India-Saudi defense ties on the upswing

India-Saudi defense ties on the upswing
Indian Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane, center, was given a warm welcome by Saudi defense forces during his visit to Saudi Arabia last year. (Supplied)
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Updated 26 January 2021

India-Saudi defense ties on the upswing

India-Saudi defense ties on the upswing
  • Both countries are ascending powers and major players in their respective regions

RIYADH: The signing of the landmark Riyadh Declaration during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Riyadh in 2010 raised the bilateral relationship between India and the Kingdom to a strategic partnership. The partnership covers security, economic, defense, and political areas and was perhaps the starting point in structured bilateral defense cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.
Bilateral defense ties gained further momentum following the visit of then-Defense Minister A.K. Antony to Riyadh in February 2012, the first visit by an Indian defense minister to Saudi Arabia.
During the visit, the two sides decided to establish a Joint Committee on Defense Cooperation (JCDC), which would identify areas for cooperation in the field of defense. The JCDC held four meetings — in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2019 — during which fruitful discussions were held on training and capacity building, intelligence exchange, maritime security, and the promotion of defense industries.
The nascent defense cooperation between the two countries got a major boost with the visit of then-Crown Prince Salman (the present king) to New Delhi in 2014, when a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation was formally signed.
Saudi Arabia has participated actively in the region’s overall maritime security. India, by virtue of its geostrategic location and energy interests, has played a major role in securing international trading routes in the region.
There have been enhanced bilateral engagements by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces with the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard in recent years. Goodwill visits by Indian ships have been a major component of defense cooperation. Fourteen Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels have entered Saudi ports since 2015. The first bilateral naval exercise with the Kingdom, originally scheduled for March 2020, had to be postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but is now being rescheduled in the first half of this year.
In August 2015 for the first time, the Kingdom allowed fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force to land at its military bases in Taif, thereby adding strength to the bilateral partnership.
The depth of defense relations was highlighted during the Yemen evacuations in 2015 when the Saudi Ministry of Defense gave access to Indian aircraft and ships engaged in the evacuation of Indian nationals from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, as well as from the ports of Aden and Al-Hodeida as part of “Operation Raahat.”
The global and transnational nature of terrorism has been a cause of concern to both India and Saudi Arabia. Security cooperation and intelligence sharing are important elements of the strategic partnership between the two countries. With an eye on both, the possible engagement of India with the Riyadh-based Islamic Military Counter Terror Coalition could be beneficial to the region. The two countries are also discussing an agreement in defense intelligence which would give a further boost to bilateral security cooperation.
Training and capacity building are important elements of bilateral defense cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia. Officers of the Royal Saudi Armed Forces are regularly trained at various Indian armed forces institutes such as the National Defence College, New Delhi; the College of Defense Management, Secunderabad, and the Defense Services Staff College, Wellington. Five Saudi officers are currently attending different courses in India.
Both sides have regularly exchanged high-ranking delegations, including domain experts. Under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plans and the flagship “Made in India” initiative of the Indian government, cooperation in the research, development and manufacturing of weapon systems and equipment offers great potential. Of particular interest is collaboration in the fields of shipbuilding, ammunition manufacturing, drone technology, cybersecurity, space, and emerging new technologies.
The General Authority of Military Industries of Saudi Arabia and the Department of Defense Production of India signed an agreement in October 2019 on the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Riyadh. The deal envisages increased collaboration in military acquisitions, joint research, forming joint ventures, and technology transfers.
In a historic first, Gen. M.M. Naravane, chief of the Indian Army, undertook a landmark visit to the Kingdom in December 2020. His visit was aimed at strengthening defense ties between the two countries and exploring further possibilities for cooperation.
Overall, the direction of the India-Saudi bilateral defense relationship remains extremely positive with several initiatives being taken. Both countries are ascending powers and major players in their respective regions and are natural partners in addressing the various security challenges confronting the region.

— N. Ram Prasad is deputy chief of mission at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.


