Saudi falconry thrives as sport garners fans
Falconry enthusiasts usually head to desert places during weekends to witness the birds hunt for prey
Falconry remains a popular sport among Saudis who seek to revive an aspect of their Bedouin heritage.
The kingdom’s northern coast is known for its large numbers of falconry enthusiasts, who also like to organize festivals to encourage more people to explore the sport.
Falconry enthusiasts usually head to desert places during weekends to witness the birds hunt for prey, a chase that can last for days.
Yousuf al-Refaie, who heads a falconry club, said more attention should be given to the sport.
“I wish more care would be given to falcon lovers, who come from every part of the kingdom. Such a large number of enthusiasts need their own club or association to help bring them together.”
The high prices of some falcons - with some rarer breeds costing millions of Saudi riyals - do not seem an obstacle to many of the sport‘s enthusiasts, who are willing to pay lots of money to obtain them.
“The rate of falcon sales this year exceeded six million riyals in the northern coastal city of Yanbu,” he said.