Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
3 / 3
A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
  • The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000)
  • Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A young falcon in Saudi Arabia has sold for more than $170,000, the most expensive sale ever of that type of bird and the costliest purchase so far at an annual 45-day auction of the hunting birds cherished in Gulf countries.
The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000) by virtue of its unique characteristics and scarcity, the auction’s organizers, the Saudi Falcon Club, said in a statement.
The club said it was the most expensive sale ever globally for its type — a young Shaheen breed, a type of peregrine falcon.
Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries going back thousands of years.
Falcons, whose flight speeds can exceed 300 km (186 miles) an hour, are recognized internationally as endangered. Countries have varying regulations governing their sale, capture, breeding and hunting activities.
The falcon, weighing 1.1 kg, was captured from the wild in Hafer Al-Batin, in north-east Saudi Arabia, the club said.
The auction from Oct. 3 — Nov. 15 is organized by the Saudi Falcon Club, founded in 2017 and supported by the government as a way to preserve and nurture this heritage activity.
Falcon owners in the Gulf, seeking hunting opportunities, commonly travel with their birds inside plane cabins to countries like Pakistan, Morocco and the central Asian region during colder months.


Algerian Sahara desert town dusted with snow

Algerian Sahara desert town dusted with snow
Updated 19 January 2021

Algerian Sahara desert town dusted with snow

Algerian Sahara desert town dusted with snow

CAIRO: Temperatures have fallen in the Sahara desert to as low as -3C, leaving sand dunes in one Algerian town dusted with snow. 
This drop in temperature allowed the town of Ain Sefra to experience snow for only the fourth time in 42 years. The other three times were in 1979, 2017, and 2018. In 2017, a blizzard dumped snow up to a meter deep in Ain Sefra.
Photographer Karim Bouchetata posted dramatic images and video of the unique weather in the remote town.
Ain Sefra is located in the Atlas Mountains, 1,000 meters above sea level and is known as “the gateway to the desert.” 
It lies in the Naama province of Algeria in the northern part of the Sahara, near to the Moroccan border.