Teamwork is the key to solving world’s problems, says Saudi envoy

Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, spoke to Arab News during the UNGA. (Screenshot)
Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, spoke to Arab News during the UNGA. (Screenshot)
Updated 23 September 2021

Teamwork is the key to solving world’s problems, says Saudi envoy

Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, spoke to Arab News during the UNGA. (Screenshot)
  • In an exclusive interview, the Kingdom’s UN ambassador says the key to winning the war on terror lies in addressing the social issues that breed terrorism
  • Abdullah Al-Mouallimi also discusses Saudi Arabia’s approach to climate change, the pandemic, the crisis in Yemen and the Palestinian cause

NEW YORK: World leaders returned to the UN this week for their first in-person meeting in two years, as part of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

“The UN is open for business and we’re back to life,” Abdullah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, told Arab News.

He added that the return of the premiers to UN headquarters in New York City comes amid a heightened awareness of the vital need for international solidarity and “for working together, for caring for each other, because we all know no one is safe until everybody is safe.”

However the leaders face a daunting agenda filled with spiraling crises that will put their commitment to solidarity to the test. Extreme weather events are becoming more common as the planet warms as a result of climate change. Terrorist activity and conflicts are on the rise. And as the pandemic continues to rage, the “vaccine apartheid” that has emerged as wealthy nations stockpile doses is exposing the growing inequality between the world’s rich and poor.

The Arab world is dealing with its own set of crises. More than a year after the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port ripped the capital apart, Lebanon’s economy has collapsed and the country continues to slide ever deeper into darkness — literally, as a result of fuel shortages and power outages.

The situation in Yemen tops the list of the most severe humanitarian crises. The future of Libya remains uncertain as the country prepares for elections that might or might not happen.

 

Meanwhile the Arabian Gulf region is one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and Saudi Arabia’s efforts to do something about it have earned the Kingdom the title of a “world champion” in addressing the issue.

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Arab News, Al-Mouallimi talked about the Kingdom’s vision for the future, along with its achievements in tackling domestic, regional and global challenges.

According to the latest UN figures, only 4 percent of people in developing countries have been vaccinated, compared with more than 60 percent of people in wealthy nations.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken a leading role to make sure that vaccines are available to countries that do not have them, that the World Health Organization is up to (the task) of meeting the requirements and the demands of the challenge, (and) that all countries are ready and prepared to deal with the situation,” said Al-Mouallimi.

This year’s General Assembly began just days after the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the US. The commemorations were accompanied by a torrent of reflective debates about the so-called “war on terror,” its successes and failures, and the lessons it has taught the world. It is also one of the main topics on the assembly’s agenda.

The role played by Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism is “very prominent and well-noted,” said Al-Mouallimi, who added that many of the victories against terrorists would not have been possible without the Kingdom’s assistance.

But, terrorism has undoubtedly spread and become more complex and sophisticated in the past two decades, which begs the questions: Where did the world go wrong and what will it take to truly win this war?

Al-Mouallimi said the authorities in his country were able to achieve successes in the battle to defeat terrorism because they realized very early on that it is an international challenge as much as it is a local one.

It is also an “intergenerational war,” he added, and the Kingdom is under no illusions that the fight will end any time soon.

“It is going to take a long time and we have practiced patience and perseverance and (have) a long-term vision (for) counterterrorism.”

 

Saudis also realize, Al-Mouallimi said: “It takes a village, it takes a country, it takes a tribe, it takes a family, to overcome this scourge and this challenge.

“We in Saudi Arabia have not tried to (adopt) a one-solution-fits-all (approach). We did not limit ourselves to a simple military encounter, even though a military solution (sometimes) becomes necessary to deal with acts of terrorism.

“But at the same time we recognize that that (acting) alone is not enough. It takes more of a social approach to the issue, to finding out what are the root causes of terrorism, to finding out the circumstances that lead to the nurturing of terrorist activities in a certain country.”

Al-Mouallimi lamented the fact that authorities around the world often fail to grasp this concept and adopt the opposite approach.

“Many countries in the world have emphasized the military aspect only (and its) short-term victories” he said. “But the terrorists have a tendency to lie low when the pressure is high and to come back up again as soon as you relieve that pressure — and it’s proving almost impossible to maintain military pressure over time.”

He believes that the world must come together and address the root causes of terrorism, on the national and international levels, “such as marginalization, foreign occupation, oppression and exclusion.” These are the kind of things that “lead to people feeling desperate, and that feeling creates the momentum for terrorism,” he added. “We need to take away such root causes and such feelings in order to be more successful.”

Another issue where international solidarity is required, and which is perhaps the most important single issue for millions of Muslims and other people around the world, is the Palestinian question. The recent war on Gaza, and the emergency meeting of the General Assembly that followed, focused attention on the cause and the urgent need for action to address it.

