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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The second edition of the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival, which was held at Malham, north of Riyadh, has achieved a new Guinness record.
With 2,350 falcons participating in the second edition, the festival this year has smashed its previous record of 1,723 participating falcons achieved last year.
The Saudi Falcons Club received the accomplishment certificate granted to the festival, which was the biggest of its kind in the world, in terms of the number of falcons — 2,350.
The Club is organizing the Mellwah Contest, where the falcon crosses a distance of 400 meters flying towards the Mellwah (a person flinging a piece of fabric tied to the end of a rope) at its fastest speed.
Meanwhile, the competition was divided into two categories, for owners (Al-Mullaak) and professionals. Special rounds were held for Saudi falconers and other rounds for international competitors. In addition, there was the competition for falcon beauties (Mazayeen Al-Suqoor).
It is noteworthy that the festival concluded its competitions Tuesday after 17 days of competitions between falcons from within the Kingdom and abroad. They vied for the prizes of the festival totaling over SR21 million.
Participants from the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain took part in the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival. Gulf falconers are competing in the international tournaments, which include 124 falconers; including 105 falconers in the International Owners Group and 19 falconers in the International Professionals Group, mostly from the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.
The festival attracted much attention and attained a prominent stature both in the Gulf and internationally, as it reflects renewed interest in reviving the deep-rooted heritage, especially the Mellwah race, regarded as one of the most prestigious races in the Arab region.
Through these events, the King Abdulaziz Falconry Festival aims to preserve wildlife, encourage the hobby of falcon hunting and support the Kingdom’s goal to be a cultural touristic destination.
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