Cairo: A falcon has sold for a record SR500,000 at an ongoing international auction in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The sale marked the highest price for a free falcon in the Middle East, breaking the previous record of SR270,000, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.
The Saudi-bred falcon was sold at the International Falcon Breeders Auction (IFBA) that kicked off in Riyadh earlier this month.
Falcons auctioned off at the third edition of the event have grossed nearly a total of SR1.5 million so far, SPA said.
A selection of falcons are offered for sale during the event, which runs until August 25.
Each auction is live-streamed on thematic TV channels and via platforms of the Saudi Falcon Club, the organiser of the event.
The club announces the falcons put up for sale before each auction.
The IFBA is drawing seasoned falconers due to its fine breeds of falcons offered by breeders from around the world.
The event is seen as the largest of its kind in the region and it provides a trustworthy market for falconers, according to experts.
The 21-day auction is being held at the club’s premises in Malham, north of Riyadh, attracting participants from 14 countries.
In its first two editions, the event posted total sales of more than SR10 million, according to officials.
Some of those falcons achieved leading slots at the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival, the world’s largest of its kind. The sixth edition of this pageant, also organised by the Saudi Falcon Club, is scheduled for November 28-December 14.
Falconry is a popular hobby and an essential part of cultural heritage in the Arabian Peninsula.