Al-Mouallimi has urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to make Palestine his priority in the coming year. He also called for the world to “exercise leadership and solidarity” in support of the rights of the Palestinian people, and believes his message was received loud and clear.

He said that three years of political “turbulence” in Israel rendered authorities there “almost inept to deal with the issue of peace and stability in the region.” Israeli provocations in Jerusalem and its aggression in Gaza have made it clear Palestine has become “a political football” for various Israeli parties and individuals but, he added, the situation is “slightly different” now.

“We have a new government, albeit a one vote-majority government, which renders it unstable,” he said. “But nevertheless we have a new government and, hopefully, we have a new vision among the major countries of the world, including the US, that this situation cannot be allowed to continue, and that there has to be a solution along the parameters of the Arab peace initiative.”

 

In Yemen, a political stalemate and continuing violence continue to plunge the country deeper into what is now recognized as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Al-Mouallimi echoed the call by Hans Grundberg, who last month was appointed the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, for a return to efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to the conflict. This has not been discussed since 2016.

“The previous international envoys have gone back and forth between a comprehensive solution and what they call ‘confidence-building measures,’” said Al-Mouallimi. “Unfortunately there was no confidence to build and hence these measures did not do much. Ultimately (the UN envoys) wasted a lot of time trying to go for piecemeal solutions: The Hodeidah Agreement for example, the localized ceasefires in certain places, and so on.

“This is proving to be ineffective, and it takes time and diverts attention from the major issue, which is the fact that there is illegitimate control over the government, the capital and other major cities in Yemen by an illegitimate force.

“So we need to go back to the direction of trying to find a comprehensive solution, (which) can only be a political solution that addresses all of the issues at the same time. I hope the new envoy is going to be able to do so.”

Returning to the issue of climate change, Al-Mouallimi said that Saudi Arabia is emerging as a world leader in tackling the issue.

At a moment in time the UN has described as a “code red” for humanity, the Kingdom this year announced plans to launch a Saudi Green Initiative, and a Middle East Green Initiative.

In a recent interview with Arab News, General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid praised the plans and said “the Saudi leadership is becoming an international champion in the field of addressing climate change.”

Al-Mouallimi said that action Saudi authorities are taking to address climate issues is driven by “a sense of responsibility.”

“We are a leading country in the world,” he said. “We recognize the imminent danger (to) life that is posed by climate change. And although we are an oil-producing country, we nevertheless recognize our overall responsibility toward the world and we believe that we have a mission (to) protect the environment.

“We want to do that at the forefront of nations, and we are.”


At-Turaif: A look into the jewel of the Kingdom’s museums

At-Turaif in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh is home to the largest open-air museum in the world. (Abdullah AlJabr/Faisal AlDakheel)
At-Turaif in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh is home to the largest open-air museum in the world. (Abdullah AlJabr/Faisal AlDakheel)
Updated 23 September 2021

At-Turaif: A look into the jewel of the Kingdom’s museums

At-Turaif in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh is home to the largest open-air museum in the world. (Abdullah AlJabr/Faisal AlDakheel)
  • Arab News visited five galleries in the district that take visitors back in time through the birth of the Kingdom

RIYADH: At-Turaif is home to the largest open-air museum in the world. Arab News visited five galleries in the district that take visitors back in time through the birth of the Kingdom, detailing every important aspect, including lifestyle, trade, territory disputes and architecture of the Saudi states.

1 - Diriyah Museum:

Diriyah Museum is known for taking individuals step by step into a sequence of historical events dating back to the formation of the Saudi states.

The museum begins in A.D. 400, displaying maps and documents pertaining to the Banu Hanifah tribe migration from the west Arabian Peninsula to the center of Al-Yamama.

It explains how Diriyah was established in 1446 when Manaa’ Al-Muraide shared the region’s leadership with his cousin Ibn Dera’.

The Diriyah Museum holds replicas of some of the most important documents that contributed to the growth of the first and second Saudi states. (Abdullah AlJabr)  

On display are swords, coins, stamps and copies of important documents that contributed to the growth of the first and second Saudi states.

