly supported by the King Abdulaziz Annual Festival for Falconry; the largest of its kind in the world; which brings together falconers.
These figures make the Kingdom a global center and home to falcons and falconers; who have practiced their hobby for centuries documented by archaeological inscriptions. In addition the residents of the Arabian Peninsula domesticated falcons for a very long time compared to other civilizations; around nearly 9;000 years BC.
Falcon sales and auctions; which are also organized and supervised by the Saudi Falcon Club; constitute a platform for amateurs who make use of it in opening new horizons for sale deals; investment; support for the national economy; and work to reduce black markets and falcon smuggling; in addition to supporting the hobby as a long-standing; renewed legacy.
The achievements and records brought about in the Falcons Club auctions call for continued coordination; preparation for launching upcoming auctions; especially as life has also started to gradually return back to normal after the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
This would facilitate the process of movement to visit these events and attract visitors to auctions from regional and international countries thus enhance the Kingdom’s pioneering role and position on the map of the world of falcons.