Camel Beauty Contest In United Arab Emirates

Every year people travel thousands of miles, from across the Gulf, to the Western Region of the United Arab Emirates to attend the prestigious event. But you won’t find any designer dresses, tiaras or make-up artists here because they’ve come to seek out the region’s next top camel.

The Al Dhafra festival is in its seventh year and seeks to celebrate and promote Bedouin culture. The highlight is the camel beauty pageant which sees thousands of contestants strut their stuff in two competitions: one for the light-coloured Asayel breed and another for the dark-skinned Majahim.

They’re judged on a range of criteria from the size of the head, length of its neck and the shape of the hump. And big is most definitely considered beautiful.  But looks aren’t everything and points are also awarded for model behaviour with the very best camels sold for up to £2m.  Khamees Mohammad al Sharee, a camel owner who regularly attends the festival, explains how the winners are picked.

“There is a special committee, appointed by the authorities, which judges the competition. They place all the camels together in one pen and decide.”  For many people in this part of the Middle East the protection of pure-bred camels is integral to the preservation of their history and traditions.

Read the full story and video on the Sky News website and why not learn Pet First Aid online.

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