Housed in the Diriyah Museum is a replica of the Al-Ajrab Sword owned by the founder of the second Saudi state, Imam Turki ibn Abdullah. (Faisal AlDakheel) 

The museum also showcases the progression of the Al-Saud royal family tree throughout each century. A digital and interactive activity allows visitors and their families to swipe through the royal tree and learn about unity, stability and the reform of the region dating back to the establishment of the first Saudi state by Imam Mohammed ibn Saud in 1744.

The tree explains the royal lineage, further detailing Imam Turki ibn Abdullah’s eviction of the Ottoman garrisons from Najd, the founding of the second Saudi state and the return of King Abdulaziz ibn Abdulrahman Al-Faisal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Al-Saud family tree can be seen in the Diriyah Museum detailing the names of the sons, daughters, and grandchildren of King Abdulaziz. (Supplied)

One of the most prominent features of the museum is a replica of the Al-Ajrab Sword owned by the founder of the second Saudi state, Imam Turki ibn Abdullah. The sword is named after the rusting on the edges of the blade.

2 - The Arabian Horse Museum:

The Arabian Horse Museum gives an in-depth look into the vital roles horses played in the Kingdom’s unification in 1932, including in warfare, trade and transportation.

The museum houses many replicas of important documents that detail the names of thousands of horses owned by the Al-Saud family at that time.

The Arabian Horse Museum displays replicas of the different types of saddles, clothing, and important documents relating to the  Kingdom’s unification in 1932. (Abdullah AlJabr)

The nobleman and sheiks of the era divided their horses into five categories:

Kehilan- Named for the black rings around its eyes resembling (Kohl) eyeliner.

Al-Hamdani- Named by its owners to distinguish it from the Kehilan horse.

Al-Saqlawi- Named for its glossy coat, the horse is known for its long neck and sparkling eyes.

Abayan- According to a legend, the rider’s coat, an abaya, slipped down to the horse’s tail during the race. Throughout the race the horse’s tail was raised, preventing the cloak from falling.

Hadban- One of the strongest and fastest horses, its name means “long forelock” (the top of the horse’s mane).

The Arabian Horse Museum also houses a life size bronze sculpture of a horse named Tarfah, a beloved horse King Abdulaziz gifted to King George VI of England. (Abdullah AlJabr)

Within the museum is a life-size bronze sculpture of Tarfah, King Abdulaziz’s horse which he gifted to King George VI of the United Kingdom.

The museum shows how domestication and taming of the horses was used as a vital part of eventual transportation and battle. On display are replicas of different types of saddles and clothing, based on the individual’s social status or occasion, such as weddings.

Copies of detailed travel documents for the horses are on display, including horses visas and passports in French and English.

The museum reflects how connected Saudi rulers were to their horses, treating them as loyal companions rather than just animals.

3 - Museum of Traditional Architecture:

The museum focuses on the first Saudi state’s architectural development and the present-day role of preserving the local UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The museum displays replicas of the buildings and techniques used to build structures, from foundations, plastering to decoration.

Visitors can read about the construction process of the walls of Saad Palace. The interior walls were usually 40 centimeters to 60 centimeters thick and the exterior walls were 120 centimeters thick. Once the walls reached the ceiling height, then doorways, stairways and ceilings began to be built.

The Museum of Traditional Architecture  takes visitors step by step into the construction process of the walls of Saad Palace.  (Abdullah AlJabr)  

This is where visitors can notice the building detailing, such as entryways that were equipped with small sight holes for surveillance, or crenelations to provide aim and shelter during battle.

On display are audio-visuals displays and images that show the original process of creating each of the mud bricks and mud layers to form the foundation of the structures.

The museum also has many interactive features and games that allow visitors to test their knowledge in creating a traditional Najdi door. Once the doors are created, they are projected on a large screen to be displayed.

4 - Military Museum:

Diriyah was home to one of the largest firearms markets in the region. The military museum displays authentic replicas of all the weapons used during the second and the first Saudi state, including arrows, guns, cannons and ships.

It also shows foreign armors and shields, and the different types of ships that carried weapons cargoes at the time, including British and Saudi war ships.

Some of the rifle models on display include muzzle-loading muskets, breech-loading single-shot rifles, chassepots, Mausers and Martini-Henry rifles.

The military museum is home to replicas of all the weapons used during the second and the first Saudi state. (Supplied)

The museum also details the Battle of Diriyah, in which Ibrahim Pasha and the Ottoman army reached the city in 1818.

It also displays the Diriyah fortifications which were overseen by Imam Abdullah ibn Saud.

