RIYADH: A falcon from a Saudi breeding facility has become the most expensive in the Middle East, fetching a record SR500,000 ($134,000) at auction and easily topping the previous SR270,000 mark.
The cherrug falcon, known locally as a Hur, was one of several to attract serious bidding at the third International Falcon Breeders Auction on Friday.
Total auction sales reached SR1.5 million, with two Saudi falcons sold on the same day for a combined price of SR570,000.
Bidding for the cherrug falcon from Al-Nader Falcons began at SR50,000 before climbing to a record selling price of SR500,000.
A second free-range falcon from Al-Dahas Falcon was put up for bidding and sold for SR70,000.
The auction at the headquarters of the Saudi Falcons Club in Malham, about 80 km north of Riyadh, has attracted participation from leading international falcon breeding farms. Selling will continue until Aug. 25.
The Bahrain Falcons Center recently inaugurated its pavilion by displaying seven special falcons.
Majed Al-Subaihi, the center’s representative, said that falcon breeders from around the world are keen to take part in the event.
Al-Subaihi said that the center has been participating in the event since its first edition, and he has seen a significant development in terms of organization and facilities provided by the Saudi Falcons Club, as well as an increase in turnout.
The auction offers the best breeds in one place, and also provides excellent services for participants, he said.
During the previous two editions, the event recorded sales of more than SR10 million through the auction of more than 800 falcons.
The auction has become a key marketplace for both local and international falcon breeding farms, and offers business opportunities to professional falconers by showcasing a selection of elite breeds.
It also contributes to preserving and enhancing the heritage and traditions of falconry in Saudi Arabia, and supports breeding farms and their efforts to enhance the Kingdom’s position as a global destination for falconers.
Walid Al-Taweel, spokesperson for the Saudi Falcons Club, said the event aims to provide a secure and thriving market for falconers and producers, as well as foster leadership in falconry development, innovation, breeding and care.
It also serves as a cultural and economic catalyst, promoting environmental awareness and acting as a platform for growth, he added.
Al-Taweel said that the club hosts the event “to establish a reliable and safe market for falconers and falcon producers.”
The club showcases top auctioned falcons, with participants competing live on TV and social media, while selected falcons are announced before each auction night.