A falcon is displayed at the IFBA auction in Riyadh. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Sales topping SR8 million were achieved at the third edition of an international falcon auction that concluded in the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this week.

The sales at the International Falcon Breeders Auction (IFBA), which ran for 21 days, marked an increase of 218 per cent compared to the previous edition last year, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Some 642 falcons sold for a total exceeding SR8 million at the third edition of IFBA, it added.

The latest edition of the event held in Malham, north of Riyadh, saw record deals, including the sale of a locally bred falcon for SR500,000.

The sale marked the highest price for a free falcon in the Middle East, breaking the previous record of SR270,000, SPA said.

Moreover, a US-bred falcon fetched SR550,000.

Around 39 falcon farms from 16 countries participated in the recent event, including breeders from the US, Germany, Spain, Britain and Austria.

The auction, organised by the Saudi Falcon Club, is seen as the largest of its kind in the region. It provides a trustworthy market for falconers, according to experts.

In its first two editions, the event posted total sales of more than SR10 million, according to officials.

Some of those falcons secured 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.