STATEMENT: AlUla's first Falcon Cup tournament reinforces AlUla's position

(Information sent by the signatory company).

STATEMENT: AlUla's first Falcon Cup tournament reinforces AlUla's position

(Information sent by the signatory company)

- AlUla's first Falcon Cup tournament reinforces AlUla's position as the home of traditional sport in Saudi Arabia

ALULA, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its aim to preserve and celebrate traditional sports that have deep roots in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the region and elsewhere, the Royal Commission to AlUla (RCU) will host the first AlUla Falcon Cup.

Taking place at the AlUla Mughayra Heritage Sports Village from December 28 to January 5, this landmark sporting event will promote the rich history, carefully practiced skills and important traditions of falconry to a global audience of falconers and visiting tourists, as well as among members of the AlUla community.

The inaugural edition of the AlUla Falcon Cup has already broken records within the sport by offering an unprecedented total prize pool of SAR 60 million ($16 million), which will be awarded to the winners of various categories and competitions, such as racing, hunting and beauty pageants. During races, the falcons are timed using high-tech sensors that record their speed and performance. Beauty contests evaluate each bird according to certain criteria, and the winner receives the highest score from the judges.

Highlights of the AlUla Falcon Cup include the falcon racing competition, which will be held daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the falcon beauty contest, which will take place from January 2 to 4 from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.

This event follows the success of the Horse Archery World Cup and Tent Pegging World Championships held at AlFursan Equestrian Village in November. Held in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF) and the World Horse Archery Federation (WHAF), the international event showcased AlUla as a center for traditional and heritage equestrian sports, in line with the ambition RCU's long-term goal of diversifying the economy and celebrating the customs and culture of northwest Arabia.

The success of these events complements the annual heritage sports competitions, such as the AlUla Camel Cup, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Resistencia Cup and the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo tournament, which attract large numbers to AlUla. from loyal local and international spectators, as well as competitors.

Falconry, along with equestrian sports, has a long history in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is the ancestral home of the Arabian equine breed, and horse riding is an integral part of Saudi culture and sport. Practiced for centuries, falconry has long been an essential part of life throughout the region. Today, these birds of prey are trained primarily for competitions, in which falconers show their mastery of birds by applying ancient techniques that have been used for generations.

The AlUla Falcon Cup, an opportunity to showcase Saudi identity as well as AlUla's growing status as the leading destination for sports and heritage competitions, will host competitors from neighboring and further afield countries, while spectators will also be able to enjoy of a variety of activities, with Mughayra Heritage Sports Village offering a vibrant, immersive and family-friendly experience.

Ziad Al Suhaibani, Head of Sports at RCU, commented: "Our AlUla community, as well as residents across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, share a deep passion for traditional sports such as falconry, horse riding, camel racing and Traditional sports, enjoyed today for their spectacle, excitement and skill, were once vital to life in the region. By celebrating their enduring appeal, the RCU reinforces AlUla's status as a premier destination for promoting culture , the customs and legacy of our ancestors".

"The inaugural AlUla Falcon Cup will be nine days of spectacular action showcasing the unique bond that can exist between birds and humans, with some of the most talented falconers and beautiful falcons. The total complement of 60 million SAR ($16 million), unprecedented in the sport of falconry, will add a new level of excitement to the competition."

The official hashtags in X of the AlUla Halcón Cup are

Notes to editors:

It is always written AlUla / not Al-Ula

About the Royal Commission for AlUla

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) was created by royal decree in July 2017 to preserve and develop AlUla, a region of exceptional natural and cultural importance in northwest Saudi Arabia. The RCU's long-term plan outlines a responsible, sustainable and sensitive approach to urban and economic development that preserves the natural and historical heritage of the area, while establishing AlUla as a desirable place to live, work and visit. This encompasses a wide range of initiatives in the fields of archaeology, tourism, culture, education and the arts, reflecting the commitment to meeting the programme's priorities of economic diversification, local community empowerment and heritage conservation. Vision 2030 of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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