Cairo: The King Abdulaziz Falconry, the world’s biggest of its kind, will start today for two weeks near Riyadh, the Saudi Falcon Club has said.
Cash prizes of SR22.7 million are allocated for the festival that brings local and international falcon owners, the club added.
This year’s event, the third edition of the festival running until December 12, features a falcon beauty pageant and a falcon-flying competition for 400 metres.
Some SR4.2 million is earmarked for the seven-round beauty pageant known as Mazayen, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.
The festival is organised by the Saudi Falcon Club upon directives from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the club’s supervisor-general. It will be held amid stringent health precautions against the novel coronavirus.
A record total of 4,073 falcons participated in the first two editions of the event. The festival usually draws falcon owners and fans in the kingdom and other Gulf countries.
Falconry is a popular hobby and an essential part of cultural heritage in the Arabian Peninsula.