Saudi Arabia’s most ancient pursuits in spotlight

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The falconry festival features local and international falconers. (SPA)
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The falconry festival features local and international falconers. (SPA)
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The falconry festival features local and international falconers. (SPA)
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The falconry festival features local and international falconers. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia is one of the 11 top countries listed by UNESCO as home to various species of falcon. (SPA)
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The falconry festival features local and international falconers. (SPA)
Updated 27 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s most ancient pursuits in spotlight

  • Art of falconry brings enthusiasts to share experience
  • In the course of six days, Saudi falconers will go head-to-head in their stages and 240 winners will be identified

JEDDAH: The Saudi Falcons Club opened the first King Abdul Aziz Festival of Falconry in the town of Malham, north of Riyadh, on Friday.
Covering about 650,000 square meters, the festival aims to bring together falcon fans to share experience and knowledge. Besides falcon races in the main festival arena and a falcon beauty contest, there will be exhibitions, theater entertainment and campaigns to raise awareness of the pastime and its importance to Saudi heritage.
The festival’s photographic competition, open to both amateurs and professionals, is offering big prize money. The winner will take home SR50,000, with SR30,000 and SR20,000 being awarded for second and third places respectively.
Another attraction at the festival is the cultural village, inspired by the city of Riyadh in the 1950s.
Saudi Arabia is one of the 11 top countries listed by UNESCO as home to various species of falcon and lying on the migratory route for other species.
The festival builds on the success of last month’s Saudi Falcon and Hunting Show, which attracted much attention both in the Gulf and internationally. That was also organized by the Saudi Falcons Club, which was established by royal order of King Salman and under the direct supervision of the crown prince.
400-meter races
Falconers competed in its Al-Melwah “Da’ao” 400-meter races for a chance to win prizes worth SR17 million.
Hamoud Zuman won the first race in a time of 20.720 seconds, Barghash Al-Mansouri won the second race with a time of 22.174 seconds, while Ramzan Al-Dosari came first in the third race with a time of 21.252 seconds.
The falconry festival features local and international falconers. And with 1,700 falcons registered to compete, it is the largest falconry competition in the world.
In the course of six days, Saudi falconers will go head-to-head in their stages and 240 winners will be identified. In addition, the international stage will have 120 winners over 12 races.
The “Mazayen” beauty competition, which is open to Saudi and international falconers, will be launched on Feb.1-2 in two categories.


Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s first flight celebrated

Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani. (GACA)
Updated 25 June 2019
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Saudi pilot Yasmeen Al-Maimani’s first flight celebrated

  • Yasmeen Al-Maimani has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US

RIYADH: The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), represented by the management of Hail International Airport and Nesma Airlines, celebrated the first official flight of Saudi pilot Capt. Yasmeen Al-Maimani, 29, on Sunday.
Al-Maimani made her first official flight between Hail International Airport and Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Qassim, becoming the first Saudi woman to fly a commercial aircraft as a co-pilot with Nesma Airlines.
She received the opportunity after the airline advertised vacant positions for co-pilots on its New Pilots Program — 11 were accepted, including Al-Maimani, who has a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) from the US.
Following their acceptance into the program, the pilots underwent a four-stage training regimen at Prince Sultan Aviation Academy in Jeddah, including practice on multi-engine planes with multiple crews.
Ground training using an ATR 72-600 aircraft at Nesma Airlines’ training center in Hail followed, before progressing to simulators in Jakarta and Madrid.