5 - Lifestyle Museum:

Village homes were simple and linked to the local environment. The Lifestyle Museum is a walk-through gallery that displays courtyards, bedrooms, kitchens, majlis and guest rooms in At-Turaif.

The Lifestyle Museum begins with the majlis, which feature motion sensors that cue audio of men socializing, tea being poured and items being cooked over a traditional fire oven.

Then visitors will see a traditional kitchen with a digital gallery of recipes used at the time.

The bedrooms in the homes were austere, but the detailing on fixtures indicated a resident’s status or wealth.

To avoid the heat, families would often sleep on the cool open roof and retreat to their bedrooms after sunrise, depending on the season.

The museum ends in the children’s room, where simple toys made of wood and straw are spread across the ground, while audio of children laughing and singing plays over the speakers.

The Lifestyle Museum perfectly captures the living style at the time in At-Turaif. It allows visitors to place themselves in the shoes of those before them, gaining a better understanding of how the Kingdom was born.

Diriyah, past, present and future
On Saudi Arabia’s 91st National Day, the birthplace of the Kingdom continues to make history
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Masmak Fortress: an important historical symbol of Saudi unification

Masmak Fortress: an important historical symbol of Saudi unification
Updated 23 September 2021

Masmak Fortress: an important historical symbol of Saudi unification

Masmak Fortress: an important historical symbol of Saudi unification
  • Masmak Fortress is a symbol of the unification of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: It is easy to overlook the historical importance of Masmak Fortress and the role it played in the unification of the provinces that became the nation of Saudi Arabia in 1932. But three decades earlier, the recapture of the towering citadel in Riyadh by the future King Abdulaziz and 63 men was integral to the evolution of the Kingdom.

“King Abdulaziz almost died in this battle, but he won and when he won he started the unification,” Saleh S. Binsaif, the director of Al-Masmak Museum, told Arab News.

“If he had been captured and killed in that battle there would be no Saudi Arabia, or at least there would not be a Saudi Arabia in the form it is today. I think it would be a completely different form.”

Known as the symbol of unification, Masmak Fortress is home to site of the battle that restored the ruling power to the Al-Saud family. (Supplied)

A symbol of the unification of Saudi Arabia, Masmak Fortress was the site of the historic battle that turned the tide of the struggle for control in favor of the House of Saud and paved the way for modern-day Saudi Arabia.

Built in 1865 during the Second Saudi State, the fortress was given the name Masmak, the Arabic word for a tall, strong building with thick walls. It was the main base for the defense of Riyadh, housing the garrisons that protected the city and their ammunition stores.

The House of Saud’s rule over the Second Saudi State lasted only 16 years. When it collapsed in 1881, and the Al-Rasheed family took control, the former ruling family was forced to flee into exile in Kuwait.

Located on the western side of the Fortress the 3.60 m. high the gate is made of palm trunks and rush plant. (Supplied)

There they remained until, in the early hours of Jan. 15, 1902, Abdulaziz ibn Abdul Rahman Al-Saud arrived in Riyadh accompanied by 63 men. He told 23 of them to wait at the border in case the mission failed, then entered the capital with the rest in an attempt to recapture the fortress — and with it the city.

Their chance came when the Rasheedi governor Ajlan, who occupied the fortress at the time, left the safety of its walls to check on his horses outside. As Abdulaziz launched his attack, Ajlan’s guards emerged and attempted to get him back inside.

During the fighting Fahad ibn Jalawi ibn Turki, cousin of Abdulaziz, threw a spear at Ajlan but it missed and became embedded in the gate of the fortress. The tip of the spear remains there to this day and is a famous symbol of the battle.

(Khokha) was the location where Ajlan was being pulled into the window by his men and King Abdulaziz was attempting to pull him out. (Left) Prince Fahad ibn Jalawi’s spearhead can be seen still embedded into the fortress gate today. (Right)

As the fighting continued, Abdulaziz’s men breached the gate and the battle moved inside the fortress. Ajlan was killed and his men surrendered.

While the battle itself could be considered brutal and bloody, Abdulaziz knew many of the soldiers guarding the fortress as they had previously served his family. It was simply their duty to serve Ajlan after his family took control, but once Abdulaziz recaptured the fortress they immediately surrendered and returned to serving the House of Saud.

