Saudi Arabia's Falconry Heritage Celebrated on Founding Day

Saudi Arabia's Falconry Heritage Celebrated on Founding Day

The falcon, deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of Saudi Arabia, has been playing a significant role in the country's history, economy, and identity.

For centuries, these majestic birds have been revered as symbols of strength, courage, and nobility, accompanying Saudis on their journeys and serving as a source of pride and livelihood.

The association of the falcon with Saudi Arabia dates back to the founding of the first Saudi state, three centuries ago. It was used as a symbol of peace in resolving tribal disputes and served as a prized gift exchanged between leaders.

The falcon features in the visual identity of the Saudi Founding Day logo, alongside four other symbols: the Saudi flag, the palm tree, the Arabian horse, and the market.

Beyond its symbolic significance, falconry played a crucial economic role. The birds were used for hunting, providing a source of food and income for many. It also fostered a strong sense of community and identity among Saudis, uniting them in their shared passion for this noble sport.

In recognition of its cultural and economic importance, the Saudi government has taken significant steps to preserve and promote falconry. In 2017, the Saudi Falcons Club was established under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The club aims to unite falconers across the Kingdom, promote the responsible practice of falconry, and support the sustainable breeding and conservation of falcons.

The club organizes various events and competitions throughout the year, attracting thousands of participants from around the world.

The King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival, the largest falconry competition in the world, has entered the Guinness World Records three times for the number of participating falcons. Other notable events include the AlUla Falcon Cup, which concluded in January and was the largest in the value of awards internationally, and the International Saudi Falcons and Hunting Exhibition.

The Saudi Falcons Club is committed to promoting falconry as a sustainable and responsible sport, while preserving this rich cultural heritage.

Through its various initiatives and programs, the club is positioning Saudi Arabia as a global leader in falconry.

The Kingdom was inscribed in 2021 on the “Falconry, a living human heritage” of UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.