Falconers and their winged hunters showcase their skills at KSA King Abdulaziz Falconry competition

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Location – Saudi Arabia
Report duration: 00:05:12
Sound: normal
Source: A24 agency office in
Saudi Arabia
Usage: A24 subscribers
Date of filming the article: 12-12-2023

 

The world’s largest falconry festival is now underway in Malham, Saudi Arabia, where around 300 spectators witnessed the dozens of international participants in the Almilwah competition. The competition involves the falcon hunting in a 400-meter zone in the shortest time possible. The event starts with qualifying rounds for the King Abdulaziz Cup, followed by the Sword Round to determine the winning falcon. The festival is now in its sixth year and takes place in one of Saudi Arabia’s largest national parks, located 70 km north of Riyadh.

Falconry is a popular sport in the Middle East, where falcons are trained to hunt and capture prey. Falcons, known for their powerful physical ability, sight, and speed, are the stars of this sport. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ratified international agreements to protect falcons from extinction and provides funds to other Middle Eastern countries that safeguard migratory birds.

On December 14, festival organizers will award around SR 33 million ($8.90 million) to the winners of the Al-Milwah competition and the King Abdulaziz Falconry Cup champion. The festival also features unique partnerships between trainers and their birds, and we spoke to three trainers about their experiences.

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