And the most beautiful camel in the world is...
Camels around the UAE are set to put their best hoof forward as they trot around the track with their perfectly groomed coats gleaming under the sunlight.
This sight is perhaps one of the highlights of the annual Mazayina Dhafra Camel Festival, which runs from December 16 until 25, which includes a beauty contest for our beloved four-legged friend of the desert.
Majahim or dark-skinned local camels will vie for the black beauty award, along with participating in a race comprising more than forty laps and a contest for the top purebred camel or Asayel in the country.
To enrol, each contestant is required to enter 50 camels, with the grand first prize of Dh1 million. We do reckon the winning camel would be humped that its meals for the next one year at least is taken care of.
Seeped in tradition
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the fourth such festival is scheduled to take place in the Western region of Zayed City in Al Gharbia, and will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Organising Committee and Director General of ADACH said that aside from the lighter aspects of this event, the tradition assists in the revival of the deep-rooted heritage of the Arab world.
The purpose of the festival is to maintain the heritage that is inherent to the local community, and pass it on to future generations.
Mazrouei, the Advisor for Culture and Heritage at the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, added: “The Festival recalls the history and heritage of the region. It narrates stories from the past to the people and demonstrates the strong will and efforts that our forefathers made to safeguard our heritage, taking the completion of their objectives as a major responsibility.”
During the last session in February, more than 28,000 camels, owned by more than 1,200 people in the region, competed for prizes amounting up to a whopping Dh42m.
Aside from the racing and the beauty contest, the festival also includes other traditional events, such as the Hallab Competition for the camel that produces the most milk, the date packaging contest, the Nabati poetry sessions, a photography exhibition and a cook off.
Special activities have also been planned for school students, including a traditional market that will display handicrafts from the UAE region.
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