One of Abdulaziz’s men then climbed to the top of the fortress and announced to the people of Riyadh that Abdulaziz had returned and was now Emir of Riyadh.

It marked that start of his unification movement in the Arabian peninsula which, 30 years later, resulted in the founding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Coalition forces destroy bomb-laden Houthi drones and boats

Coalition forces destroy bomb-laden Houthi drones and boats
Updated 23 September 2021

Coalition forces destroy bomb-laden Houthi drones and boats

Coalition forces destroy bomb-laden Houthi drones and boats
  • 3 drones aimed at KSA's southwestern city Khamis Mushayt shot down
  • 2 booby-trapped boats destroyed in northwest Yemen's port city of Hodeidah

RIYADH: Coalition forces supporting Yemen's legitimate government thwarted another wave of Houthi drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, two days after foiling a boat-bomb attack in Hodeidah.

In a statement, the coalition said Saudi air defenses intercepted and destroyed three explosive-laden drones launched by Houthis militia toward the Kingdom’s southern city of Khamis Mushayt.

One of the drones was launched in the morning and the two were launched later in the day.

In Yemen, the coalition said it had targeted and destroyed two boats belonging to the Houthi militia in the Salif area in Hodeidah.

The coalition said the two boats were destroyed on Monday, after confirming that the Iran-backed terrorist group was planning to disrupt maritime navigation using bomb-laden boats.

The coalition added that it is monitoring the Houthis' drone activity and is taking strict measures to protect civilians.

The UAE and Bahrain strongly condemned the attacks and affirmed their solidarity with the Kingdom in all measures it takes to protect its security and the safety of its citizens and residents.


Saudi Falcons Club launches second auction on Oct. 1

The 45-day event will see the sale of rare and distinctive falcons that have been hunted during their annual migration. (Shutterstock)
The 45-day event will see the sale of rare and distinctive falcons that have been hunted during their annual migration. (Shutterstock)
Updated 41 sec ago

Saudi Falcons Club launches second auction on Oct. 1

The 45-day event will see the sale of rare and distinctive falcons that have been hunted during their annual migration. (Shutterstock)
  • The 45-day event will see the sale of rare and distinctive falcons that have been hunted during their annual migration

JEDDAH: The second International Falcon Hunters Auction will run from Oct.1-Nov.15, with the event being organized by the Saudi Falcons Club.
The club’s official spokesman, Walid Al-Taweel, said the auction reflected the organization’s keenness to strengthen falconry heritage and to serve falcon hunters and breeders in the Kingdom and the region.
“It also reaffirms the Kingdom’s leading role in supporting cultural and economic activities associated with falconry, where the auction aims to support investment in the field of falconry, the development of falcon auctions and the organization of the mechanism for buying and selling,” he said.
“The club’s teams in the central, western, eastern and northern areas will receive the owner of the falcon that has been hunted, using bait or a net to examine it (the bird), and document the process. The club will provide housing and transportation for the owners of falcons (hunters) to the auction site. The falcon will be put on sale during a live, competitive and fast auction broadcast on television and various club accounts on social media platforms. The sale and purchase process will be free of charge.”
He explained that, once a falcon was sold, the buyer would receive an export certificate and an electronic chip would be inserted into the falcon, in addition to official documents being issued to complete the sale.

HIGHLIGHT

The club’s first official auction, which was held last year, had sales exceeding SR10 million ($2.6 million). Its success and large turnout paved the way for the International Falcon Breeders Auction. The auction concluded on Sept. 5, with record sales achieved over 32 days, amounting to SR8 million for 443 falcons.

The 45-day event will see the sale of rare and distinctive falcons that have been hunted during their annual migration.
It coincides with the International Saudi Falcons and Hunting Exhibition, which runs from Oct. 1-10 at the club’s headquarters.
The exhibition is the largest of its kind for falcons, hunting and falcon accessories. It will have display areas, weapon pavilions, art and family interaction sections, shooting fields, a falconer of the future area, as well as a digital museum and heritage events.
The club’s first official auction, which was held last year, had sales exceeding SR10 million ($2.6 million).
Its success and large turnout paved the way for the International Falcon Breeders Auction. The auction concluded on Sept. 5, with record sales achieved over 32 days, amounting to SR8 million for 443 falcons.
Only vaccinated people can take part in the second auction. A range of precautionary measures will be applied to prevent the spread of COVID-19.