World’s first camel hospital set to expand capacity by 50%

Photo: Dubai Media Office

Dubai Camel Hospital, the world’s first camel hospital is all set to expand its capacity by an additional 50%, in response to massive demand for its services. The state-of-the-art veterinary hospital has firmed up plans to enlarge its facilities to be able to treat over 30 camels simultaneously.

The new camel hospital opened its doors in 2017 to meet the overwhelming demand in the UAE for an advanced medical facility dedicated to treating camels. Since its inception, the hospital has attracted the interest of not only local owners but also camel breeders from across the world.

“The Dubai Camel Hospital is a unique hospital catering specifically to the needs of the burgeoning camel industry that has been flourishing and growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years,” said Mr. Mohammad Alblooshi, Director, Dubai Camel Hospital.

Camels are an integral part of the UAE’s heritage, and preserving it is a key aim of the hospital. Historically, camels, known as the ‘ship of the desert’ were a source of transport as well as food and milk in the region. The camel has continued to be an integral part of the UAE’s society and culture to this day, with select breeds used for camel racing, a sport highly popular among Emiratis.

In recent years, camel dairy farming has evolved as an alternative to traditional dairy farming in the region. According to a recent report by the IMARC Group, the GCC camel dairy market was worth $447.9 million in 2018 and is projected to reach over $661 million by 2024, rising by 6.9% during 2019-2024.

Camels are also reared to participate in camel beauty pageants, which have evolved into a multimillion-dollar sport thanks largely to government-sponsored festivals focused on the nation’s heritage and culture.

The rapid growth of the camel industry in the UAE has created the need for advanced medical facilities to treat illnesses and injuries. The creation of a state-of-the-art camel hospital was part of the vision of the UAE leadership to preserve the UAE’s camel heritage. Word of the new hospital, built two years ago at a cost of $40 million, spread far and wide even before its opening.

The Dubai Camel Hospital can currently treat 22 camels at a time. “We are a team of highly qualified and dedicated staff of veterinarians assisted by equally industrious and qualified veterinary assistants. The hospital has a total strength of 65 professional staff. We are self-sufficient with a fully stocked in-house pharmacy, a handy laboratory and a state-of-the art surgical facility that is equipped with the most modem and latest equipment. The surgical area is capable of handling the most complex medical veterinary cases of all camel species,” said Alblooshi.

“Our two surgical operation theatres can handle cases simultaneously with live high definition audio visual experience for camel owners and trainers in the specially arranged VIP area, which also has a huge viewing gallery,” Alblooshi further said. The hospital’s customised equipment was adapted from equestrian medical equipment to accommodate camel treatment. The facility is also equipped with a mini-race track to rehabilitate camels after their medical procedures.

The Dubai Camel Hospital is in the process of acquiring the International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification in the coming months to strengthen its commitment to quality and match the highest international standards in veterinary care.  

The hospital aims to contribute significantly to the research and development of camel medicine as part of enhancing the global body of therapeutic knowledge related to the unique desert animal. “We have just started functioning at the new facility and the hospital will certainly be involved in veterinary medical research studies in the near future,” said Mohammad Alblooshi.

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